Threatpoint – R.I.P. (Self-Released)Friday, 25th November 2016
Subscribing to a blue-collar, heads down work ethic, Pennsylvania metal quartet Threatpoint return for a long-awaited third full-length on R.I.P. While very much entrenched in a groove metal mold, these musicians also inject a lot of love and respect for classic thrash, power, and death to keep these 12 songs dynamically appealing. The key to making everything work relies on proper execution and tasteful melding of the diverse influences while not jumping on a certain bandwagon or trend – and this band keep things true to heart for the overall final benefit of the listeners.
Much like the Careful What You Wish For predecessor, the central riffing and rhythm section work builds from a strong groove foundation, which makes a lot of comparisons to classic Pantera, Machine Head, or even Urban Discipline-era Biohazard on tracks like “Thy Will Be Done” or the poignant fist to face effort “One in the Chamber…One in the Chest” (the latter featuring some sinister bass licks out of newest member Matt Van Fleet). An old record needle and clean instrumental parts weave in and out the darker “Light Bleeds Through the Black”, Alex Olivetti shifting between Grip Inc.-oriented low power chords and softer, ringing note play for extra axe atmosphere as vocalist Chris James intertwines whispering, sadistic verses and his normal ripping larynx rage delivery. The thrash elements can come up on the double bass thunder from CJ Krukowski in sections of the title cut, while the power riffing always gives off a melodic hook – evident on the rhythmic-oriented “Laugh Now…Cry Later”. They also gain a killer female guest appearance from DramaScream vocalist Lauren Balogh to duet with Chris on “Angels With Broken Wings” – employing a variety of clean and extreme melodies that are intuitively addictive.
You’d be hard pressed not to find several moments where spasmodic body motions and hair whipping take command of the scenery – the four-piece knowing how to keep things tightly focused and making chorus moments larger than life for future audience activation on live stages. It’s evident in many passages of the record that as much as the band love groove metal, there’s a healthy amount of reverence for the old guard (Sabbath, Priest, Maiden) – “Writings on the Wall” probably the clearest example with twin guitar segments and a main riff that is deliciously doomy. Stagnation is not in the Threatpoint philosophy. R.I.P. seeks to prove their pure metal outlook, and achieves its goals through solid songwriting and proper attention to detail – sure to appease a healthy combination of music fans. Well done, gentlemen.