Inescapably enjoying their second album Careful What You Wish For when being introduced to it and the band last year, we suggested that it was easy to see US groove metallers Threatpoint “making their presence a global one if not now certainly on a near horizon.” That album evaded the luck to make the bridge but now expectations of such success are rising again with its successor R.I.P., a release which eclipses the last in every department.
Formed in 2012, the Scranton, Pennsylvania hailing quartet quickly showed themselves a formidable and exciting proposition through debut album Dead to Rise in 2013 and a live presence eagerly devoured locally and further afield. Taking inspirations from an array of metal and heavy rock borne flavours for their groove metal seeded sound, Threatpoint merged familiar and increasingly inventively fresh essences in the following Careful What You Wish and it is fair to say that the latter side has grown yet again within R.I.P., that alongside imagination and sheer creative ferocity.
With newest member and bassist Matthew Van Fleet alongside founding members in vocalist Chris James, guitarist Alex Olivetti, and drummer CJ Krukowski, Threatpoint immediately absorb ears with the portentous lure of the album’s title track. Its initial coaxing is a dark harmonic drone courted by drama carrying atmospherics. From within the evocative draw, riffs and rhythms gather and surge hungrily through ears, quickly finding their assault bound in just as rapacious grooves. Death and thrash nurtured textures are soon fuelling the rousing starter, the raw ire loaded tones of James orchestrating the anthemic prowess of the chorus whilst Olivetti’s enterprise only blossoms across each invasive groove and melodic flame.
It is an invasively potent beginning to the release reinforced by next up Deadend Machineland. It too needs a mere handful of second before settling into a predatory confrontation equipped with its own senses stirring confrontation. Like a gunslinger, it stands sizing up the listener as James’ prowls the imagination, subsequently uncaging a blast of multi-flavoured metal with a good sense of restraint to emphasize its invention before Tombstones of my Enemies presents a riveting trespass of scowling riffs, intrusive rhythms, and a sonic web woven with melodic dexterity, all emerging from a great initial melodic haunting. As each song before it, the track reveals a new character to the Threatpoint sound, R.I.P. already outshining its predecessor in diversity while matching its raw intensity.
Thy Will Be Done is a grievous groove fest littered with invasive hooks and sonic irritability around the equally fuelled growls of James while Light Bleeds Through the Black straight after is a sinister at times almost darkly lecherous protagonist of ears and imagination interrupted by predatory bursts of volcanic ferocity. Both crowd around barbarous basslines from Van Fleet and the wickedly swung beats of Krukowski, a union of dexterity as addictive as the ravenous enterprise around them. The fade out of the first is annoying but a minor gripe in one of the album’s major highlights, a height matched by its successor and the demonian seduction of Bury the Wicked where again lava-esque enterprise meets provocative malevolence.
Through the classic and thrash metal spiced theatre of Laugh Now…Cry Later and the carnivorous canter of Writings on the Wall, the band continues to enthral an eager appetite for the magnetic adventure of the album even if neither quite stirs personal tastes to the same lusty responses as those before them or the outstanding One in the Chamber…One in the Chest which follows. Its grouchy growl alone whips up unbridled attention, its predacious bassline and similarly natured grooves just as masterful in enslaving the passions as the song twists and turns with inventive rabidity.
The murderous swing of Face Your Fear is the foundation to another pinnacle within R.I.P., a track which courts a host of varied metallic styles as it venomously struts around body and thoughts before making way for the equally gripping theatre of Angels with Broken Wings which features the striking vocal presence of Lauren Balogh, vocalist for DramaScream and SuperRadical; her union with James a major reason for the track sparking another wave of lust.
Completed by the thunderous charge and choleric tempest of Death Rides Again, the album hits a whole new plateau in its second half following a nothing but impressive and thoroughly enjoyable first. It is the spark for expectations that Threatpoint will finally find worldwide awareness for their ever growing and increasingly inventive sound. R.I.P. may be its name but the album is the birth of greater things and success for the band.
R.I.P. is out now across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 24/01/2017
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