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Threshold Hypothetical album cover
3.99 | 305 ratings | 31 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Light and Space (5:52)
2. Turn On Tune In (6:12)
3. The Ravages of Time (10:19)
4. Sheltering Sky (5:37)
5. Oceanbound (6:37)
6. Long Way Home (5:58)
7. Keep My Head (4:01)
8. Narcissus (11:14)

Total Time 55:50

Bonus tracks on 2012 & 2014 reissues:
9. Light and Space (live in Paris) (5:28)
10. Turn On Tune In (live in Paris) (5:53)
11. The Ravages of Time (live in Paris) (9:53)

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew McDermott / vocals
- Karl Groom / guitar, co-producer
- Nick Midson / guitar
- Richard West / keyboards, co-producer
- Jon Jeary / bass
- Johanne James / drums

- Holger Haubold / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Thomas Ewerhard

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 073 (2001, Germany)
CD Nuclear Blast - NB 2984-2 (2012, Germany) Remastered with 3 bonus tracks

2LP Nuclear Blast - NBCLP 2984-1 (2014, Germany) With 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THRESHOLD Hypothetical ratings distribution

(305 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THRESHOLD Hypothetical reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
5 stars Having followed THRESHOLD's career for quite a time now, it's always with some curiosity I start listening whenever they have a new album in the stores. "Light And Space" is a very good opener: heavy and complex with some rhythm changes. The rest of the album has a lot of variation with good musicianship and strong compositions. Andrew "Mac" McDermott has a very good voice (although I did prefer Damian Wilson who has more originality) and he weaves a lot of melody into THRESHOLD's wall of tight guitar riffs. THRESHOLD differs from many other Prog Metal bands, because they have never sounded like DREAM THEATER, which is quite unusual in this genre. The epic closer "Narcissus" is my favourite song on this album together with "Light And Space" and "Sheltering Sky". THRESHOLD is one of the leading bands in the Prog Metal genre today. Although everything is quite the same and it takes some listening before you get into this album, I have to say that this is one of their best ever, together with their debut "Wounded Land" (1993) and "Clone" (1998). A true masterpiece!
Review by Menswear
3 stars Not the best, but the Threshold's way is interesting.

Some metal bands are molding themselves in a pattern that will lead eventually to a form of public success. Example? Well, Dream Theater seems to get a larger and larger crowd every album eand even getting some good radio time in some parts of America. Pretty rare for a prog metal band. They also managed to keep a soft side that some people call romance. And a serious band who would like to be competitive should think of the format Dream Theater created.

And there's other bands that stick to the old clichés of metal and, eventually leads to commercial suicide. Example? Man, there's so many. Start with Magna Carta label, it should convice you. Shadow Gallery, Cairo, Magellan...Oh and what about the whole X thing? The cheese factor with Eternity X, King's X or Symphony X is so high, Yngwie Malmsteen must be happy not being the only has-been around.

And there's bands that tries harder to run from the Threshold. But at first listen, we could find Threshold cold and minimalistic. And they are. The emphasis is on the strong side of the band: the guitars and the drums. The interplay of both guitar players between themselves but also with the drums is really their trademark. Threshold sounds like a very high-tech factory, entirely robotized and based on production-line work. Guitars feels like huge turbines rolling at tremendous speed, providing electricity to charge up the heavy machines that are drums.

I snatched 2 stars from the chart because the really good material is too few. It's once again the same pattern (like a pancake recipe) with few variations. Lots of songs feels boring, and I suggest to start with Critical Mass or Subsurface.

Not the best from Threshold, understood.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars This is the best from them. In my opinion this is the album that made them get in the top. My favorite from Threshold, and one of the most interesting in prog music in the last 10 years. If you are a fan of prog music like Royal Hunt, Symphony X, Angra, Shadow Gallery etc. then there is no need to be afraid of this album and band. Just get it and surely you won't be disappointed! I must add the track called The Ravages Of Time, is absolutly a killer. In the end, this is excellent addition to any prog music collection and truly deserves the 4 stars rate.
Review by sleeper
4 stars It goes without saying that Threshold are England's premier Prog-Metal band. Hypothetical is the bands 5th studio release and it sees them in impressive form. This is a band that create their own distinctive sound by not shredding and instead using very hard edged riffs with spacey keyboards to make what is very powerful music. There also notable for not using particularly complex song structures like other Prog-Metal bands do, but instead concentrate on creating very melodic tunes.

