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CRITICAL MASS

Threshold

Progressive Metal


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Threshold Critical Mass  album cover
4.05 | 201 ratings | 26 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Phenomenon (5:30)
2. Choices (8:19)
3. Falling Away (6:52)
4. Fragmentation (6:34)
5. Echoes Of Life (8:55)
6. Round And Round (5:26)
7. Avalon (4:45)
8. Critical Mass (part 1-3) (13:35)

Total Time: 59:56

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mac / vocals
- Karl Groom / guitars
- Nick Midson / guitars
- Jon Jeary / bass
- Richard West / keyboards
- Johanne James / drums

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
Edit this entry

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March of ProgressMarch of Progress
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SubsurfaceSubsurface
Extra tracks · Limited Edition · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$63.48
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THRESHOLD Critical Mass ratings distribution


4.05
(201 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
39%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

THRESHOLD Critical Mass reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Critical Mass is a glorious return to the recording studio for Threshold, one of Great Britain's finest prog-metal bands. Consistency with group members has blessed them at last, and with that, their best work to date is on this CD. Consistency is not the norm in the realm of music, particularly in progressive rock, it is anything but that, in fact the style spits in the face of conformity and is always full of surprises. That is why I love the music so much; I have always been a nonconformist.

Mac is at the peak of his powers as a lead vocalist, and the group as an entity is at its zenith, burning brightly at every musical twist and turn. Karl Groom and Nick Midson form one of the very best one-two punch guitar armies in rock music today. With Jon Jeary and Johanne James providing a rock solid rhythm section, everything else in the scheme of things falls right into place in perfect time. There are crunching guitar chords that come wailing down upon your senses, and Mac takes full advantage of those layers of sound to let his voice ride the tide of the music. Then to balance out their attack, the keyboards flutter away ingeniously.

The best in all of this divine organized musical mayhem is the track "Fragmentation." I felt that the song fittingly exemplifies and personifies the band; it displays all the group members' talents with equality and exactitude. With just enough keyboards in the mix, this band sits on the edges of straight ahead prog. I have to wonder if they will maintain this sound much longer or choose one of the two styles and record a totally free-form magnum opus with longer and meatier stretches of instrumentation. I wish they would, they are more than capable of doing so. "Critical Mass, Pts. 1-3" is an indication that they are leaning towards arrangements that are more complex. I really do enjoy Mac's vocals, and that would necessitate a change in his role in order to accommodate the longer instrumental breaks. Well, they could always record a double album next time out and have one featuring just instrumentals, now that would be the best of both worlds. What can I say? I want my cake and I want to eat too! I am not complaining, I am simply being garrulous about how great this band is and will continue to be for many years.

It is time to rock, metal progressive style.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#7294) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Could we presume without talking too fast that United Kingdom is the craddle of heavy music? With a indiscutable line-up of all stars such as Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Who, we can honestly say that Britannia's got a lot in fire in her belly. What's with this country and hard music?

Could Prince Harry's putting some Threshold in the Buckingham Palace in the absence of his grandmother? Well if he's got good flair, he could. This would rock the casbah metal style.

With Glass Hammer and Camel, Threshold is one of my picks for best underdog of all-time. I always wondered why this band hasn't hit the big leagues yet. Well, you gotta hit where the fans are. And believe me, the hungry metal fans are not in U.S.A. but in the french province of Quebec. Quebec has been the castle of heavy/metal since the early 70's, many bands made their theeth on the green soil of Quebec City. Quebec City is the oldest city in North America and the fortifications of the old city are always ready for some crunchy Marshall sounds. And Threshold should aim there to launch a North American career. French canadians are a very generous and faithful crowd towards radio hits. If Threshold could score a hit, they'd be on a great start to go south after.

The sound of Threshold really got more sophisticated when Critical Mass to life. We assist with eyes wide open to quieter, more romantic moments (Avalon). More orchestration keyboards has been added to enrich the sound, making it less cold. The band is really heading more on a Steve Vai path. Lots of crunchy guitars, sharp as knives but there's more space left for carving the songs more. The coldness and negativeness of Extinct Instinct is fading to a punchier, more captivating pieces of music. For those who heard Narcissus from Hypothetical, you get the idea. The use of more lively keyboards, catchier chords and voice enhancement provided by vocoder is really giving a cool proton-neutron scientific side. A refreshing approach compared to all the legendary warrior/vampire/sad minestrel clichés of metal prog. Threshold is never overdoing it, nor vocally nor proving it's muscial superiority.

