A New Threat Level
posted on 3/2010 By:
I find it ironic that a band hailing from the thrash holy land of San Francisco would release one of the least typical sounding thrash albums I’ve heard in recent years, but such is the case with Potential Threat and their debut record, A New Threat Level. That is not to say that Potential Threat brings anything new to the table, only that the band’s music displays some influences less than twenty five years old, namely mid-nineties groove metal a-la Machine Head and, to a lesser extent, hardcore/metal acts such as Biohazard. For those still reading after that statement, I must say, to Potential Threat’s credit, the band’s music, while at times possessing a certain jump da fuck up status quoi, is purely metal, and devoid of any hip-hop influence.
The opening strains of “Remember the Violence” find the band playing it straight with some nimble-fingered picking reminiscent of mid-period Kreator, and vocals that resemble those of Testament’s Chuck Billy. Soon enough, however, a chunky groove and some gang vocals surface, and they only grow more numerous as the album progresses. Yet, it would be a mistake to pass off Potential Threat as some ham-fisted nu-metal act. Listening to the trio play one gets the impression of power held in reserve: guitarist/vocalist Mike Noble’s tight, heavy handed rhythm playing and deft injections of melody allude to a largely untapped technical ability, drummer, Kenny Noble, manages to push his thrash styled drumming to the very edge of blast beat territory and bassist, Damien Sisson executes some tasty melodic fills. On occasions when the band does bust into full-on thrash mode, such as on the closing couplet of like “Far from the Truth” and “For our Nation,” the effect can be blistering.
A New Threat Level is not a traditional thrash album, and Potential Threat is not a traditional thrash band, but just because the band incorporates some out of fashion sounds into their music, does not mean they are not good at what they do. If I have judged correctly, A New Threat Level will not likely appeal to the majority of Metal Review’s readership, but I know some of you out there are still jamming to Burn My Eyes, even if you only shout “Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!” when nobody can hear you. If that describes you, A New Threat Level is a record worth seeking out.
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