Though I have said the arrangements aren't exactly complex, that's not to say that they are devoid of talent. Karl Groom and Nick Midson share guitar duties and both offer up excellent solos' strong melodies and some heavy riffing as well, most notably on the song Narcissus, and Johanne James is very impressive in making a small drum kit sound like a large one. Richard Wests keyboards add some nice spacey feeling to some tracks and a few very nice solos and keyboard only passages do pop up, however he does get a bit lost in the mix sometimes. Jon Jeary isn't the best bassist I've ever heard but he does hold a very nice groove throughout the album, so though he's nothing special he does a job well done here.

For those who have heard Threshold will know that they are extremely strong lyrically and this holds up on Hypothetical. Threshold has successfully bypasst the cheesy lyrics that bands like Rhapsody dwell on and went straight for the thoughtful, emotional style of writing. The only song I can say that the lyrics are sub-par on is Ravages Of Time. This 10 minute semi-epic has fantastic music but the lyrics are cumbersome, though it doesn't take much imagination to understand what it is that there trying to say here. The strong lyrics are delivered expertly by singer Andrew McDermott (better known as Mac) who has a very powerful voice that can move and shift from powering out the chorus to becoming more heartfelt and sincere.

In short this is a very good album that showcases Thresholds own brand of Neo-ish Prog-Metal very well. Of the songs themselves, particular mention must be made of the album closer, Narcissus. This track has struck a chord with me as I find the lyrics sum up the modern world very well and they are delivered with some of the most powerful, even angry, music the genre has to offer. I give Hypothetical 4 stars instead of 5 as Ravages Of Time is a slightly inarticulate track and Sheltering Sky just seems to get lost amongst the great tracks that are on this album.

Review by Cristi
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover / Prog Metal Teams
5 stars Threshold is my favourite progressive metal band and Hypothetical is one of my favourite prog-metal albums. Discovering this band was one of the greatest musical surprises ever and Hypothetical was my introduction to Threshold. I had listened some of their songs before that but not an entire album, so purchasing a Threshold album seemed a very good idea and listening to Hypothetical for the first time I really remained speechless! I can stop with my review right now, i've said plenty already; but still the reasons why I appreciate this album is the amazing musicianship of this band, the great vocals of Andrew McDermott, the inspired lyrics. The consequence of listening to Hypothetical was the attempt to find all Threshold albums which i finally managed to have.

In my humble opinion, Hypothetical is a masterpiece of progressive metal; there are no filler songs here as far as I'm concerned. An essential addition to any prog-metal collection.

Review by 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'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 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) 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,



Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Some of the people and bands that they thank in the liner notes are Martin Orford, Clive Nolan, Fudge Smith, DREAM THEATER, PAIN OF SALVATION, ENCHANT, CONCEPTION, LANDMARQ, EGDON HEATH, FLAMBOROUGH HEAD and PSYCHOTIC WALTZ. Just an amazing album cover on this one. These guys truly are the kings of crunch. Another great record that is not without it's faults, but I can't resist the terrific vocals and the riff laden melodies.

"Light And Space" has a spacey intro before the riffs, synths and vocals arrive. I really like the calm section before 2 minutes that is quite beautiful. We then get a guitar solo followed by a synth solo. Soaring guitar to end it. Nice. "Turn On Tune In" has lots of crunch with background synths.The chorus is fantastic and 3 minutes in they're really cooking ! "The Ravages Of Time" features more crunch ! I love the drumming as well. Spacey synths come in as it settles down before 3 minutes. The heavy riffs are great.

"Sheltering Sky" is much like a power ballad. It opens with guitar, piano and reserved vocals as the wind blows. There is some guitar and riffs too. "Oceanbound" sounds like an earlier song, more of the same really. "Long Way Home" has a piano intro until riffs take over as synths come and go. There is an amazing sound 5 minutes in as riffs arrive with the guitar soloing over top. "Keep My Head" is a song I skip every time. I hate it. It's a ballad that sounds awful in my opinion. And it is very unusual for me to skip a song. "Narcissus" is where the band comes back to sanity again. Riffs throb as the guitar cries out. There is some good atmosphere to this one. The song changes 5 1/2 minutes in for a couple of minutes and then we're back to the crunch and some inventive guitar melodies. Some blistering guitar to end it.

