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Ajalon - On The Threshold Of Eternity CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.95 | 37 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Ajalon: On the Threshold of Eternity [2004]

Rating: 4/10

On the Threshold of Eternity is the second album from American Christian progressive-rock band Ajalon. After being appalled by this group's debut album, Light at the End of the Tunnel, I decided to approach this sophomore effort with extreme apprehension. Virtually everything about that album was poor: the songwriting, the musicianship, the vocals, the lyrics. I had little reason to believe that this follow-up would be any better. I was wrong, but only slightly so. This album is an exponential improvement over its predecessor. The musicianship has developed tremendously; it's more technically proficient and more organic. The songwriting has also progressed. There are actually a few intriguing compositions here, as opposed to the inflated banality of the debut. Nevertheless, this is still a mediocre album. The band refuses to let go of the blasť sounds of mainstream Christian rock, and the songs suffer as a result. Nothing here is as bad as "To Fly With You" from the debut, but there are still a few painful moments. The band's songwriting skills remain underdeveloped, and Henderson's vocals continue to be sub-par.

The album starts off well with the Celtic-themed energy of "Anthem of the Seventh Day." "The Promised Land" quickly muddles things, however. This track is the epitome of dull Christian semi-acoustic power-rock. "Sword of Goliath" begins with some interesting synths, but it eventually morphs into yet another blasť radio-rock affair. The same applies to "Holy Spirit Fire." This track is particularly notable for its awful chorus. "Pslam 61" continues in the exact same manner. "What Kind of Love" hit me out of left field the first time I listened to this album. This track is a sparkle of excellence in the midst of mediocrity. Rick Wakeman (yes, Rick Wakeman) guest-stars here, playing an absolutely brilliant keyboard solo. This track is so far above the rest of the album that I can't help but think that Rick had some sort of compositional input here. "The Highway" is a cheesy ballad that brings the album back down to its previous lows. The ten-minute "Forever I Am" starts off with even more soft-rock cheese. It picks up eventually, and there are a few solid symphonic and melodic moments, but it's a fairly uninteresting epic overall. The title track is actually a fairly solid sixteen-minute epic. The keyboard work is consistently adequate, and Neal Morse shows up as a guest. While this is a decent opus that generally manages to keep my attention, it would be dishonest to label this as anything above average.

On the Threshold of Eternity is not a terrible album. There are a few stand-out tracks here, especially the excellent "What Kind of Love." However, the good elements of this album are vastly overshadowed by the bad. The musicianship, while indeed adequate, fails to communicate any sort of passion or enthusiasm. The songwriting isn't much better; most of these tracks are simplistic compositions that bring absolutely nothing creative to the table. This is a watered-down symphonic-prog album that focuses on all of the wrong things. On the Threshold of Eternity certainly didn't disgust me like Light at the End of the Tunnel did, but it did utterly fail to convince me that Ajalon are anything more than a marginal band making marginal music.

Anthony H. | 2/5 |


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