An album you may have missed but certainly need to know about is Careful What You Wish For, the second album from US groove predators Threatpoint. It is a fury of an encounter infusing varying flavours of metal and heavy rock into a snake pit of grooved hostility, and though there are thick strands of recognisable influences and essences, band and album incite nothing less than greed and thick enjoyment with its brand new proposition.
Hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Threatpoint emerged in 2012 and quickly drew potent attention and praise for their voracious live presence and a similarly hungry sound which further stirred up the local and US metal scene through debut album Dead to Rise the following year. It has been an increasing success now creating new waves further afield through Careful What You Wish For, an album over a year in the making and equipped with a torrent of irrepressible grooves, deeply rooting hooks, and a creative antagonism which just gets the blood surging.
The blistering tempest of sound and attitude begins with The Age Of Godlessness, its opening coaxing a provocative atmospheric scene of raw winds and solemn church bells. It is a portrait of ominous dark shadows and scenery from which the track subsequently bursts with ravenous riffs and heftily examining rhythms. The onslaught is torrential and instantly virulent, the raw and ferocious vocals of Chris James the perfect provocateur within a tsunami of aggression and caustic grooving. There is a feel of bands like Devildriver and Cavalera Conspiracy to it as the band mixes styles into a bracing tempest veined by melodic and sonic enterprise.
It is an explosive and gripping start matched by the following Vultures Of Prey, an even more predatory and sinister corruption of the senses. Though the song has less of the physical and creative rabidity of the first, it is a just as rigorous and intimidating stalking of ears and emotions with a Static X like breath creeping in with vocals and riffs from the simultaneously enticing and savage guitars of Alex Olivetti and Mike White. Two songs in and fair to say Threatpoint would have to seriously go awry to lose the hungry appetite and inflamed satisfaction already ignited by the opening pair of rages. Though some tracks understandably impress more than others, the quintet continues to enslave with craft and diversity as the ferocious Divide & Conquer takes over. The great raspy tones of James prey on ears as the rhythmic hostility of drummer CJ Krukowski and the increasingly bestial qualities of Eric Ross’ bass lay down addictive bait within a flood of salacious grooves. A spicy solo adds further heavy metal magnetism to the torrent of sound and persuasion before it all departs for the sonic devilry of Mockingbird.
The fourth song is bred from a swirling of melodic enticing which seizes precise moments to magnetically flirt with ears from within another tsunami of impassioned intensity and creative voracity, vocally and musically. Once more strikingly different flavours are woven into its ravishment with its substantial melodic and heavy metal colouring employed further in an equally pleasing but darker terrain through Blessings and Curses where they court a black and death metal seeded trespass on the listener.
Collapse almost toys with ears initially, a bedlamic soaking of essences the first fierce hug before song and bands expel a flood of ravenous emotions amidst a brawling collusion of tangy grooves, dogged riffs, and rapier like swings from Krukowski. It is a beast of an encounter, an irresistible ravaging unafraid, as all songs, to mix up its attack and presence to leave expectations redundant and the imagination feeding on more familiar but openly fresh confrontation. It is a brutal highlight springing to another in the hellacious stalking of the senses that is Stronger Than Death. It is yet another offering where vicious hostility and sonic adventure collide in an invigorating raging. As the music is a maelstrom of flavours and styles within each of the album’s cyclones, so are the vocals of James and the band as a broad diversity and delivery shares the singer’s similarly uncompromising and hard hitting lyrics.
The thrash and death spawned Mark My Words has the pulse and emotions racing next, the imagination seduced by a great progressive melodic twist around two thirds in, whilst Devil You Know and Tree Of Sorrow are both rancorous hurricanes eroding the senses but rewarding with more creative infusions and twists of sub genres within metal and rock. Though all songs provide strong individual characters and presence there is a unity in sound and invention which ensures all are audibly Threatpoint, even with the strong feel of a Killswitch Engage or Hatesphere across these particular offerings.
The album’s title track unleashes its carnivorous might and potency next. Sharing its merciless grudge in an irresistible multi-flavoured cyclone of grooves, scarring antipathy, and sonic devilry, the track ignites another wave of greed and satisfaction but finds itself shadowed slightly by the even greater animus and punk infused raw beauty of Secrets. From the deliciously nasty bassline cast by Ross in its first breath, the outstanding song is an insidious and unstoppable seduction with every element and second of its presence sheer carnal temptation.
It all comes to a close with firstly the masterful and sinister menacing of Hatebox, where James finds a Dez Fafara like grievance to his tones, and lastly the compelling When Karma Comes. The final song emerges with an acoustic melodic beauty which simply transfixes as the background sneakily brews up a sonic grievance which eventually erupts in hostile weather embraced in a bad blooded climate.
Given the luck and attention that Careful What You Wish For deserves, it is easy to see Threatpoint making their presence a global one if not now certainly on a near horizon. Their new proposal is not a game changer for the metal scene but gives it a new protagonist to get excited over and that is almost as good.
Careful What You Wish For is out now from most online stores.