Another winner from the riff masters, hypothetically speaking. 3.5 stars.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Although Threshold released their first album in 1993 and are still going in 2007 any significant success has so far eluded them. That's a shame as they are one of the better Progressive Metal bands around. Hypothetical is their fifth studio release and really captures them at their very best. Although they have released some very good albums before and since, none of them quite match up to the quality on display here. On Hypothetical they seem to get the balance just right. Heavy Metal guitar riffs are all over the place, yet the songs still retain strong melodies helped by the strong vocals of Andrew "Mac" Mcdermott.

Light and Space opens the album in fine style with a great riff and shows that Threshold know how to play in different time signatures other than 4/4. The power doesn't let up on Turn on Tune in and has a particularly strong vocal melody.

Best track on the album goes to following song, the 10 minute long; The Ravages of Time. Many twists and turns are evident here and all the band excel with some great playing, Richard West's Keyboards sounding particularly good and it's a credit to a well balanced production that they can be heard amongst such heavy guitar riffs. In fact it's worth pointing out that he's never sounded quite so upfront since due to the heavier riffing, particularly on their latest album Dead Reckoning.

Although not quite in the same league as the first 3 songs, the more laid back Sheltering Sky, the heavier Oceanbound and Long Way Home keep the flow of quality Progressive Metal going nicely. Ballad, Keep my Head offers a respite from the overall heaviness before final track Narcissus kicks in with another great riff and is the second epic at over 11 minutes long and again many changes are present.

My only criticism of a fantastic album would be Johanne James' Drum sound which is a little synthetic, although it has to be said that's he's an excellent player.

Anyone wanting to check out Threshold would be recommended to start here.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Hypothetical was the first Threshold CD I got and it is still one of my favorites among their discography. Looking back I see this album as an important step since it stabilished their own sound once and for all. Their music is quite sophisticated and elegant, with a wall of heavy guitar riffs, dreamy keyboards and powerful rhythm section. Above all I enjoy a lot Andrew McDermott´s voice. Unlike so many prog metal bands like Dream Theatre and Symphony X, he is not a HM singer. His style is much more fitting to prog than anything else, which gives this band a very unique trademark.

One of the few CDs you can hear from beginning to end with pleasure, there are, however, some highlits like The Ravages Of Time, Sheltering Sky and the fantastic 11+ minute epic closer Narcissus (one of their best songs ever!). The producton is again done by guitarrist Karl Groom and keyboardsman Richard West and it is simply perfect for their sound. The songs are inspired and energetic.

My copy has a hidden acoustic track that shows they can handle this style of music pretty well too.

Conclusion: one of the best progmetal bands ever (more prog than metal, really). And Hypothetical is a good proof of it.

Review by progrules
4 stars I just reviewed Critical Mass and I have to say even though there is just one year in between these two albums there is quite a big gap in specific style. True, they are both progressive metal in the same line up but this album is a bit heavier, darker and less accessible than it´s successor. But it´s very hard to say which is better. I think this album Hypothetical is more equable in quality. All songs are great but there are less special highlights than on Critical Mass.

It´s more like: if you want to hear an hour of a very reliable Threshold at more or less its best you´d better take Hypothetical and you will not be bored one second. This is enough reason for me to give the 4 stars. Highlights (if there are any) are the two longer tracks.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The decline of Threshold continues. Apart from the Ravages of Time and Light and Space this album is tough for me to get through: often blatantly commercial, too bombastic and overall predictable.

The Ravages of Time is classic Threshold though. An epic and melodic piece with those firm and crunchy metal riffs (nothing demanding but effective) and a chorus that can stand as an example of how to make a pompous refrain (that will set off your cheese indicators in all extreme directions) into something dramatic and impressive. We used to call this FM-rock, but it's probably the best you might encounter.

Also Light and Space is ok. Other songs contain listenable parts, usually the verses, but if you're not into sing-along anthem metal, I'd advise you to stay away from this.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Heavy on the hairspray

Three years after releasing their acclaimed "Clone" album, Threshold returned to the studio in 2001 with the same line up apart from Johanne James taking over on drums. In the interim period, they had released a fan club only collection ("Decadent") and signed up with Inside Out Records. Opinions may be divided about whether the change of label was a step forward in prog terms, but there is no doubt it was significant, as it introduced the band to a wider audience, which in turn led to greater commercial success.

