Arriving about two years too late to the thrash-metal party, Ontario’s Threat Signal have delivered a dated but solid effort with their album Under Reprisal. Unfortunately, the album suffers from “sameoldshit-itis” since everything here can be heard in countless other thrash-metal albums by countless other thrash-metal bands. Though swimming in an oversaturated sea, the album is still a good catch capable of feeding the metal addiction.
Under Reprisal is a violent blend of heavy guitar work, killer drums, and strangely sublime melodic harmonies contrasted by growling that hits like a brick in the face. The strongest member of this band is definitely Jon Howard, the vocalist, who shows off his mastery of the reputed metal scream in each song. The lyrics lack originality, but that’s hardly a flaw uncommon to the genre. Bitchin’ guitar solos and drum fills are littered throughout the album, but they are too few and far between to put a unique spin on the otherwise familiar musicianship.
Fans of thrash can get the same sound from better-known bands with more innovation, experience, and time on the playing field. Nobody chooses the burger under the heat lamp when there’s a fresh one sitting next to it.