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Threshold - Critical Mass  CD (album) cover

CRITICAL MASS

Threshold

 

Progressive Metal

4.06 | 200 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Some nine years after their debut Threshold released this their sixth studio album in 2002 (and was the first time that they had released two studio albums with the same line-up, following on from 2001's 'Hypothetical'). While they had had some line-up moves since 1991, the quartet of Karl Groom (guitar), Nick Midson (guitar), Jon Jeary (bass) and Richard West (keys) were ever present. Add to that the vocal talents of Andrew 'Mac' McDermott and drummer Johanne James and you have the band that was taking the banner of prog metal firmly to the forefront. This has just been reissued as a 'Definitive Edition' by Nuclear Blast and includes two 'new' songs plus a live version of 'Echoes Of Life'.

By the time this was released Threshold had built a reputation as the UK's, and possibly Europe's, finest exponents of this intricate style of hard rock. This is a band that is driven from the back, with Johanne hitting the drums very hard indeed, then add in the crunching riffs and bass lines that only come from playing together for so long, and the rock keyboards of Richard who is willing to provide walls of sound or lead roles as the song demands. With this album Mac firmly came out of the shadow of Damian Wilson to stand firmly in the spotlight of his own making, while the band had moved on musically to produce by far their finest work he was more than ready to meet the task at hand.

It is melodic, it is gentle, it is heavy, it is hard, this is an album for all those who want music to be contemplative and thoughtful, intricate and clever, yet also with plenty of balls and aggression to match. Songs such as opener 'Phenomenon' are now viewed as classics, and ten years on from its' original release it still puts many other bands to shame. As relevant and hard hitting as it ever was, this is an essential addition to everybody's collection. www.thresh.net

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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