THE fullest album in terms of good material. The others are great, but this one's very generous. Forget how fake Dream Theater is and fuel up on Threshold's atom fusion.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#7297) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Review by Vanwarp
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Critical Mass is Threshold's sixth studio album since their debut released in 1993. Everything a prog metal album should contain is here: some lengthy tracks and unpredictable song structures, powerful guitar riffs with both guitar and keyboard solos, awesome technical drum work, several atmospheric instrumental passages, beautiful vocal harmonies throughout the album, it's all here for your enjoyment and it's all very pleasing to the ears.

Where Threshold's Critical Mass differs a bit from other prog metal music is the melancholic feel of this album as a whole. Being a fan of melancholic music, I have been very impressed with this recurring saddened theme throughout this album and their last release in 2001: Hypothetical. As a matter of fact, this "darker" more soothing prog metal style appeals to me. Take the title track for instance, the lyrics explore quantum physics, and anybody who knows anything about quantum physics and "critical mass" will fully understand what happens when one reaches "critical mass!" The analogy between quantum physics and the human condition is obvious.

The music on this album is easy to get into. Andrew McDermott commandeers all microphone duties and sings with a clear, mid-range voice. There are several smooth and beautiful lead guitar solos that truly standout. There's some nice twin guitar work and some wonderful bass lines. Not overly aggressive and never monotonous, the album moves along nicely. As on most prog metal albums, the production is crystal clear and flawless. The album is full of fascinating, intelligent, complex songs.

The band earns high marks for their consistent display of strong melodies and smart musical arrangements that are spread out throughout the album. In addition, the band ends the album softly with acoustic guitars and Mac's impressive vocal performance ends in a soft voice singing these last few lines:

"I was awake I was asleep, I never had anything that I could keep, I was asleep I was awake, I never broke anything I couldn't make, but...I've only just found it, It's slipping away and there's nothing I can do."

The album ends abruptly on "nothing I can do." Very effective moment, nice touch and at close to 14 minutes in length, "Critical Mass" is a fine example of what a good prog metal song should be. Simply a great ending to a fine prog metal album.

Those of you lucky enough to get a Limited Edition copy will benefit from the following features:

Extended booklet and slipcase, a bonus CD single featuring "Phenomenon" (edit), "Do Unto Them" (non-album track), "New Beginning" (non-album track), and a Multimedia section featuring: Documentary video, Studio video footage and diary, Screensaver, Musician pages, Exclusive photos, artwork and demo recordings. Wow!

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Send comments to Vanwarp (BETA) | Report this review (#45887) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Review by Melomaniac
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An excellent album, very well produced, with so many great riffs (and great guitar sound), excellent keyboards, great rythm section (this was bassist Jon Jeary's last album, and even though he is an excellent songwriter, I find I enjoy newcomer Steve Anderson's playing a whole lot more, just look/listen to Critical Energy and Subsurface to be convinced), fantastic songwriting, and what to say about singer Mac... he can sing anything he wishes, from low to high pitch, but that's not what makes this singer so special. It's the power and feeling that he has. The knack he has for vocal harmonies is fantastic, sometimes in the vein of Queen and Def Leppard (whatever you think of Def Leppard, they were the kings in that field).

Musically speaking, I think it is more "hard progressive rock" rather than "progressive metal". Sure, all the metal elements are here (dual guitar riffs and harmonies and double bass-drum beats). Their choruses are catchy as hell, and their instrumental passages are awesome. Imagine what Def Leppard would have sounded like had they decided to have a more progressive approach (imagine a blend of Hysteria and Images and Words by Dream Theater) and you'll have a very good idea of Threshold's sound.

Favorites of mine from this album include : Choices, Fragmentation and Echoes of Life. A very nice introduction to this band for everyone, prog fan or not, as this is both catchy, accessible AND progressive.

Also check out all other albums with Mac as a singer : Hypothetical, Clone, Subsurface.

