Threshold Dead Reckoning Nuclear Blast
· Produced By: Threshold

· Running Time: 54.58

· Release Date: March 23

· Released:

· Musical Style: Progressive Hard Rock / Metal

· Links: Thresh Nuclear Blast
Songs: 94%
Sound: 98%
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.
The Bottom Line
I was holding high hopes for this release and I am absolutely positively impressed with the band's efforts. The album has power, melody, passion and conviction and the performances match the brilliance of the songwriting. I now rate this as my favourite progressive hard rock/metal release since Dream Theater's Images And Words and I can't recommend the album highly enough.
Studio Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Psychedelicatessen
· Wounded Land
· Extinct Instinct
· Clone
· Hypothetical
· Critical Mass
· Subsurface
· Dead Reckoning

Line Up:
· Mac: Vocals
· Karl Groom: Guitars
· Johanne James: Drums
· Steve Anderson: Bass
· Richard West: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
· Dream Theater
· Progressive Hard Rock
Track Listing
· Slipstream *
· This Is Your Life *
· Elusive *
· Hollow
· Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams *
· Fighting For Breath
· Disappear
· Safe To Fly *
· One Degree Down
· Supermassive Black Hole

--*Best Tracks

04/07/08: Peter -
Rating: 90
A real good one! Even the growler sounds great. If there is one band who deserves to be named a serious second in the progressive metal scene after Dream Theater, it would be Threshold with Dead Reckoning as their best effort so far.

04/06/07: StrutR -
Rating: 98
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW !! great album, i did'nt give them a 100% cos it not possible, the openning title Slipstream and the second this is your life, what a way to begin an album, a must by album, i like the heavier side of the band, best album that the band come up with !

30/05/07: GABRIEL -
Rating: 100
Perfect one!! Prog Metal for everyone. No doubt! Buy and you will be a happy man (or woman)! Guitars? Heavy and melodic at the same time. Bass and drums - harmonic as never - heavier than never. Voice? Perfect - emotional and heavy. A new Dream Theater? No way! Threshold has his own sound. A very good Melodic-prog-metal release.

26/05/07: Csaba A. Body -
Rating: 95
One of the best Cds of 2007! Melodic, heavy, good vocal with full of energy! Great album!!! Don't miss it!

19/05/07: Dan MacDonald -
Rating: 98
Wow ,another stormer from Threshold ,this album has it all -riffs reminiscent of Metallica ,tempo changes worthy of Saga ,& melody of the highest order. It's heavy ,emotional and @ the same time ,a real wet dream for prog heads/ melodic rockers & metal fans ! Remember "in the day" ,when you realised before your AM radio listening compadres who were chasing trends & you could pick when that cool band was about to go stratospheric(think Scorpions ,AC/DC & Priest); that's where Threshold are now ;jump on & enjoy the ride ! Killer !

15/05/07: Nigel James -
Rating: 80
I don`t understand the hype. This is a solid album no more. Fewer stand out tracks than on subsurface. No bad tracks and no great one`s either. In fact I find myself getting rather bored after about 7 tracks. Seventh Wonders "Waiting in the Wings" is much better.

15/05/07: Doose -
Rating: 95
I've always liked this band. DO NOT hesitate to buy this if you like their other stuff..They will not let you down..

25/04/07: Madrigal -
Rating: 100
Looking for new ways to impress your mates? Buy this album. Threshold's latest manages to skim back through time scooping up the best elements of pop, rock, metal and prog of the past few decades, whisks it all up into a cosmic flurry, and comes out sounding both timeless and refreshingly modern all at once. Your heavy friends will get into the groove straight away, no doubt pricking their ears up at the inclusion of Dan "I'll never growl again - oops" Swanö on two of the openers, whilst your rock-loving buddies will cream in delight at the catchy-crunchy guitar riffs and Mac's classic wails.

Your snobby prog pals will ascend to some kind of altered plane of existence as they succumb to the intricate soundwaves and textures oozing forth from the keyboards, and both girls and gays alike will find sweet solace in the spacey dreamlike interludes interspersed throughout - but never for too long. Even your weekend disco pop chums will feel compelled to tap their feet, look at you and go "what's that?", and your slightly smelly friend who sits in the corner mumbling... well let's not worry about him! In short, this disc has something for (almost) everyone, whilst somehow managing to avoid falling into any known piles of pigeon poo. If it was an animal, it would be a saucer-surfing space-cow, dressed up as the Elvis of the future. What more can I say?

