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Threshold - For the Journey CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.70 | 149 ratings

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4 stars The Snickers of Progressive Metal.

Damian Wilson could sing about pomeranian puppies playing pattycake in the poppy fields and sell it in a way that would make the most ferocious, die hard metal fan ferris wheel their brain pan with school girl delight. For The Journey is Threshold 's sophomore follow up to March Of Progress, which found the band reuniting with Wilson after a long hiatus. March of Progress was a great title for an album that essentially got listeners fired up for revolution, ready to take the mutinous stance of opposition against big government, politics, and the economical greed of "the man." With pitchfork and torch in hands we were expecting the next vigilante theme song, the soundtrack for headhunting the 1%-ers throughout the world. For The Journey, however, leaves us standing confused amongst the ranks, without sonic leadership. The themes for this album were a little darker, more obscured and less abrasive. "Soft" you ask? Nah, there's a new facet, a dark creepy factor is ominously present, especially with songs like "The Box" or "Autumn Red." The lyrics are still somewhat fueled by malcontent and angst, like the previous release, but also foresee the barren, post-apocalyptic landscape -- the fallout, the aftermath. Perhaps Frank Herbert got it right with Children Of Dune: the blossoming of every revolution already contains within it the seeds for it's own destruction, even if victorious. [note: don't read that statement while stoned or you'll ponder the complexity and forget to breathe for a duration which may cause you to black out.]

Threshold is a band that understands their "sound" and there's a specific direction and philosophy that has remained strongly consistent throughout much of their discography. They have solidified their position as one of the best prog metal bands out there, having catchier lyrics, hooks, and melodies than the countless Dream Theater clones (and perhaps even DT themselves!). Threshold remains the most accessible of the prog metal acts. They stay laser-focused on proven song structures and formulas, but it's done so well you find yourself not asking for something experimental. It works. It satisfies. It's the Snickers of progressive metal.

For the Journey is another solid release. The musicianship is superb. There's a quiet reserve about the musicians that hint at a skill set that can easily keep up with the most young, tech/extreme bands out there. But Threshold is mature enough to ask: why would they want to? What's the point? Do they spotlight themselves or the song? The songs take priority. Period. Not to say there's not some dynamic playing, though, just check out the drum break at 3:35 of "Autumn Red" if you're questioning the chops. A few extra spins concludes this release fares up there with March Of Progress. Now if the guys can only make their way to the US for some touring! That would make this reviewer happier than pomeranian puppies playing... well, you get the point.

Wishful concert band pairing: Pagan's Mind.

buddyblueyes | 4/5 |


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