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Threshold - Extinct Instinct CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.61 | 155 ratings

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5 stars "Nightmare is coming and I hear the drumming of demons in the night."

Progressive Metal and I have a complicated relationship. I loved the classic Prog Metal groups (DT, Riverside, Symphony X), but other bands I'd only touch after years passed.

Yeah, it's that kind of relationship. So, I gave up! Stopped following the genre. Then? I saw For The Journey on New Releases, I went on a whim. Whenever I think I've discovered all the LEGENDARY bands, a few days pass and I end up finding another. This is the case with: Threshold.

Listening to Ashes from March of Progress first, I smiled maniacally. I knew This WAS something to write home about!! And so, my favorite album from Threshold Extinct Instinct rose from the grave.

After the disappointing Psychedelicatessen, they made up for their first loss. Taking a three-year hiatus, Threshold delivered this hour-long monster. Heavier than its predecessor (and much less silly?), this album devours your soul, rocks out, drinks a little too much, and pukes you back up.

"Exposed" kicks off with serious drums and an even serious-er guitar. Guitar solo, raunchy keyboards, and kicking your a**. The voice of Damian Wilson may be the BEST in Metal. Yep, a bold statement. Exposed drives 100 miles, rocks hard, only slowing down after the 6:25 time limit is up.

"Somatography" rings Wounded Land with its narrative. Till? 1 and a half minutes in, chunky guitars. High vocals of Damian coordinated with that same riff throughout. You can predict which direction the song's going, but in now way is that bad. It goes in the direction you want.

"Eat The Unicorn" is Threshold's best song. Yep, it's comparatively as epic as Relayer: A war of guitars, tough lyrics, only occasionally taking a break?an instrumental passage. These breaks, especially later (just look at the header's lyrics!! ^) are when the song shines. Then, shines brighter than originally imagined: "Unicorn so wild and free, balm my eyes, carry me home!" Followed up by wild guitars, perhaps topping the best-of Symphony X. The background vocals are reprised front-and-center in the conclusion. Subtle, brilliant.

"Forever" is the first 'ballad-y' song in Extinct? How many of you readers turned away from my review after reading that..? Guess what, it's not a bad ballad! Glistening chimes and Damian's powerful voice lead you on every word. No sign of cheese here!!

"Virtual Isolation" echoes through each ear. The bulk builds, heavy track. A 100 pounds of metal riffs dig into your brain. Then the vocals of Damian reach the clouds. You could almost see him. It continues, octane raising ever-so slightly. Begins like any other track, though it leads to something wonderful.

"The Whispering" is lyric-based. Catchy chorus, and STILL real heavy! That takes skill. Still, no smell of cheese. Oh, and that chorus: "IF THEY SAID GO, WOULD YOU GO?" A mellow guitar suite, nearly lulling you to sleep after that brutal guitar ear-rape. You hear all ranges of Damian, from sweet to ungodly dark. Hail Damian.

"Lake of Despond" is right up there with "Unicorn" for epics on this. Keyboards are prominent and power, for nearly the first time. The echoing guitars suck you in to their world, until the all-powerful voice of Damian guides you through hell. "This is not a lethal wait, but it can BE a sort of decep-tion!" Not only is the chorus catchy-as-hell, (get the pun?!?) it also leads to? Can you guess..? Another great ballad! So begins:

"Clear," another showcase for Damian's talents, brightening up the mood. This song's comfort-food. A laxative from all the s*** the previous songs hit you with.

"Life Flow" chimes with a gong. What's a better way to start..? This leads to another soaring chorus, belting keyboards (credit to you, Richard West), ending with Mark Heaney's drums.

Part of the Chaos gives me a 'desert' vibe. The tempo, chorus, and riffs all shift throughout. If you want a prog song, there you are. 'Nuff said.

Overall, a LONG, but rewarding album. I had a hard time going through the full hour the first time I listened. Then you realize: You're constantly thinking of those choruses. Damian's godly voice. Karl Groom's chunky guitars. Richard West giving the music just the right dose of melody and light-heartedness that this rough diamond needs, and Mark Heaney's constant hard-hitting drums. You've got yourself a Metal Masterpiece. Remains as my favorite Threshold album. You can already guess I can listen to the full 77 minutes now? JUST LISTEN TO IT!!!

Raccoon | 5/5 |


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