The opening "Light and space" certainly has a hairspray rock feel to it, the driving guitars and melodic harmonies being reminiscent of bands such as Journey and Boston. On the plus side, Karl Groom and Nick Midson's lead guitar contributions remain dynamic and captivating. "Turn On Tune In" takes its repetitive one line chorus to a rather irritating level, but as a whole the song is well constructed and executed.

"The ravages of time" is the first of two long (10+ minutes) tracks on the album. While it sets out as another orthodox rock/metal number, the song soon reveals more progressive leanings through a more complex arrangement and dramatic keyboards. The melodic rock nuances remain, with the band Magnum coming to mind, but the track does require several listens to discover its true appeal. "Sheltering Sky" takes us into full AOR ballad territory, moving from an acoustic opening to the big sound chorus. The song's placing back to back with the following "Oceanbound" creates a building 12 minute mini-suite although things are kept straightforward throughout.

"Long way home" completes the journey back to solid metal riffs and anthemic choruses. "Keep my head" is a sort of ""Sheltering sky" part 2, but even lighter and softer. We close with the album's longest track, "Narcissus". While hardly venturing towards unexplored territories, the song does bring together many of the tenets of melodic hard rock. It makes for a fine closer to a decent if generally unremarkable album.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars In 2001 Threshold released this their fifth full studio album, which has now been reissued by Nuclear Blast as a 'Definitive Edition' with three additional live songs (previously on the 'Concert In Paris' release). Yet again the band suffered with the revolving line-up issue with a seeming inability to record more than one album with the same guys, although this was the first time that they had recorded consecutive albums with the same singer. Drummer Mark Heaney was the casualty this time; he had been there for the previous two albums but was replaced by Johanne James who is still there some 12 years after this was released.

It had been three years since the 1998 release of their previous album, 'Clone', and that had gained a great deal of attention and had led to the band touring in Europe with the likes of Dream Theater so after such a gap they were going to be under a lot of scrutiny, but there was no need for anyone to worry. Songs such as "Turn On Tune In" show just why they are held in such high regard, with riffs, hooks and great vocals, while in "The Ravages Of Time" Johanne showed why he was the new incumbent driving the band along from the back. While they may have suffered with drummers and singers over the years, the other four guys (guitarists Karl Groom and Nick Midson, bassist Jon Jeary and keyboard player Richard West) had been playing together since in 1989 and the way that they lock in shows the experience of playing so much together.

In my original review (#62 of Feedback) I said "The last time I saw these guys I got serious neck ache ? if ever you thought that melodic rock couldn't stand up against 'normal' hard rock for power and passion then think again. Threshold are back in town." Playing this again is like revisiting an old friend, and with a couple of songs longer than ten minutes there is plenty of room for the band to spread their melodic rock. Yet again a masterpiece of the genre.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars This is my third Threshold album and the first that I will review. I started out with 'Dead Reckoning' and later bought 2012's 'March of Progress'. Interested in hearing their older material and reading that 'Hypothetical' came highly recommended, I ordered this album next.

First, allow me to comment briefly on the two latest releases. I first listened to samples of 'March of Progress' and was blown away by the guitar sound. If a progressive metal band sounded this awesome in the guitar department, they were good enough for me. Furthermore, I was not yet ready for the death growl vocals of many metal bands, so the clean vocals of Threshold appealed to me. But 'Dead Reckoning' was cheaper and after a quick listen I found the guitar sound was the same and bought that album instead. Now, 'MoP' ranks as the number 11 album of 2012 on the Prog Archives and other reviewers said 'DR' was not as good. So after a few listens to 'DR' and being only mildly impressed, I decided to go for 'MoP' which I personally found was quite similar.

So, how about this older album from 2001? The first thing I noticed was that there was a little more keyboard work featured here. The later albums seem to use keyboards mostly as a rhythm instrument and for some effects, and piano (or synth piano) for the mellower moments. 'Hypothetical' includes some synthesizer solos which, for me, makes them sound a little more progressive oriented than the later albums which sound more commercial. In the 80's, any metal band that added synthesizer was most likely trying to appeal to the mainstream market, and among my friends and I, the synthesizer was almost a dirty word. So if a band is going to have a keyboard player on board, he'd better have more to do that just play rhythm chords that soften the heavy impact of the guitars.

Second, I noticed that the guitar sound was a bit grittier with more crunch to it. As Threshold already had impressed me with their guitar sound, I welcomed this to my ears openly.

