Philly’s Best Kept Secret Releases a Killer Debut !
Have you ever come to the realization that you may have stumbled on the next great album? Threshold is an ambitious debut record, and a monster breath of fresh air. The Age of Truth is Philadelphia’s best kept secret. They’re a four-piece mission of sound built on the shoulders of Kevin McNamara’s vocals, Michael DiDonato’s guitar, William Miller’s bass, and Adam Lauver’s drums (who did not play on the album). The blend of heavy, psych, rock, blues passages smoked me into an altered state. Anchored in the heart of brotherly love, these four masterless vigilantes are destined to blow minds away. I’m not the same after listening to Threshold; nor do I want to be. Everything I look for in a record is here.
How is the sound?
The main thing I’d like to articulate about the experience of listening to Threshold is its complete physical domination of my body. Every song is epic, laced with soaring vocals, heavy blues rock and roll guitar leads, gigantic bass rhythm, and core drum progressions. But it’s much more than that. Rarely have I been so physically possessed by the multi-faceted sounds which were compelling me just to move. And move I did, from every varied element The Age of Truth epically structured within this album. The visceral injection of heavy rock and roll. I slack-jawed admiration, I chuckled, I howled, I swooned, I buried my head into my hands in — face-melting disbelief of what I just heard thinking ‘they can’t rock deeper,’ while every song did in fact went deeper, thicker, brighter like a blossoming flower feeding off the sun, at all times realizing that my quickly kinetic unconscious state was thumbing through emotions of astonishment and hilarity as this colorful album blew my mind! I hammer head my way through the entirety of every song, and when it was finished, I went to the beginning and listened again like a madman possessed, needing more.
“Host (Demon In Me)” turns up the heat on this debut. Kevin’s spotlight vocals hypnotized me in a way that I figured they might need to put this dude in a cage. Big bold riffs chug along, bend and fade in feedback while beautifully pairing in skull crushing bass and drums. “Come Back A God” has so much bite, while menacing tone of an underworld. This could easily be the single that represents the album: a deity Valhalla. Pure visceral rock and roll. Speaking of which, “Supernatural Salesman” flows epically from its predecessor, passing the torch towards guitar, bass, and drum groove of occult precision. Bluesy licks and catchy as hell. “Holding Hands Like Thieves” takes it down a bit, then rips you out of your seat. Climactically building towards Mike D’s pristine guitar solo passage. His style — a ferocious attitude which bends and softly screams progressively through heavy riffs, while Bill’s downright gargantuan tone of fuzzy doom hooks in the savage side of life.
Sandwiched in the middle of Threshold is a massive opus. “Caroline” may be a nod to some of the greatest psychedelic blues ever recorded. Warm, enveloping, invigorating guitars. Expressive, multi-faceted drum beats. Monolithic bass depth. Most of all, vocals mixed of passion, lush and rage. You’ll find yourself singing along with Kevin’s lyrics. This dudes got pipes! An epically structured beast of a song to say the least. In “Caroline” I hear an ode to a symptom of the Black Sabbath universe from the highly acclaimed album Sabotage.
“Oceanbones” is an arranged instrumentation of heavy, paired with heavier vocals. Bill’s bass kicks you in the mouth. Absolutely intensified swagger and grit dive deep into your unconsciousness by sacrificing your soul. The album resets towards the conclusion with “Higado de Hierro (interlude)” — only to thrust us into the album’s title track “Threshold.” I suggest staring deep into the album’s artwork while listening to this rock and roll jam of a song. I’m also left with a cerebral wonder of inner merriment while listening to Kevin’s words. Maybe lyrically subversive undertone towards MK ultra? The bonus track “Honeypot” might be the heaviest song yet — like, old school heavy. It tiptoes toward aggressive blossoming beauty. When it finally fades into a loud silence of nothingness, I go to the beginning and start the album all over again. It’s that good; in fact it’s that great.
Threshold is a gem. When I look back on the year two thousand seventeen, I’ll remember all of the masterful albums released that year; Threshold will be one of the top of that list. I trust the power of this band’s sound to remain undimmed. I think about their mission (at least from my perspective). In a time where most of us meddle and dwell within the threshold of the matrix. Virtual profiles speak in riddles that may not rhyme. Avatars rarely represent their human; instead, maybe we (humans) prefer a portrayal of our avatar. Representing reality, we now live in an age of perception. Truth? Well, The Age of Truth might need to help us do just that.
Why is this album worth listening to?
- Threshold is about as great as it gets. It’s got everything — rock and roll, heavy, psychedelic fuzzy prog, blues.
- It’s only their debut record! I can’t imagine what they’re bringing forth next.
In what situation you should listen to this album?
- Wake up, put a pot of coffee on, roll a joint, play Threshold through the largest and loudest speakers you own, crank it loud enough to wake up the neighborhood, and call out sick from work.
Something particular to note?
The album cover was conceptualized and designed by The CHAOS Custom and Michele Fitzgerald. It’s the story surrounding the life and death of Dr. Frank Olson. I recommend diving into CHAOS’ blog about their approach to creating this album. Read it here: The Album Cover Design that Exploits Controversy
Recorded, Engineered and Mixed by Joseph Boldizar at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia, PA
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering Chicago, IL
Also, limited edition cd’s are available on The Age of Truth’s Bandcamp. In early 2018, the great Kozmik Artifactz will release limited edition vinyl.
For Fans Of
Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, Soundgarden, Sasquatch, and the album Sabotage by Black Sabbath.
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