Review: “Dark Tranquillity” by Threering

A duo hailing from Las Vegas Nevada, Threering have been creating music together in various other bands since the early 1990’s before releasing their first album in 2015. Now onto their fourth release in “Dark Tranquillity” they wear their influences on their sleeves and we’re lucky enough to record the debut “Diagram for Self Destruction” was recorded at Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and The Cult fame’s home studio in Hollywood, California. A lot has happened in the 4 years since!

The mention of “Progressive Metal with influences ranging from Pink Floyd to Megadeth and everything in between” in the bio if Threering is evident from the very start. The chorus of the opening title track “Dark Tranquillity” has a classic Metal vibe with guitarist and vocalist Adam Doxtater showing off some impressive lead flourishes as well as having a Classic Hard Rock clean vocal style. There are occasions when his voice takes on a familiar rasp akin to Disturbed vocalist David Draiman. “No Way Back” is a more expansive tune with an bigger injection of melody and extended lead riffs. The drums from Phillip Howell are pretty big in the mix and while that’s not a sticking point overall, it’s most noticeable on the first few tunes. “The Darkness We Pray For” could be a Megadeth tune from the early 2000’s period with some similar chord progressions and kit stylings. The face melting solo is as solid as it is impressive and it would be interesting to know if the recording was done with vocals and guitars recorded together or separately as the skill level with both in a single player is a rare commodity!

“Everything and None” has a fine setting 40 second introduction of lead work before a short verse into an extended chorus. The use of a melodic bridge to slow everything down before bringing it back in a tsunami of riffs is a masterful piece of song writing, while the solo is another blistering one. Introducing more chug into the guitars with some lower tones, “Crush” has a darker vibe from the start. The introspective lyrics are an interesting turn of events and the whole thing has an Alice In Chains feeling to it until the solo and stuccato riff close. “Save no one. They’re gone. Move on” indeed. The epitome of a mid-album, mid-tempo tune “Love Me, Hate Me” is an interesting breather between some of the faster earlier tunes. It features the solo work that is the bands style but maintains its groove and remains restrained on purpose when it could let loose and has a Melloncholic overtone that is as thoughtful as it is powerful. “Peeling And Blistering” takes a similarly melodic approach, blending some Metallica esq acoustic guitars to bridge some more progressive metal rhythmic gymnastics. For those not in the know, the difference between the styles tends to be that the more progressive element is that the guitars use more and more chords or notes before the turn around, typically 6 or above being considered that. What Threering do move between 4 and more effortlessly at various points to create their sound.

Arguably the surprise of the album is “The Edge”. It’s a big rock introspective tune that lyrically looks at the possibilities of what could have been if not for chasing the dream and ending with the ticking of clocks. It’s beautiful use of guitar work to create an undercurrent for the pain in the lyrics is a true testiment to the band. Introduced by a political speech with kit work and guitars threatening appear out from under, “Here I Lie” has a double kick that supercharges things at various points an injects a tempo shift that moves the music from its more melodic side into a more aggressive state. The bright and bold sing a long chorus gets a well deserved kick from the bridge and solo. Not breaking the mold, “Pale Horse” keeps the album on consistent note with some solid riffs and hooks, while the vocal delivery means that the chorus bleeds neatly into the verse. If you’re a solo head, be advised – every song has one and they’re all equally skillful and impressive. The closing group female vocals are an interesting choice and as a closing element, they work really well. [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Dark Tranquillity
  2. No Way Back
  3. The Darkness We Pray For
  4. Everything And None
  5. Crush
  6. Love Me, Hate Me
  7. Peeling And Blistering
  8. The Edge
  9. Here I Lie
  10. Pale Horse

“Dark Tranquillity” by Threering is out now

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