Still, though, when all was consumed and digested, I couldn't help but think that this older album was still very similar to the later albums, notwithstanding the change in vocals from 'DR' to 'MoP'. Threshold are similar to Fates Warning in that they are not as technically complex as Dream Theater and instead go progressive by creating longer compositions with tempo and mood changes and add in some odd drum beats (though I'd say Fates Warning do more with the odd drum beats from what I've heard). Also like Fates Warning, Threshold often stick to the soft verse/quiet chorus routine except they mix it up by doing a hard verse/melodic chorus pattern sometimes. Threshold adds a lot of melodic parts to their songs to contrast with the grittier heavy parts, but in the end the clean vocals and synthesizer prevent them from ever becoming really really heavy. I am sure most metal heads in the 80's would have peed themselves over that monster guitar sound, but by today's standards being that raunchy and heavy is pretty well, well standard. Generally speaking, while there are progressive moments, much of the music is still fairly ordinary heavy metal with clean vocals and melodic parts.

The three songs that stand out for me are 'Ravages of Time', 'Long Way Home', and 'Keep My Head', with nods to 'Turn On, Tune In' and 'Narcissus'. 'Ravages' has some of that gritty crunchy power chord guitar and sounds rather aggressive at first. The lyrics start of dealing with a theme that is of interest to me: how a single location changes over time as in a sea bed becomes a mountain range, a mountain range a plain, a plain a desert, and so on. The first half of the song keeps me listening but I find my attention wanders through the second half. 'Long Way Home' has some great heavy guitar and elements of progressive metal as I identify it. 'Keep My Head' is a metal band's take on what could be a late 70's or early 80's adult contemporary pop song. Maybe Glenn Hughes has something like this on one of his 90's albums. A nice change of pace though possibly out of place in the opinions of some. 'Narcissus' has a powerful anthemic riff at the beginning in later in the song. The middle section where the band does a bit of musical mood exploration adds interest to a long song.

It's a good enough album and perhaps just a bit more interesting than the two most recent efforts, for me anyway. But honestly there's not much to my ears that separates 'Hypothetical' from 2001 from 'Dead Reckoning' from 2007 or 'March of Progress' from 2012. Actually, I don't see any real progress. One Threshold album is as good as another would be my conclusion. But I am sure that more devoted listeners can separate the wheat from the chaff, as reading the reviews suggests. At least I can say I won't have to think about writing reviews for the other two as my thoughts will be similar to what I have written here. Good music and good band. Nice to add songs to a playlist and maybe on a mixed CD. But nothing I feel compelled to tell my friends about.

Review by friso
4 stars There isn't a lot of progressive metal I like and I bought this record for its few Arena-like neo-prog moments. Treshold is however an eighties metal infused symphonic metal band with poppy refrains and a very smooth production. Almost a bit like the later albums of Toto. Some guitar riffs are clearly influenced by Metallica. The keyboards of Richard West sound great and I like his modern sounds. During the solo-sections there is some real modern prog bliss to be found. The powerful vocals of Andrew McDermott have a modernized stadion rock appeal, but the execution here is faultless and easy on the ears. If the style of the band is a bit typical, the song- writing is quite strong here. Some refrains are too poppy for my taste, there is a lot of melody here that does stick - which is not a given in my experience! The eighties swoosh ballad 'Keep My Head' is probably not meant to be a parody, but that's exactly what it sounds like to me. The 55 minute album is well spread over three sides of the vinyl and the sound and quality of the record is outstanding. I must admit I'm quite satisfied after the first two sides, but the final epic 'Narcissus' is also a great track full of strong instrumental sections. Treshold's 'Hypothetical' delivers nothing new here, but the mix of metal / prog / classic rock works well for me.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 8/10 Taking a look at the classification of this and subsequent albums Threshold, the idea I have is that I'm entering the "golden era" of the band. But after a lot of bugging I could say that this "era" began in Clone, because although Hypothetical is a great album, it makes me want to give ... (read more)

Report this review (#967667) | Posted by voliveira | Friday, May 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Threshold have struggled for some time with the reputation of being 'The British Dream Theater' (if this was their intention, the should really have just called themselves Dream Theatre). Clearly both bands play metal with progressive tendencies, but that is hardy sufficient reason for direct com ... (read more)

