Wednesday 8 November 2017

Threat Signal - Disconnect


1. Elimination Process
2. Nostalgia
3. Walking Alone
4. Exit The Matrix
5. Falling Apart
6. Aura
7. Betrayal
8. To Thine One Self Be True
9. Dimensions
10. Terminal Madness

It's in moments like these that you realise how quickly time flies. I first heard Canadian metal band Threat Signal on the release of their 2006 full-length "Under Reprisal". Eleven years and various line-up changes later, they're back with a new album that follows on from their self-titled record in 2011. Having previously worked with Nuclear Blast they're now a part of the enviable Agonia Records stable, alongside the likes of In Mourning, Glorior Belli and Aborym amongst others. "Disconnect" is available digitally, on cd and on colour-in-colour vinyl. 

I was a tad excited when I saw this drop into my inbox, especially after so many years of loosing track of Threat Signal. Their sound has changed from Under Reprisal, but that’s no surprise given the line-up changes they’ve had to deal with. Opener Elimination Process covers all bases including melodic metal, thrash and off-kilter progressive metal (I’m avoiding using “that” sub-genre tag). Given the influences listed on the band’s social media page, you won’t be surprised by the content on here. It’s good to hear though that they’ve retained the melody that made earlier albums commercially successful, Nostalgia is an apt song to demonstrate that point, especially when the anthemic lead guitar kicks in towards the end. 

At time Threat Signal comes across more like a European band, especially in the structure and delivery of their songs. Walking Alone features plenty of melodic thrash influence throughout and with the help of the clear and modern production job, is very appealing. They move in a heavier direction on Exit The Matrix, which is made up of with metalcore’s traditional harsh verses and clean choruses. Threat signal doesn’t necessarily push the boundaries of heaviness, yet they play what’s natural to them and it works. Their crossover appeal is once again obvious on Falling Apart, which signals the mid-point of “Disconnect” and lengthier songs to come. Intriguing! 

The second half of the album is where Threat Signal”s progression bares more teeth. Aura contains subtle Eastern-melodies early on, moments of full-throttle thrash and time signatures that aren’t as easily obvious. Add to that some introspective passages of instrumentation and there’s a lot more to their music than you think. It’s definitely one of the strongest songs on the album so far. They follow it with a soothing piece called Betrayal with light guitar and more clean vocals, that’s as relaxing as it sounds. Threat Signal seems to have waited until the second half of the record to really open up their musical taps, as without being disrespectful to the band the first half wasn’t as exciting. There’s more guitar virtuosity on To Thine Own Self Be True, as well as extra musical layers that’ll sound great live. 

Dimensions follows with another blast of the band’s catchy thrash-tinged metal, but it’s all just a build up to the ten-minute monolith that’s album closer Terminal Madness. I was pretty eager to hear how Threat Signal would fare on a song of this length and can say that they’ve managed to create a dramatic and dynamic song to end on. There’s plenty of technicality throughout “Disconnect” and while it’s nothing you haven’t heard before, if you’re looking for a metal album that’s consistently strong and a band that manages to deliver through adversity and uncertainty, look no further that this.

You can stream both album opener Elimination Process and Exit The Matrix via Agonia Records' bandcamp page below:-

"Disconnect" is available to buy on all formats above as well.

Threat Signal -
Agonia Records -

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