It’s easy to dismiss the home-town prophet. In our global metal world the natural inclination is to look far away, on the horizon, for the newest wonder. It couldn’t possibly in our back yard; especially true in a metal market rounder and fuller than a Kardashian ass, right? Not so fast my friends. A bigger sin would be stepping past the obvious talent right in front of your mug, assuming distance equals greatness. Which brings us to Beyond Threshold and their new album, Live To Fight (out today on Pavement Records).
I’ve fell into the trap of predicting bands on the verge of breaking through with stellar new albums, so hesitation sets in instantly when whispers of next level float about. Those ships can sink quickly. That professed, it will be up to the masses to puff and pass or just pass here, but there is reason to take notice of Live To Fight.
Even in music’s underworld there must be memorable songs that keep fans chirping and sharing about “how flipping cool” an album is. This box is checked with Solitude. With a slightly reduced flex, melodious and catchy, vocalist Erik V pleads for understanding during this stroll. Only employing darkness and clenched fist after the chorus sections, Solitude draws because it stands apart from the bulk of an album that straddles lines well. Here we primarily float with the cleanliness of lines, a melancholy isolation, poised and offered with an understated grace. Solitude quickly arrests and seeps into the soul.
Growth is an expectation of fans, although defining that is as easy as getting Clinton or Trump to speak truth for any duration of time. My measuring stick for Beyond Threshold is simple and comes from the stage. Having seen them a couple of times live, as an opener, they kept me at my bar stool and focused, but not willing to leap off it and salute. Thus, I was eager to dip into Live To Fight, and see the now and then. With tracks like Purify and Subsick positioned together, we have varied song styles and different deliveries. Purify shines with a Killswitch Engage feel, while the bass thunder and jump of Subsick a hyper Korn like rant of aggression. Each appealing in their own right, the point being the variety of sound and approach. Fans will gush with either or both, and that equals another first down for the band. Beyond Threshold has bettered themselves and their art.
The bass of Trevor-James Brewer is salient and strong, there are strong stick moments throughout, and the guitar reeks metal to the core. Live To Fight pleases the straight metal and metal core camps inside the same package, with Grey Matter to End of Days. My bet is the lighter side of their collection will be received with definitive horns up, and they’ll secure a wider base with the heavy hitters as well. As to if this propels them to full limelight or a glimpse of the moon, well that is to be determined. Here’s rooting for them, and for an album they can sure hold high.
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