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Send comments to Melomaniac (BETA) | Report this review (#81738) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006

Review by sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Critical Mass is the bands follow up to the highly impressive Hypothetical, and would prove to be the final album with bassist Jon Jeary, a founding member, to perform on.

I was really impressed by the bands previous release, Hypothetical, and was hoping for something to really raise the bar here. Unfortunately I find that this album is lacking in some areas. The most obvious of this is the production. To put it simply, I find this album to be overproduced with the result being that the life is sucked out of the songs on here. The guitars, keyboards, bass and drums all sound too clinical with any emotion being drained not from the way it was performed but from the way it sounds. Macs voice is the only part of the album that doesn't seem to have suffered from this and he is on fine form here. This is the albums biggest problem and makes it hard to derive much enjoyment from it.

Its not all bad, however. Lyrically this is a very strong album, using very catchy wording and strong melody with themes mostly based on the depredations of man. Though the content doesn't seem to change much, I find that it doesn't bother me as the way its worded here is brilliant, a feature that seems to have been a common strength to Threshold for some time.

Musically it follows a similar pattern to previous Threshold albums. Strong melodies to back up the lyrics interspersed with some really nice instrumental sections and powerful solos, mainly from guitarist Karl Groom. If your looking for the more complex form of Prog-metal your not likely to find it here, most of the work is of a more simple nature based around a solid riff but there are most certainly a few sections that really do stand out, things like interesting bass runs and chord changes.

However, because of the poor production on this album, much of the feeling that they tried to create in parts has been lost, which is a huge shame. Of the songs themselves, Echoes of Life is the best song on the album in my opinion. It builds up nicely and has the albums most interesting instrumental section in the middle of it. The title track, Critical Mass, is a big disappointment here. The music just seems like a clichéd way of building up an epic and I don't think that the acoustic outro really works here, though its not too bad. It just leaves you with the feeling that it was an ad-hoc attempt at creating something special that they didn't achieve.

Overall this is a nice album that should have been very strong. Many of the songs are rather good with Echoes of Life being a clear stand out and Critical Mass a clear disappointment (there's always one, isn't there). The biggest problem here is the production that has really sucked any soul from this album, with the exception of Macs voice. If your new to Threshold I would highly recommend that you start with the much better Hypothetical before trying Critical Mass, which is an album with the question of what could have been left hanging over it. An album with good material that wasn't made the most of, so 3 stars.

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Send comments to sleeper (BETA) | Report this review (#99616) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fantastic effort from british prog metallers. Great Harmonies, huge guitar riffs and master rhythm section, and elegant keyboard lines. I find this album to be the second best after the majestic Hypothetical. Very good voice by Mac, he can sing every note at the highest level, not to mention the other musicians who are also very skillful. Everything a prog metal album should contain is here. Some very good tracks are falling away and the title track critical mass. So my rate is 4 stars, and i recommended this one because is among the best albums in prog metal.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#120484) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When I bought this several years ago it was only my second album by Threshold. My first was from the Damion Wilson era and that was quite a different Threshold. This Threshold is less dark and less heavy, almost going toward neo prog. And since I´m a combined fan of neo prog and prog metal (almost equally) this Mac era Threshold should be just about my cup of tea. And I have to admit, it is.

There´s another reason why I love this Threshold line up at least as much as the former and that´s the ever presence of one of my favourite guitarists ever, Karl Groom. As long as he is in the band, it´s a guarantee for high quality. The other musicians are absolutely great too so I wonder why this band isn´t more popular than it is last 10/15 years. I mean they get high praise, also from the fans but this band should actually be huge, maybe even Dream Theater stature. But they´re not, just look at the number of ratings and you know enough. Well I like this band almost as much as DT even though there is not much resemblance in sound and style.

Critical Mass starts with the extremely accessible Phenomenon. Well, this song was also released as a single so that explains. Good song but even for me, a bit too mainstream. Next is Choises, this is the Threshold we know, more or less at its best. Fantastic track. Next one, Falling away is more accessible once again but not as much as Phenomenon. The song starts ballad-like, very beautiful intro. The rest of the song is a bit rougher but it´s a cracking track. Also Fragmentation is pretty accessible so that sets the standard for this album. It´s even for me almost going to far in this department and it actually makes it an ambivalent album for me because accessibility can also go too far !

