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Erik Norlander


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Erik Norlander Threshold album cover
2.80 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Arrival (1:54)
2. Neurosaur (5:22)
3. No Cross to Carry (5:44)
4. Threshold (8:10)
5. Neuro Boogie (5:42)
6. Trantor Station (5:28)
7. Waltz of the Biots (11:12) :
- a) Particle Storm
- b) Cocktails in the Vestibule
- c) Grand Ballroom
8. Critical Mass (7:43) :
- a) Leviathan
- b) Anthem
- c) Republic
- d) Foundation
- e) Leviathan Reprise

Total Time 51:15

Bonus tracks on 2004 SE:
9. The Long Ion Train (3:34)
10. Hyperspace (5:56)
11. Solace (6:01)
12. Return to the Ruins of Trantor (5:24)

Bonus CD from 2004 SE:
1. Threshold Medley 1999 - Live at The Cadillac Room (7:02)
2. Trantor Station 2001 - Live at ProgWest (7:14)
3. No Cross to Carry - QCard version (4:48)
4. Neuro Boogie - QCard version (2:01)
5. Waltz of the Biots - Machine Mix (5:27)
6. Neurosaur - Machine Mix (6:57)

Total Time 33:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Erik Norlander / keyboards *, composer, arranger, producer

- Don Schiff / bass
- Greg Ellis / drums, percussion

* Alesis QS7, QS8, QSR, DM5, QuadraSynth Plus Piano and S4 Plus, Akai S1000, Arp String Ensemble, Emu Emulator II+ HD, Ensoniq ESQm and SQR, Hammond Model D with Leslie 122, Korg MS20 and Wavestation A/D, Kurzweil 1000PX, Mellotron Model 400, Minimoog, Moog IIP custom modular system, Moog Rogue, Novation Bass Station Rack, Oxford Synthesizer Company OSCar, Rhodes MK-80, Roland MKS-20, MKS-80, JD-990, U-220, Jupiter 8 and VP-330 Vocoder Plus, Yamaha GX-1, CS-80, SK50D, SY99, VL1

Releases information

Artwork: Jim Burns

CD Kinesis ‎- KDCD-1020 (1997, US)
2CD Think Tank Media ‎- TTMD-1035 (2004, US) Remastered with 10 bonus tracks

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky and The Doctor for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ERIK NORLANDER Threshold ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ERIK NORLANDER Threshold reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The arrival of the Neurosaur

Threshold was Erik Norlander's first solo release. At this time Norlander was already a major force in the Symphonic Prog band Rocket Scientists and in the Symphonic Rock/Metal band of his wife Lana Lane, but it was before his work as a session musician for several of Arjen Lucassen's projects (Ayreon, Star One, and Ambeon) and before he became a full-time member of the John Payne-version of Asia.

Both Metal fans and fans of Symphonic Prog ought to be warned: there is nothing either heavy and hard-edged or particularly symphonic to be found here. This music is not so easy to categorize, but the first thing to note is the sparse line-up. It is just Norlander himself on keyboards, Don Schiff on bass, and Greg Ellis on drums, so no guitars or vocals. Is it Jazz- Rock/Fusion? Is it Progressive Electronic? Or maybe just Prog Related keyboard-driven instrumental Rock? I guess one could say that it lies on the threshold between these styles.

Out of Norlander's subsequent solo albums, Threshold is most similar to Seas Of Orion and The Galactic Collective - both also wholly instrumental affairs. In terms of quality, the present album falls between these two. The Galactic Collective is an album of re-recordings from throughout Norlander's career and includes new and mostly better versions of tunes from both the present album and from his other solo albums (as well as new versions of a couple of instrumentals that originally appeared on Rocket Scientists and Lana Lane albums).

The most notable piece here is Neurosaur that has become something of Norlander's signature tune. This one is indeed essential, but it is available on several other releases including the above mentioned The Galactic Collective as well as the excellent live album Stars Rain Down and other places (he even re-recorded it with Asia featuring John Payne as a B-side to their Military Man CD-single in 2009).

Though the present album is a pleasant listen, I would recommend The Galactic Collective as a better starting point if you are interested in the instrumental side of Erik Norlander.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Leading figure of US Progsters Rocket Scientists and one of the most prolific figures in the modern Progressive Rock scene.Erik Norlander was inronically born in 1967 in Hollywood, as his music has nothing to do with the Hollywood blockbusters, and started a very productive career in early-90's with Rocket Scientists.His collaborations though include artists like David Ragsdale, Keith Emerson, Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, James Labrie, Virgil Donati and many others.His is married to female singer Lana Lane, while since 1997 he produces also solo works under his own name, the first one being ''Threshold'' from June 1997 on Kinesis label, where he is helped by Rocket Scientists bandmate Don Schiff on bass and Greg Ellis on drums.

The album was intented to be recorded just for fun according to Norlander and some of this energy is reflected on the first few tracks, which contain plenty of EMERSON-ian bits in a light Symphonic/Fusion style with good use of organ and synthesizers, interesting grooves, solid rhythm parts and a fair amount of virtuosity.''No Cross to Carry'' even contains some great GETLE GIANT-like funky grooves on what I suppose is a sampled clavinet.''Neuro Boogie'' is the most consistent track though with a memorable keyboard performance in E.L.P. vein and nice changing themes.The closing ''Critical Mass'' is another good attempt by Norlander to mic Symphonic Rock with Electronic Music with dramatic synth textures in the vein of NUOVA ERA and some fine piano interludes, minus is the sometimes cheap keyboard sounds.However the rest of the tracks,suprisingly two of them happen to be the longest ones, are consumed in a boring New Age/Electronic style with fake sampled instruments, spacey vibes and annoying plastic drumming.No sign of melody, no sign of harmonic parts, no sign of life.Repetitive and hypnotic stuff all the way, makin' ''Threshold'' much of an uneven album.

I hate to say that ''Threshold'' is totally ruined by these hypnotic and monotonous New Age compositions.The rest of the album is decent with some good keyboard ideas, worthy of Norlander's talent, but it is recommended to stick with his most solid solo efforts or with his better albums with Rocket Scientists...2.5 stars.

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