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Threat Signal play some a sort of groovy melodic death metal along the lines of what Devildriver has done with their last couple of releases. But you can immediately tell they take a heavy influence from Fear Factory in the mechanical guitar riffs. With their third album the band streamlines their sound and becomes a bit more consistent.
The album starts off with what I think is probably the heaviest song here, Uncensored. TS shows they can get pretty heavy on this one and the blast beats are a treat, though I don't remember hearing them really on any other track. And I guess even if they were there they didn't stand out as much as they did here. A thing that began to bug me as time went on and I listened to the album a few times over was a certain sound the guitars made. Listen to just about any song on the album and you will notice the guitars make an almost snarling noise in every riff (which are repeated of course ad nauseum).
What usually bothered me in the past about Threat Signal was the clean vocals. Jon Howard has a dreadful singing voice. Its like hes channeling Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Its nasally and comes off almost whiny, and not in the emo kind of way but the normal complaining manner that we all hate so much. Other than that his growls and screams are close to what Randy Blythe from Lamb of God sounds like. But a lot of what is used is like part Howard's singing voice half scream which doesn't really make the singing part of it sound any better. But his proper screams are decent and he throws in some lower death grunts here and there that sound really good.
The drumming is solid, though I wish Alex Rudinger had been able to throw in some more blasts. They sounded so well in Uncensored I think they missed a chance to keep that going for the rest of the album. And the bass seems to follow the guitars note for note, the norm for the genre. A nice fill here or there would be nice. I will give them credit for the great sounding production on the album though, its about perfect minus the annoying snarling guitar noise that is so prevalent.
Threat Signal (the album) is on the better side of average and actually even good if you can get over the parts I mentioned not enjoying. They have given us a decently crafted melodic death metal album that will please fans of the band and probably bring in a few more people who may have been on the fence. And on a closing note, they had a pretty sweet album cover made up as well!
Originally reviewed @ http://abaddonsmetalshop.blogspot.com/