Echoes of Life is more like Choises, a bit more complex and therefore more interesting than Phenomenon and Fragmentation. Next two, Round and Round and Avalon are the two lesser songs of the album, These are at best nice but not great. Last track is the absolute highlight for me, the title track Critical Mass. It´s the most progressive song on the album and a huge supersong. What a magnificent composition this is. If there was at all doubt whether this album deserves 4 stars, these doubts are swept away by this superb grand finale. One of my favourite Threshold tracks of all time. And this band made a lot of good songs, I can tell you.

So the conclusion is simple. A tremendous album with some minus aspects (too accessible at times and not all songs are equally strong) but no doubt good enough for the 4 stars.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#158864) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This cd along with "Hypothetical" and "Subsurface" are full of crunchy riffs, catchy choruses and are instantly likeable. That is my problem with them. Yes I like all 3 albums a lot, but for me they are too polished, cliche and after many listens I like them less. And the one ballad that seems to have to be on each of them make me gag. I hate to be critical because I love heavy riffs, but sometimes you can get too much of a good thing. I prefer their earlier releases that are raw and less polished. Lets put it this way, this record could use a little salt. Anyway that was me trying to justify giving this a 3.5 rating.

"Phenomenon" is one of my top 3 favourite songs on here. I like the background synths as the heavy riffs come in. There are heavy drums throughout this tune. The chorus is uplifting the way the vocals almost soar. Nice guitar solo over the riffs 4 minutes in. "Choices" opens with some great sounding guitar.The drums are so crisp. This song has more solos on it than any other track on this album. That alone makes it one of the highlights on this album for me. "Falling Away" opens like a power ballad with drums, vocals and synths leading the way in the mellow sections. Mournful guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. It's ok but too much like a ballad for my tastes. "Fragmentation" is another top 3 track for me. It opens with synths and drums as heavy guitars come in. The riffs stop when the vocals come in. They're back ! Themes are repeated. The riffs sound so good on this one. Great tune.

"Echoes Of Life" opens with piano as reserved vocals and light drums come in. The song kicks into a higher gear 2 minutes in. A ripping solo after 4 minutes. "Round And Round" opens with gentle guitar that is replaced by a heavy sound with synths. Reserved vocals become more passionate fairly quickly. Contrast continues.The guitar winds out after 3 1/2 minutes. This one is powerful at times. "Avalon" is a ballad with piano throughout. "Critical Mass (part 1-3)" is also a top 3 song for me. It opens with what sounds like mellotron. We get a power surge before 2 minutes. Drums are relentless and the background synths are a nice touch again. Keys are swirling about as riffs come in. My favourite passage on the album is 7 minutes in where we get a PINK FLOYD flavour with organ. The guitar is amazing ! It goes on and on. A mellow ending with strummed guitar and vocals.

Good album that most people rate very highly. I feel the same way about the last few ENCHANT albums as I do with the last few from THRESHOLD(up to "Subsurface"). Give me something rougher and darker like IN THE WOODS...

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#164244) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'Critical Mass' - Threshold (8.5/10)

My first experience with the band Threshold, I was blown away when I first listened to this album. Typically, one expects a progressive metal band to sound something along the lines of Dream Theater or Symphony X, and conform to a certain protocol (in other words; being incredibly unprogressive.) Threshold manages to steer clear of that stereotype; and in melding great melodic hooks with progressive integrity, have created an unlikely masterpiece.

This album was purchased with a completely 'blind' ear; I had no idea what I was getting into and only had the knowledge that the band was progressive metal, and that one of their previous singers had done work with Ayreon. Besides that, I was treading into completely alien territory.

From the first song onwards, I recognized a very strong attention to melody; something that progressive metal has seemed to long-since forgotten. This alone warranted a heightened interest in the album, and the band. By the time of listening to 'Falling Away,' I was certain that I was listening to something clever and beautiful. The dynamic, beautiful introductory sequence of 'Falling Away' really stole my heart.

In terms of flow, album cohesion doesn't play a huge role with 'Critical Mass' although there's nothing wrong with the way the songs are set up. 'Phenomenon' is a fantastic way to open the album up, while the acoustic finale of the title track puts the listener on a gently soothing closing note.

