Las Vegas Nevada duo Threering have been nothing if not prolific writers of late. Drummer Phillip Howell alongside guitarist and vocalist Adam Doxtater put out their fourth studio album “Dark Tranquility” in October 2018, standalone double A side single “Hell Is For Children” in April 2019 and have now returned with their fifth studio album “My Last Words” in late December. Adorned with cover art that depicts a woman drowning while being stung by Jellyfish not unlike the story from the Will Smith film “Seven Pounds” it could be a beautifully tragedy themed album.
An achingly beautiful piano sequence brings in “Dying Light” before a Zakk Wylde style piece of classic Metal guitar work comes into play. There is a sense of Guns n’ Roses songs like “November Rain” and the band having recorded their 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, it’s no wonder that there is some influence there. A similar foundation continues into “Eleven” with the piano parts underpinning the music which bridges the gap between Hard Rock and Classic Metal in fine style. Lyrical themes of self destructive patterns flow through the songs but there is a sense of hope in the mourning and going to learn from the mistakes made. A glorious and fitting solo adorns this one before a final verse. “Sleepwalk Into The Sun” introduces some programming and has a huge drum sound with Howell getting plenty of opportunity to express himself. A song about not understanding why we hanker for the past and look back upon it with rose tinted spectacles, it’s as thoughtful as it is epic with another fine solo moment adding shine.
“Gone” dispenses with the piano work of the opening trio of songs and instead brings Melodic Death Metal riffs to counterpart Doxtater’s big vocals. A face melter of a Children of Bodom esq solo is a piece of magic in this one as much as the sing-a-long chorus which will no doubt go down beautifully live. The sombre “Black Letter” is perhaps an ode to a suicide note with mentions of drug addiction in a song that would fit nicely in the back catalogue of Black Label Society. Doxtater’s skill and dexterity are tested to the full with some of the brilliant guitar parts that must have taken some serious work to get perfected. “Your Disease” takes some of their Megadeth influence and shoe horns it into a few moments that other bands might be afraid to let get as big as they do. The album as a whole is drawn together by a meloncholic sadness and a harmonic nature which makes it greater than the sum of its parts.
The addition of a female voice to “Say You’ll Prove Me Wrong” gives it a bright elevation as the vocalists not only get their own parts but also intertwine so that both lead and both back each other, while the Metallica esq riff segment from the “Master Of Puppets” era is an elevation to a mournful anti-power ballad. Melody Schoenfeld is the guest vocalist of note and returns having previously joined Threering on “Can Anybody Hear Me” in 2017. The returning piano parts are a hallmark throughout “My Last Words” and with “Oh, Mother” they are used to introduce a longer cut that of wonderful cliché soaked in inner torment. The lyrical depiction of a tortured soul, raised by some breathtaking leads. “Every Time I Die” has guest appearances from both a returning Melody Schoenfeld and also Amber Doxtater who both previously appeared on “The Day That Never Comes” in 2018. They join for a song that speaks of addiction that takes the pain away and indifference to suffering. It’s another powerful statement piece that has a weight and gravity alongside a deepened sense of grit. Title track “My Last Words” is a fine summary of the album feel as a whole, taking the best parts of it and crafting them into a single, powerful and sentimental song. Released back in September as the first single from the album “The Fifteen” is as much a showcase for the album as anything else. Acoustic guitars and bold piano work accompanying the big, haunting vocals soaked in melodic tragedy. There is no mistaking the epic grandeur of the song and in the context of an album of songs of a similar nature and intention this one stands out with its stripped back approach. A go to album when you wake up with bloodshot eyes and a savage hangover, in “My Last Words” Threering have indeed created the album of beautiful tragedy that the cover art depicts [7.5/10]
Sleepwalk Into The Sun
Say You’ll Prove Me Wrong (ft. Melody Schoenfeld)
Every Time I Die (ft. Melody Schoenfeld, Amber Doxtater)
My Last Words
“My Last Words” by Threering is out 20th December and will be available over at bandcamp