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Threshold - Hypothetical CD (album) cover

HYPOTHETICAL

Threshold

 

Progressive Metal

3.97 | 188 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This record is definitely my favorite by threshold and one of prog-metal's all time best.

After a poor start (Wounded land, Psychedelicatessen), a decent album (Extinc Instinct) and a good one (Clone), UK's greatest (only?) prog-metal hope finally lived up to the expectations created by their musical abilities and released a consistent collection of outstanding songs....This album has not ONE poor track, NOT ONE.

In this album, Threshold manage at last to achieve a sound completely their own; they no longer sound like VandenPlas-meets-Dream Theater as in Clone: what we got here is purely Threshold, off course showing their influences (EVERY BAND that has walked this earth showed at least some of its influences in their music) but only as details that enhance their unique, thrilling musical universe. That sound is made off heavy, hard- rocking riffs, imposing, ear-filling keyboards, powerful, not too complicated (nor original) but effective drums, and a tendency to write some of the best chorus in all of progressive-metal this side of Shadow Gallery. About this, I tell you right now as a warning: if you don't like anthemic, catchy, hugely sounding choruses (with actual CHORUSES, or multiple voices singing -the singer doubled a lot of times, better said), get away from this record as fast as you can!! , for what you'll get here are just that: memorable choruses meant to sing along and aloud.

The technical level in Threshold is pretty good, not up to par with prog-metal monsters like Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation but very compelling nevertheless... let's remember: technical proficciency is not everything, for there are Zeroes Hours and Spirals Architects that think they can get away just with mere virtuosity...Here we won't get 10000 notes a second, but we'll get EXACTLY AS MANY NOTES AS WE NEED. But that doesn't mean these british are not great with their instruments! Groom and West (lead guitar and keyboard player, both the main composers0 are the best of the five, Jeary in bass and James in drums are not outstanding but they do their job, and McDermott... even though he's not Damian Wilson (now that's an outstanding singer!), he's every bit as powerful and maybe BETTER FOR THRESHOLD's sake, for his voice fits the music perfectly...would these marvelous choruses sound the same without MAc's mighty vocals? Don't think so....

Light And Space (10/10) an amazing prog-metal opener, brief, to the point... a great riff and an even better acoustic-guitar chorus... a short song, a powerful song, a melodic, fantasy chorus...a prog-anthem as the best of them.... Turn On Tune In (8/10) , a good song about tv-zombies (not walking-dead people but living people that are bewitched by the machine), a good chorus...it's a little bit too repetitive.

The Ravages Of Time (10/10), another anthem, a prog-metal near-epic, with an interesting structure (it has a whole introduction that repeats at the end, encapsulating the main verses and chorus)....I just can't get enough of the transition between the prechorus and the anthemic, superb chorus...(I'm a sucker for pre-chorus - chorus structures)... essential.

Sheltering Sky (9/10), an entertaining short number, acoustic in its verse, with a good chorus that sounds like something out of AOR US- rock..yes, don't let that discourage you, it's actually very good but at times poppy as hell.

Oceanbound (10/10) again, the masters of singing-along choruses strike back! After an ambiguous start only in bass, and atmospheric keyboards, the main riff gets going, a pure heavy-metal-prog riff. The prechorus follows with an echoing remark (this is the - 0.5 for me) and a great, great chorus that makes you want to try it again, to overcome difficulties..."let the sky become an ocean...'cause I'm not scared" That's the lyrics, and the music conveys that....

Long Way Home (8/10) the lesser track in the album, but not bad at all(it gets an 8 after all)! It's just that the main riff is a little bit too common ground, too vulgar, too heavy-metal...the chorus is a different story... after the violence, some relief...piano- keys adornate this great chorus.

Keep My Head (8/10)... well, this is even more AOR than Sheltering sky... this is the ballad of the album...it sounds at times like US-pop-rock band Reo Speedwagon...only with some steroids...

Narcissus (11/10), as good as prog-metal near-epics can get (I call epics songs past the 15 minute mark)...it starts with a Shadow Gallery-like statement, direct start, the haunting verse leaves no place for confidence, it makes you feel unease, nervous...then the screaming pre-chorus, an attempt to discover the truth behind that fear... but we get no answer, for the verse comes again to leave you restless...the prechorus appears once again, and this time the answer appears in the form of Threshold's greatest chorus, everything was ego, you are nothing but a narcissus looking yourself in the curbs of somebody else's eyes...but being none....what an exclamation of despair this chorus makes! You're wrong narcissus, you are wrong. Petulant....The bridge halfway down the track in robotic, android-like doubled voices is breathtaking....Amazing, just....superb.

Nothing more for me to say, not "recommender for" or "not recommended for", just,

SIT IN FRONT OF YOUR PC. GO ONLINE. ORDER IT. LISTEN TO IT.

Enjoy.

The T | 5/5 |

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