24/04/07: Sava Karadzic -
Rating: 96
Progressive/power metal masterpiece!

24/04/07: Dave -
Rating: 100
This CD has not left my CD player in nearly 2 weeks. These songs are mind blowing infectious. With much thought, it probably is my favorite album this millenium! It has that crossover quality that stretches the boundaries of the progmetal genre. It has everything - incredible vocals/harmonies.... Sweeping choruses, alternate choruses/bridges.... Thumping basslines/drums... Twisted guitar hooks/intros.... Intricate keyboard/guitar solos... and most of all, thought-provoking intelligent lyrics. It really is fun to listen to. It really lets you feel like you're part of the music, caught up in it really, and just when you think it cannot get any better it surprises you with something else even better. The album's theme/artwork is a nice complement to the music, as it gives you a visual connection for the artist's music. Its really that exciting. I have only Threshold's music since the album "Subsurface" came out. My favorite track off of that album is "Pressure". Much of this album continues where that type of song left off. So if you like that song, this is sure to please. It's hard to imagine any of Threshold's previous work being even close to as good as "Dead Reckoning". It's really that good.

23/04/07: Graham -
Rating: 100
I was already amazed with the new Threshold material when I heard the single "Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams", but when I ordered and heard the full album, I was so damn happy. I can see some similarities between this album and subsurface, but also some between this album and Critical mass. Threshold haven't changed their sound but are experimenting and trying new things, and this is a fine example that Threshold can do well in everything they try.

23/04/07: Progfan -
Rating: 99
Another excellent album from Threshold - they continue to raise the bar with each new release. Definitely my album of the year. Do yourself a favor and pick up Dead Reckoning today!

23/04/07: Lake of Despond - milicank@eunet.yu
Rating: 100
Dead Reckoning is definitely the best release of this year, with powerful sound, great melodies, wonderful cover, progressive songs and top class performing. Because of its darker atmosphere and complex tunes it requires more time to reach the essence of the album, but as always Threshold showed how to compose a masterpiece with authentic and solid structure. If you wanna see what is the result of combining energy with the melody in perfect harmony just listen to the DR or any other Threshold release!

20/04/07: Pegas -
Rating: 99
Dead Reckoning is fantastic progmetal album. From start to end full of strong songs, including cover Supermassive Black Hole (Muse) on limited edition digipack (with nice cover). There are some energic shorter songs (Elusive, Slipstream) and some more prog oriented (One Degree Down, Fighting For Breath). It's hard to find favorite song, for me it's nearly 10 minutes Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams, but there is not any bad song or weak moment on the album. Original combination of metal with melodies and great vocal harmonies, all is there as always on Threshold releases. At first listen it may sound too similiar to previous CD Subsurface, but there are lot of new (guitar sound, death growl on two track, darker atmosphere), just listen carefully and don't rate this album after first listen. Dead Reckoning is sure another masterpiece in Threshold discography.

19/04/07: npnpnp -
Rating: 100
Great album! With each listening it seems better.

19/04/07: Wes -
Rating: 90
I loved this cd from start to finish. The Vocal work on this record is fantastic. I kept waiting for a song to come on that wouldn't be fresh or catchy and it just didn't happen. I have not been able to take this cd out of my car since I got it. I would have given it an even higher score if I wasn't constantly comparing them to Dream Theatre. The tempo transitions in this Threshold release sometimes doesnt make alot of sense relating to where the song is going or what it is about. It's like they almost forcibly make the transition just to have it in there. Talented, most defintely, just don't do like I do and compare them to DT because musically, Threshold will probably never be at that level. To end this positively, Great release, don't miss Dead Reckoning.

18/04/07: Jon Galt -
Rating: 90
Great album continuing the same style and sound since Hypothetical. The album is heavier than the last 3 and to me their most complete. The only thing keeping this from a perfect rating is the use of the growling on tracks 1 and 3. Can't stand it, fortunately it is not used too much.

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