|Threshold Dead Reckoning||Nuclear Blast|
Threshold are hailed as England's best progressive metal outfits and I'd have to agree with that assessment. In fact, let's not limit this assessment – they are one of the best progressive metal bands anywhere.|
I only came to know Threshold upon the release of their last album Subsurface.
I have always been a huge fan of Dream Theater's Images And Words album and a few (but not all) of their releases since….in recent years grown a little tired of the band's sound.
Then Subsurface reached me and everything I had been missing from Dream Theater I found in this release.
A few years on and Dead Reckoning is ready – the band's 8th studio album finds them continuing to challenge fans with some of their best music yet.
Threshold are not strictly a progressive metal outfit. Their progressive nuances are highly intricate and challenging, yet remarkably easy to appreciate. Their power is intense, yet commercial and melodic enough to be appreciated by all.
This is a band with huge crossover potential. While some of the riffing within this album would impress Metallica fans and some of the progressive tricks give Dream Theater a run for their money, at all times the melodies flow freely and continually – from one massive hook to the next.
This is a masterpiece of power and melody.
The album kicks off to an immediate start with the power riff of Slipstream. The vocals of Andrew "Mac" McDermott are what instantly set this band apart from the pack. He has an authorative, powerful, melodic and pitch perfect tone that to me is a real singer's voice – not too screechy and never dull – just right.
Slipstream reminds me of the lead track from Subsurface – Pressure. Powerful, riff driven, but giving way to a big expansive chorus hook which stands alone within the song. And I love the addition of the death metal growl in a couple of spots. It adds that extra menacing dimension.
This Is Your Life picks the tempo up a little more again with another great riff. The chorus again stands out as a great melodic diversion from the riffing, with double kick drums driving it along. Powerful, melodic and dense with musical textures and overdubs….love it.
Elusive features some progressive guitar trickery to kick off another menacing start before leveling out and rocking along. This time a bridge interrupts the verse before the song continues on its way, appearing again before yet another great chorus makes its entrance. A cool guitar solo changes the course of the song before a massive second bridge appears and diverts the song yet again. Almost orchestral in its delivery, this hook is pure magic before the song turns back to its menacing heart. Magic!
Hollow gives me a feel of pure Metallica with its hard hitting opening riff. But within seconds a piano enters the fray to lighten the mood. The riff continues, but the vocals and some keyboard parts add melody. The verse builds the song to a cool bridge, then a short, but beautiful solo vocal and piano passage before heading back into the riffing.
Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams is the album's big epic - a 10 minute song in two distinct parts. The first part is a piano ballad of sorts, running about 2 minutes before the song builds with a great slow guitar solo and then does a tempo double take, working itself into a fast moving, but melodic epic with a ton of harmonies in the background and a great lead vocal driving it all. Of course, through 10 minutes there are several about-faces and progressive twists, but above all, the chorus returns at regular intervals.
Fighting For Breath has a darker and perhaps more contemporary sound and another great riff. And yet another strong and well defined chorus appears, although this time around there is no break in the guitar onslaught.
Disappear features an atmospheric piano based intro which gives way to a choppy riff which drives this pretty commercial rocker. Keyboard, piano and synth parts play a role throughout, but the melody and the tone of the song is pretty straight forward compared to the rest of the album.
Safe To Fly features a dark and heavy riff which stops to allow a heartfelt vocal before the song kicks up a gear. The very memorable chorus is almost balladesque, except the song, while mid-tempo at best, remains intensely heavy in parts.
One Degree Down closes out the promo release of the album. Supermassive Black Hole will close the final release, but has not been included here.
This is another strong guitar driven tune with plenty of production effects in play and an ever changing tempo through the verse. Another strong song with yet another easily recognizable chorus.
include("f-review.p3"); retrieve("thres-dr",0,1); ?>