Report this review (#226491) | Posted by Witch | Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've heard of Threshold back in the '95 when Psychedelicetessen was released. The progressive metal world was full of mouth of them. Well, i didn't believe them, so i skipped them in my progressive collection. But i was wrong. I see it now because after 5 or 6 years later they are hot gossip agai ... (read more)

Report this review (#117816) | Posted by AOR_Crazy | Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Threshold is a really important name in the english progressive metal scene, and after listening to this beautiful record I can clearly understand why. The song are wonderfully balanced between the heavy riffs, the tight time singatures changes and the catchy and marvellous melodies displayed b ... (read more)

Report this review (#99564) | Posted by Rosenfield | Sunday, November 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Songs of the highest level we find here without doubt. Because "hypothetical" is perhaps the most interesting album of this British prog-metal band, this work has all the elements that must have a great prog-metal work; force, category, inspiration, technique (without excesses) and excellent m ... (read more)

Report this review (#95182) | Posted by | Thursday, October 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Hypothetical is my first encounter with Threshold so I don't know if it is really representative of their music but every proghead has to be warned : all you will find here is extremely mainstream commercial hard rock. It is not a derogatory comment but it is a fact that had to be told. If you ... (read more)

Report this review (#93505) | Posted by Bupie | Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Having bought "Critical Mass" prior to this CD, I was disappointed in that "Hypothetical" was full of cliched plodding metal riffs, and almost totally lacked any variation in tempo or volume for that matter. Every song sounded the same. The one saving grace were the vocals, In his quieter mome ... (read more)

Report this review (#93395) | Posted by jheels | Wednesday, October 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't know if there is anything I can add to all that has been written however, on a personal opinion, this is an excellent cd that will not get what accolades it deserves. The guitars are crunchy, maybe a little heavy on chording but such catchy tunes that live in your head for long spells ... (read more)

Report this review (#62400) | Posted by Louder | Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great album by those Threshold boys. The whole thing kicks off with "Light and Space" which is about some light in space. Very heavy and very melodic at the same time. "Turn On Tune In" is about watching the telly too much. "The Ravages Of Time" is a 10 minute epic that starts off heavy ... (read more)

Report this review (#57050) | Posted by | Saturday, November 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This band is one of the most elegant prog-metal performers i've ever heard, with a very nice and trademark sound, from vocals to guitars through keys, bass and finishing with drums, why i bother to fill the whole spectrum? beacuse i need to say it: they sound like them, period, i don't try to ... (read more)

Report this review (#56740) | Posted by arqwave | Thursday, November 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ok I have just finished playing this CD(which I have owned for over a year now)and I felt moved to write a short review about what I can only describe as a blown away reaction to it. After one year the flavour of a CD usualy loses its punch a bit but not in this case, its actualy got even stron ... (read more)

Report this review (#47984) | Posted by Trouble X | Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Best current progressive metal band around if you'd ask me, centered around the duo- metal guitar play of Karl Groom and Nick Midson, with the fabulous strong vocals of Andrew 'Mac' Dermott, and great Keyboard play from Richard west, that gives an extra dimension to the heavy rock sound of Thre ... (read more)

Report this review (#39883) | Posted by DeathRow | Thursday, July 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Maybe I was a little bit unfair on my previous review about this album, with a four star rate. It is not only a "excellent addition to any prog music collection", but a excellent addition to any ROCK collection, or to any EXCELLENT MUSIC LOVER collection. Maybe it isn't "a masterpiece of progr ... (read more)

Report this review (#7278) | Posted by | Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must say that even though I'm not a very big fan of progmetal music, this album is a true gem! One my friend gave me this album to listen and give it a chance and now I must thank him that he didn't allow me to miss this great band! I love every song on this album, there is no weak point. If ... (read more)

Report this review (#7277) | Posted by KeyserSoze | Tuesday, February 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Altough Threshold became much more than just an interesting prog metal/rock band, I must say that their time is yet to come.Hypothetical is a great album, but I have that feeling like something is missing. Having great potentional, interesting ideas, just as much electronics as it's requiered, ... (read more)

Report this review (#7276) | Posted by | Thursday, February 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a lot of troubles, finally Threshold made it to release an album which was acclaimed by critics and fans, and gave the band the right exposure. Hypothetical sets new boundaries to the demanding-yet-accessible Threshold trademark, featuring some future classics such as the brilliant opener ... (read more)

Report this review (#7274) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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