Threat Signal – Vigilance (Nuclear Blast Records)Saturday, 16th March 2013
Threat Signal vocalist Jon Howard really does sound like Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, which depending on who you ask, is a really awesome thing or total detriment. Sorry, but we’re guessing the mall music crowd is not being polled here. However, behind Howard is a very much modern, yet cohesive, melodically-ingrained outfit that knows how to load up a song with streamlined, cyber-melodies, all of which chalk Vigilance up to being a winner.
Branded as a Fear Factory baby band, Threat Signal bear little resemblance to that tag, as state-of-the-art jams like “Through My Eyes,” the excellent “United We Stand” and “Beyond Recognition” rip and roar with Lamb of God-styled riff-mongering and syrupy melodies that fall right into place.
Ballad territory is touched upon with “Another Source of Light,” where Howard gets his Bennington on, yet the song is a charmer, believe it or not. The man’s clean vocals often rule the roost on Vigilance, saved for big, striking choruses (see: “Afterlife,” “Lost” and “In Repair”) that give Threat Signal the option of having more cross-appeal than the typical Strapping Young Lad/Fear Factory cyber metal musings.
At 13 songs, Vigilance can get a little bloated, although Threat Signal rarely runs things into the ground. There’s simply a lot of moving parts here and an absolute improvement over their 2006 Under Reprisal debut. Let us hope this doesn’t get lost in the debacle that surrounds any and all bands related to Fear Factory (i.e. Divine Heresy, Arkaea). It would do this album a great disservice.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)