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Threshold - Hypothetical CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.99 | 295 ratings

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3 stars Threshold have struggled for some time with the reputation of being 'The British Dream Theater' (if this was their intention, the should really have just called themselves Dream Theatre). Clearly both bands play metal with progressive tendencies, but that is hardy sufficient reason for direct comparison. Otherwise we'd have to start calling Barack Obama 'The American Margaret Thatcher', which hardly seems appropriate.

The differences are clear on Hypothetical. Threshold's sound is slick and neatly produced, the riffs unfussy and almost simple sounding, and the instrumental breaks are relatively short. In fact, it would be fair to say that it is not a challenging album, you wont find yourself scratching your head in the wee hours of morning asking: what does this wall of noise mean?! The melodies are easy to listen to, the vocals are not overwrought, and the guitars chug out satisfyingly leg tapping riffery. This is not necessarily a bad thing. On 'Light and Space' (and to a lesser extend 'Oceanbound' and 'Long Way Home') these elements come together to form a very satisfying whole. The two longer tracks, 'The Ravages of Time' and 'Narcissus', work for the same reasons, but... in a longer sort of way.

Yet this is the problem, even when they give themselves the space to do something more interesting, Threshold stick to the safe ground. There is nothing wrong with the poppy sheen that glazes the album, but there is a lack of a real adventurous spirit to keep the listener coming back. It doesn't matter whether music is labelled progressive, pop, polka-folk or whatever else; ideas are always golden. Hypothetical, whilst featuring competent and assured songwriting, lacks that spark that would make it truly memorable. It doesn't help that there are a couple of really stinking power ballads at the tail of the album either. Good, certainly, but nothing special.

Witch | 3/5 |


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