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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Beyond Threshold

Revolution

Review by Mike Korn

Here's a hungry young band from my own backyard. The members of Beyond Threshold have been honing and perfecting their craft for a few years now and they are taking the plunge into the dog-eat-dog world of recorded music. I can't say that Revolution reinvents heavy music as the title implies but it’s a strong debut with grass roots appeal.

The band mixes up a variety of hard genres to concoct its own distinctive stew. There's the speed of thrash, the thuggish breakdowns of hardcore, the groove of Pantera, the rhythmic appeal of nu-metal and yes, even a little of the melody of "lite metal" such as Staind and Creed in there. But don't panic, metal fans, the crooned clean vocals are just a small part of what makes BT tick. This is an angry band that's announced its bad intentions with a lion-like roar!

 


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro

This is a strangely eerie opening with a tense build-up that gets gradually heavier and heavier. I do wish bands would come up with more original names than just "Intro", though.

Revolution
A crunchy thrash type riff anchored by powerful drumming kicks this tune off with a blast. Vocalist Erik Virgin unleashes a hair-raising scream to announce that hell has arrived. This dude demonstrates a good range right off the bat. In fact, this song shows off every member of the band to good effect, even including some tasty bass.
Better Off
This tune has been a perennial favorite at BT's live shows. It's a crushing combination of hardcore and nu-metal with brutality to spare. Vocals range from a fierce growl to a droning monotone to all out screaming. There's some almost Latin-flavored drumming to add a little spice...it reminds me of something Soulfly might come up with.
Forever Falling
Soulfly again comes to mind while listening to this groove monster. The song is simple and basic, but the excellent guitar solos of Todd Paluzzi, rhythmic drumming of Tom Kasten and Erik Virgin's ticked off vocals give it life. 
Critical Mass
A straight-up thrasher that, as the lyrics say, "make you want to break some f***in' face". This is music to mosh to, with thick and brutal riffs and almost death metal vocals. I would have dumped the clean crooning stuff but that doesn't kill the song.
From Within
I really dig the cranking old school guitar solo that kicks this off. Soon enough, it turns into another simple pummeling beatdown with a mixture of hardcore breakdowns and thrash runs. Paluzzi's guitar work has a great classic metal feel that adds a lot of spice to the otherwise basic tunes.
Drug Induced
The punchy guitar hook that starts this sounds almost like it could have come from the NWOBHM.  The singing is a more modern mixture of clean crooning verses and raging roars. There's also an almost psychedelic sounding mellow break in the middle. The way these guys combine old school and new school influences is something really fresh.
Selfless
This brings the more sensitive side of Beyond Threshold to the fore. Yes, it does resemble the more balladic style of Staind and Flaw. Erik Virgin shows he can indeed sing without rupturing a blood vessel and Todd Paluzzi pulls off a beautiful solo. I wouldn't want a whole album of this but this one tune makes for a fine breather amidst the mayhem.
Indifference
An awesome bluesy metal grind like Black Label Society or Down forms the backdrop for this pounder. The mid-section unleashes a scorching solo and then morphs into a real crushing thump - outstanding tune!
Failsafe
I'd say this is the most overtly heavy tune on the disc. It's nothing blindingly original or complex but it just really slams in a fashion similar to prime Hatebreed. I’m not sure I like the droning clean vocals...this is one track where the harsh singing would have fit all the way through.
Heartless
This is a relentless thrasher designed to create a bloodthirsty circle pit. Some of Virgin's screams are absolutely hair-raising. The slower breakdowns in the middle lead up to a raging mid-section with brutal chugging riffs. This for sure would be a live favorite.

 

 

 

Sluts
I would have ended the album with "Heartless" and left this track off. Musically it's alright but the lyrics are really embarrassing. I'd expect this kind of juvenile stuff from somebody like ICP. I know the song is a goof but these guys should know better.
 
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