Unlike 'Dead Reckoning' (a significantly weaker release from the band,') 'Critical Mass' does not give up progressiveness for melody and good songwriting. None of the material here is incredibly progressive... Prog is better described as a part of the musical mold rather than the main attraction.

The voice of 'Mac' McDermott doesn't impress me as much as Damian Wilson's did on the Ayreon releases, but he has a great voice that really fits the music. Some listeners might have a bit of time getting used to his voice due to the fact that his tenor sounds like alot of hair metal vocalists, but in the end, that shouldn't get in the way of his talent and the band's ability to create great music in general.

Great melodies, powerful compositions, and something that's a bit different and more down-to-earth than your typical progressive metal band. A fantastic album, and a very rewarding purchase.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#230142) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars It was always going to be a difficult task for Threshold to follow 2001's Hypothetical, the apotheosis of their output to date. Follow up Critical Mass tries hard and has some strong moments but overall falls a little short of that milestone release.

If you've heard Threshold before then you'll know what to expect here. Powerful metal riffs courtesy of Karl Groom and Nick Midson mixed with light and shade moments creating strong dynamics. Richard West's keyboard's providing a good foil though not so much to the fore here as in the past which is a shame. Vocalist Mac, now on his third album proves once again he's a fine vocalist and the best the band have had. Drummer Johanne James on his second album is also the best drummer the band have had allowing for more complex rhythmic structures than they could have managed on earlier albums. He's ably assisted on bass by the ever present (until recent years) Jon Jeary.

By now Threshold had found their sound fusing melancholic melodies, atmospherics and metal riffs into sometimes fairly complex rhythmic structures into powerful pieces with the obligatory ballad or 2 thrown in for good measure. All seems in order here with the album getting off to a great start with Phenomenon and Choices, 2 of the stronger pieces. The highlight is undoubtedly the 13 and a half minute 3 part title track which closes. Running from the hauntingly melodic opening section it explodes into typical Threshold powerful riffing, a strong vocal section and tasty searing guitar solo courtesy of Groom. An unexpected turn slows things right down for another excellent guitar solo, paced the way Dave Gilmour might do it rather than the usual flurry of notes of your typical metal band. An atmospheric section bridges the gap into a vocal/acoustic guitar dominated finale for a restrained but effective close.

If all the album was as good as the title track then Critical Mass could have been the equal of Hypothetical. Unfortunately a couple of mid album tracks are less than inspiring, notably the ballad Avalon and semi-ballad Falling Away being nothing more than functionary. Nonetheless a very good album and one that should please most lovers of prog metal. 3 ½ stars.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#233514) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 21, 2009

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars A hypothetical clone with critical mass appeal

Critical Mass was Threshold's third album with Andrew McDermott (aka "Mac") on lead vocals and their sixth studio album overall. As I said in my review of the previous Hypothetical album, it is hard to deny that the Mac-era was Threshold's most stable (continuing until Mac's recent and very tragic death). But, in my opinion, it is not their best. This is the less adventurous and more conventional (and, dare I say, commercial) period of the band's career. Indeed, from Hypothetical onwards the band's output became a bit formulaic. Critical Mass is nothing but a straightforward continuation of Hypothetical. There is no evolution or progression of the band's sound here and absolutely no surprises. Still Critical Mass is every bit as good as Hypothetical (if not slightly better) and the band were still capable of making very good music in their by then fully established style, but the freshness and originality is gone and as such this is rather predictable.

The catchy choruses that were taken to its logical extreme on Hypothetical are still present here and for my taste this is maybe just a little bit too catchy. The production values are super high, and this is just a bit too polished for its own good.

