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Threshold - Critical Energy (DVD) CD (album) cover



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Symphonic Team
4 stars Live flow

This impressive live DVD captures Threshold performing a career-spanning set of songs in front of an appreciative Dutch audience. Every studio album up to and including Critical Mass is represented here and they have very wisely chosen not to let any particular album dominate the set list. Two songs are taken from the classic debut, Wounded Land; two from Psychedelicatessen; three from Extinct Instinct; three from Clone; four from Hypothetical and four from Critical Mass. My favourite Threshold albums are the early ones, especially those two with Damian Wilson on lead vocals, but Andrew McDermott, or "Mac" as he is called, handles the songs originally sung by Wilson and also those by originally sung Glynn Morgan very well.

All the selections here are very good but one of several highlights for me is the short acoustic section in the middle of the set that makes the show varied and lets the viewer catch his breath before another Prog Metal onslaught. The acoustic songs played are Clear and Life Flow, both originally from the Extinct Instinct album. Another highlight is the encore that consist of the (semi-) ballad Sunrise On Mars and two of the best songs from Wounded Land, Paradox and Sanity's End. On these songs both the audience and the band are on fire!

The band is in top form throughout with the drummer in particular ponding the drums like a madman! And he never seems to get tired either. Karl Groom may not be much of a show man, but he is a fantastic guitarist and he seems to enjoy himself a lot on stage. Mac is, on the other hand, a show man who moves around a lot on stage and interacts with the audience. He has a strange sense of humour though, telling the audience to shut up and go home and similar rude things! But that's the way he is, I guess.

Overall, I think that the set list is very well balanced and that the band performs their songs with impeccable skill and enthusiasm. There might be some overdubs in the vocals, but not very noticeable. The sound is great. The DVD includes a few extras such as a tour documentary which is interesting to watch once or twice perhaps.

A great live document by a great band!

Report this review (#293674)
Posted Saturday, August 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Threshold is one of the most well known and respected progressive metal acts in last 10-15 years, with each album they conquer the auditorium with new and intristing arrangements that give them this status today. In their peak of their career when Mac Dermott was behind the mic in early last decate they decided to make a dvd with one of their concerts promoting Critical mass albu in Holland. The DVD was released in 2004 and captures the audience and aswell the musicians in big form. Here are pieces from all album 'till Criticall included and has great moments. Specialy I like a lt the guitarist Karl Groom, a well known pperformer, both in neo prog zone as in prog metal. He has maybe to the best sound of the guitar I ever heard on a prog metall band, such solid and tight performence hardly I've notice around in this field. Each musicin delivers the best they had and is clear that on this DVD. Powerfull pieces such as Sunseeker , Fragmantation, Phenomenon or Latent gene shows Threshold in big form, nevertheless their best period is around Hypothetical and Criticall mass. A very worthy DVD that needs to be discoverd by many prog metal listers as possible because worth every second, everything is well done, performed, from the audience who sing sholder to shoulder with Mac Dermott on some tracks to the brilliant keybords dueling with the guitar. 4 stars easy, great.
Report this review (#299493)
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars This DVD show the band in top form with some close shots that give you the impression of being there in this small venue. The music is excellent because it's a band that play a very melodic and emotional prog metal just on the border of power metal but with a original sound. Mac the vocalist has a great voice. Here he challenges the fans between some songs with a kind of self-confident look that is funny to watch. The other musicians are also interesting to watch especially the guitar work of Karl Groom and the drums of the athletic Johanne James. If the picture is not that great the 5.1 surround sound is full, well balanced between the front and the rear speakers.

In conclusion, a show that you have to see, great performance, by a great band that plays some of their best songs from their catalogue.

Report this review (#491063)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Threshold have been the UK's premier prog metal band for quite some time now ? their debut album came out as long ago as 1993 ? and at last their live show has been captured on DVD. New bassist Steve Anderson has slotted right in, linking in with drummer Johanne James to provide the backbone for the rest of the guys to strut their stuff. Mac is a perfect frontman, one who has obviously been studying Ian Gillan, and keeps the crowd going, while Karl and Nick riff hard and Richard provides the melodic overtones that manage to move Threshold out of the pure heavy metal arena. But be in no doubt, Threshold are a hard rock band first and foremost. There may be room for some widdly widdly but these guys play using Marshall amps for one good reason ? they like to play loud! The concert (which is approx two hours long) covers the depth of the band's career, and even has room for some acoustic numbers in the middle. This allows everyone time to have a rest, but not for long. This is a rock band that is out to grab you by the balls and shows that even though 'prog' is in the title of the genre, 'metal' is the other one. With songs as powerful as "Sanity's End" (which has long been my personal favourite) or "Phenomenon" who could ask for more?

Great production (mind you, you wouldn't expect anything else) and strong use of cameras and lighting means that this is a joy to play, time and again. But it doesn't stop there, as Karl and Richard have gone into the studio and also added a commentary to the gig which goes some way to showing what a good time they have in the band. There are also some songs from the gig they played in the States at ProgPower 2002, as well as a feature of them on tour. Lastly there is a photo gallery care of Sy 'Wooks' Seddon and the menu and design is of the highest quality. For those who have not heard the band before then why not visit where not only is it possible to play excerpts of some of the songs but also play the whole of "Sunseeker"

This DVD is also available as a set with the Double CD of the same name, but no matter how you get this DVD it is a definite purchase for all lovers of prog metal/melodic hard rock.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

Report this review (#1046914)
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 | Review Permalink

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