Tag Archives: Threshold

Threshold name new album and announce tour

threshold-2017-tour

British progressive metal veterans Threshold have revealed the name of their eleventh album, which the band are currently recording at Thin Ice studios. It’s “Legends of the Shires”, and will be released in 2017.  More details will be revealed in the new year.

The band also announce a tour with dates across Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and The Netherlands, ending at London’s O2 Academy on 10th December 2017

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Threshold – For The Journey

Threshold - For the JourneyAfter a long gap between 2007′s “Dead Reckoning” and 2012′s “March of Progress”, Surrey-based prog-metallers Threshold are back with another new album, their second since the return of singer Damien Wilson for his third stint in the band.

You know what you’re getting with a Threshold album. Everything you’d expect to hear is here; razor-edged riffs, highly melodic twin guitar leads, huge anthemic choruses, and even the occasional widdly-woo synth solo. Damien Wilson remains a class act as a old-school rock vocalist, and as ever, production is slick and polished.

Highlights include “The Box”, a lengthy number building from a balladic introduction through an frenetic prog-metal wig-out to an majestic climax, and the symphonic-tinged “Siren Sky”, the one number penned by most recent recruit Pete Morton. But the whole album is characterised by strong songwriting and, by the standards of progressive metal at least, tight arrangements that don’t stray too far into self-indulgence. Only the bonus track “I Wish I Could” doesn’t quite convince; the reworking of drummer Johanne James’ song from Kyrbgrinder’s “Cold War Technology” lacks the fire and fury of the original.

It’s true that there is little on this record that’s not been heard before on previous albums. Threshold can be criticised for sticking too rigidly to the formula they established by the end of the 1990s, but that’s beside the point. They are still very good at what they do, and they do have a clearly identifiable sound and identity. Even if this record breaks no new ground, it’s an enjoyable listen and a worthwhile addition to their canon.

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Threshold – Watchtower on the Moon

Official video for Threshold’s new single, taken from the forthcoming album “For The Journey”.

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Threshold – March of Progress

Over a twenty-plus year career Threshold have established themselves as one of Britain’s premier prog-metal bands; a sort of British version of Dream Theater, only with a greater emphasis on solid songwriting rather than technical showboating. The band has changed lineups over the years with guitarist Karl Groom and keyboard player Richard West the only constant members, although the rhythm section of Johanne James and Steve Anderson have now been in the band for many years.

Their ninth studio album “March of Progress”, is the first since the return of the band’s original singer Damien Wilson in 2007, replacing Andrew “Mac” McDermott who sadly died in 2011. It also sees the band back to a six-piece twin-guitar linuep with the addition Pete Marten. After the attempt at something slightly different with the rawer production of 2007′s “Dead Reckoning”, this new release sees the band revert to the more polished approach of earlier albums.

All the Threshold ingredients are here; the lengthy and complex song structures, the big anthemic choruses, the soaring solos and, as ever, immaculate playing. Damien Wilson’s voice has an impressive power and range, and sometimes it’s a relief to hear some old-style ‘proper singing’ on a metal record. There is perhaps slightly more emphasis on atmospherics on this record, but it’s still balanced by plenty of metallic riffery, and quite a few vocal hooks get stuck in your head. There are big epics such as the closing “The Rubicon”, and the obligatory power-ballad in “That’s Why We Came”. Though song titles like “Return of the Though Police” and “Liberty, Complacency, Dependency” imply a political line, the lyrics are far more thought-provoking than preachy.

Threshold certainly have a clearly identifiable sound, which is both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness. There quality is consistent throughout, no filler, but neither is there much that we haven’t heard on previous Threshold albums, and there’s a feeling that we’ve heard a lot of it before. When other bands are taking progressive metal in new and more challenging directions, they leave Threshold’s old-school style perhaps sounding a little dated by comparison.

On the other hand, Threshold are still very, very good at what they do. If you’ve liked their previous albums, there’s a lot to like about this one too, and after a long absence a new album is very welcome indeed. If you’re a Threshold fan, you probably have this album already. And if you’re completely unfamiliar with their music, this is as good a place to start as any.

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