Threshold - Psychedelicatessen (Giant/SPV) 1994

1. "Sunseeker (7:38)
2. "A Tension Of Souls" (7:10)
3. "Into The Light" (10:00)
4. "Will To Give" (4:54)
5. "Under The Sun" (3:05)
6. "Babylon Rising" (4:42)
7. "He Is I Am" (5:51)
8. "Innocent" (4:43)
9. "Devoted" (7:32)

A friend and fellow trader suggested this CD. I was a bit leery having not heard of this band before, but upon receiving the disc in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised. Threshold are absolutely marvelous progressive metal. Somehow they manage to have this incredible melodic sound but with totally heavy guitar tones and rhythms. The keyboards add to the melodic nature and many times while the guitars a thrashing away create a really wild sound. It's actually hard to describe, but suffice it to say, Threshold know what they do and they do it well. Any prog fan would do themselves well to look into these guys. This particular CD has also been reissued with a few bonus tracks, a live bonus disc, revised cover art, and an enhanced multi-media section.

Clone Threshold - Clone (Giant Electric Pea / InsideOut) 1998

1. "Freaks" (5:22)
2. "Angels" (6:42)
3. "The Latent Gene" (8:00)
4. "Lovelorn" (5:42)
5. "Change" (4:33)
6. "Life's Too Good" (5:27)
7. "Goodbye Mother Earth" (7:57)
8. "Voyager II" (9:04)
9. "Sunrise on Mars" (5:47)

Threshold are simply one of the finest British progressive bands to come out since the progressive movements in the 1970's. With "Clone", Threshold the band enter a whole new realm. Exit vocalist Damian Wilson, enter vocalist Andrew McDermott and man, what a difference a vocalist can make. It's not that their early albums were bad. Far from it actually. However, I just feel Andrew's vocals and melodies take this band to a whole new level, far removed from being a clone of other, more well known progressive rock bands. That's not to say that their influences aren't still apparent, because they are. All great bands have influences. With Threshold I hear bits of Yes and Kansas, and perhaps a touch of Dream Theater. Not unlike Yes or Kansas, Threshold have found a balance between memorable hooks and technical musicianship. Standout tracks are "Latent Gene","Angels", the epic "Voyager II" and album closer "Sunrise on Mars".

Threshold - Hypothetical (Century Media) 2001

1. "Light and Space" (5:58)
2. "Turn on Tune In" (6:12)
3. "The Ravages of Time" (10:17)
4. "Sheltering Sky" (5:35)
5. "Oceanbound" (6:42)
6. "Long Way Home" (6:00)
7. "Keep My Head" (4:01)
8. "Narcissus" (11:14)

My absolute favorite progressive metal albums are Dream Theater's 'Images & Words' and Fates Warning's "Parallels." I measure all other prog-metal albums by these two. Perhaps that is unfair, but it is what I do. Those two albums have a perfect mix of commercial hook, solid production, and technical song writing. Also, the vocals melodies play as important a role as the complexity of the music. While there are many prog-metal bands that I like, few can compete with these two discs as my personal favorites. Threshold, however, are now added to that list. This disc is simply brilliant. Absolutely everything I love about those two discs are present in 'Hypothetical' yet without sounding like a clone of either band.

Subsurface Threshold - Subsurface (InsideOut Music) 2004

1. "Mission Profile" (8:15)
2. "Ground Control" (7:14)
3. "Opium" (6:48)
4. "Stop Dead" (4:21)
5. "The Art of Reason" (10:20)
6. "Pressure" (5:18)
7. "Flags and Footprints" (4:55)
8. "Static" (5:07)
9. "The Destruction of Words" (6:14)

Prog-metal has become somewhat boring to me. There seem to be so many bands that follow in the footsteps of Dream Theater that it's become very passé. Threshold are not one of those bands. Every CD I have heard by them is vibrant and exciting. The thing about Threshold is that they know how to balance on that fine line between total technical wankery and accessible songwriting. In other words, you won't have to listen to this CD 30x before you start to enjoy it. Rather, repeated listens will only bring out subtle things you might not have noticed the first few times. Part of this albums charm in Andrew McDermott¹s vocals, who has a voice you might expect to hear siging for Supertramp, Styx or REO Speedwagon. While that might sound like a bad thing, Andrew uses his voice well and knows how to write memorable hooks. Another thing that makes Threshold stand out is that they have not forgotten the "heavy" in heavy metal. As with any prog-band, the dynamic songwriting alows for slower tempos, melancholy moments and acoustic passages, but for the most part, this CD rocks hard. Album opener "Mission Profile" is probably the most immediately likeable song on the album and certainly a good choice for album opener. However, the entire CD flows very smoothly. Not once did I want to hit the skip button or wonder when the disc would be done, as I often do with prog-bands. No, "Subsurface" is a solid platter. It's a shame that a band like this doesn't get the exposure that the more well known bands of prog do. In my opinion, Threshold are far more interesting.

Back to Index