As a side note, I can mention that I very much like the live DVD Critical Energy that was recorded on the tour in support of the present album and features songs from the band's whole career up to that point. Said live DVD is in my opinion a better purchase than any of the Mac-era studio albums and a good place to start investigating post-Clone Threshold.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#294625) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2010

Review by 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

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#890516) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars 9.5/10 Well, what to say except that I am increasingly fascinated by this band and disgusted that they have not the recognition they deserve. Threshold is a band cachet of other big names in progressive metal like Dream Theater, Riverside, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation and others, however j ... (read more)

Report this review (#971464) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, June 05, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is without a doubt the best Threshold album of the MAC era (or of all of the band's career), threshold's sound have always been strangely simple but different from the other run of the mill prog metal bands (99% of them also know as Dream Theater clones), there's nothing too technical or cry ... (read more)

Report this review (#186938) | Posted by Moonshield | Saturday, October 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Follower to Hypothetical, Critical Mass clearly relies on the same formula than its predecessor. Same riffs, same song construction, same simplistic lyrics, same studio, same producers, same artists for the (nice) art cover and photos. And finally the same story of hit and miss. The hits : ... (read more)

Report this review (#98535) | Posted by Bupie | Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First album heard from Threshold, and I'd have to say it's not at all a disapointment. Threshold is a very talented band and they have some really good songs on this album to even start out with. I really enjoyed the album. Some major songs are Avalon, Critical Mass, Fragmentation, Phenomenom, ... (read more)

Report this review (#95589) | Posted by Xeroth | Tuesday, October 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is impulse buying for me. I looked at it's booklets and it looked nice. So I bought it. I listened it all the way home. I LIKE IT! Phenomenon starts as car with V8-engine. Massive riff and nice drumplaying. I also like the slow part of the song. Good lyrics on it. 8/10 Falling Aw ... (read more)

Report this review (#74272) | Posted by Toomio | Friday, April 07, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I listen this album with high expectatives, but, Critical Mass doesn't fit in "Essential", but yes in "Good". The start, Phenomenon is great: a powerfull song, a bit monotone, but still good. Then the album goes for some molodic metal prog, very calm, and one forget the great start, and start ... (read more)

Report this review (#70845) | Posted by CGH Tompkins | Wednesday, March 01, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 stars I ended up purchasing this CD after reading all the reviews here about how good this band is. Let's just say the praises are well deserved. Threshold isn't a clone of Dream Theater, actually far from it. I hear some similarities, but that's just about it. Threshold concentrate ... (read more)

Report this review (#60409) | Posted by dltonya | Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is hard to believe just how good these guys are and without any real press here in the states I would have missed out all together if it wasnt for Inside/Out records,the best prog metal label of all.What I like about Critical Mass is there are no weak parts and the sound is very original wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#38730) | Posted by James Hill | Thursday, July 07, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Critical Mass is surely band's most mature work up to date. Every second of the album reveals great effort invested in its composing/recording. The lineup is finally stabile so practically nothing could go wrong here.and luckily it didn't. This CD is full of awesome melodic prog; the approach ... (read more)

Report this review (#7296) | Posted by auggie_p | Wednesday, March 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well I never thought I'd get there.I generally listen to much "softer" prog but this album has done it.O.K I got there late ,2 years after release to be exact,but this is one of the best albums I have heard this year.I was put off prog metal by a few bands but having heard just one track from ... (read more)

Report this review (#7295) | Posted by adrian coleman | Sunday, January 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Why a masterpiece, simple because their sound is UNIQUE,Im a musician and I know how difficult is to perform an instrument and they have such a versatility to compose incredibles songs, I know that you´re gonna say Dream Theater is better, but Dream Theater makes songs like if they were rehe ... (read more)

Report this review (#7293) | Posted by | Thursday, October 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this is one of the greatest prog releases to date in my collection. everysong is a wonderfull journy through the album in a rather flawless manner. Their style is very reflective of Dream theater in parts (particularly in 'Choices'), yet they deliver their songs with more straightforward grunt ... (read more)

Report this review (#7291) | Posted by | Thursday, July 01, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Im glad to see an English ProgMetal band producing some brilliant songs, such as Fragmentation and Avalon. I particually enjoyed the vocals in this album, although the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums are all expertly played as well. I am definetly looking forward to Threshold's London concert this ... (read more)

Report this review (#7289) | Posted by will | Thursday, March 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fantastic new effort from british prog metallers. Great Harmonies, huge guitar riffs and master rhythm section, and elegant keyboard lines. Andrew McDermott is a force of nature, check it out "Phenomenon", "Choises" and the masterpiece "Falling Away"! 85/100 ... (read more)

Report this review (#7286) | Posted by | Friday, January 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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