Threat Signal – Vigilance


Artist

Album

Vigilance

Label

Nuclear Blast/Riot

Year

2009

For Fans Of

Soilwork – Pantera – Lamb of God

Summary

Head banging brutality, Canadian style…

Rating

81 / 100

Nuclear Blast alumni Threat Signal do not share the same status as established label mates such as Meshuggah, Suffocation and All Shall Perish but there certainly are no signs of inadequacy present on sophomore release, ‘Vigilance’.  

The Canadian quintet throws blast beats and down tuned riffs into a thirteen track aural assault of musical brutality. It is fair to say that Canada might not be the USA’s poor cousin after all (at least when it comes to metal) – bands like Despised Icon, Cryptopsy, Protest the Hero and the aforementioned Threat Signal seem to be flying the metal flag high.  

Beginning with the consistently fast ‘Afterlife’, Threat Signal establishes a nice niche somewhere between the down and dirty refrains of Lamb of God and the melodic/heavy juxtaposition of a Soilwork. The rest of the album follows suit – music played ‘loud’ and ‘heavy’ seem to be the only prerequisites. The appeal however, is that the band adds just enough subtle harmony and groove through the agency of vocalist Jon Howard. The result is an understated variety to a sound that is fast becoming as redundant as a Friday the 13th remake.  

Tracks such as ‘The Beginning of the End’ and ‘Hate Machine’ keep things in line – double kick work, aggressive vocals and unswerving guitar lines. It is straight to the point metal that is deliberately precise. 

If there is a weakness, it is that the album does not offer anything that hasn’t been heard before. Moreover, at thirteen tracks there is a tendency that perhaps too much is attempted to be crammed in. Nevertheless, let us keep our heads above the buckets – sometimes music should be intended just to enjoy irrespective of its originality value.

Conclusion

Canada’s Threat Signal show promise and potential on studio album number two. A solid foundation has been set; it is just a matter if we see the band continue with it in future endeavours or rather resign themselves to become yet another ‘genre filler’ band. 

Tracklisting

  1. Afterlife
  2. Through My Eyes
  3. The Beginning of the End
  4. United We Stand
  5. Beyond Recognition
  6. Another Source of Light
  7. Hate Machine
  8. Severed
  9. Lost
  10. Revision
  11. In Repair
  12. Escape From Reality
  13. To Remember

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