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THRESHOLD

Progressive Metal • United Kingdom


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Threshold biography
The UK progressive metal band THRESHOLD was formed in 1988. One of the founders Karl Groom is perhaps the leading man in this band. He's also known from such bands as LANDMARQ, PENDRAGON and SHADOWLAND. The band has gone through several line-up changes to find the perfect band. It would be too intricate to describe the line-up changes here, so it's included in the discography.

In 1993 their classic debut studio album saw the light of day. It was called "Wounded Land" and was released on the GEP label. And from then on they have gained a lot of good reviews from all around the world. Their follow up "Psychedelicatessen" (1994) reached 5000 in advance sales the first week. Impressive for being a progressive metal band. Since then they have made "Livedelica" (1995), "Extinct Instinct" (1997) and their best album up to date: "Clone" (1998). This new release is a concept album, which re-insured their place as one of the premier bands in this genre.

Today they are one of the most well known progressive metal bands around. A very good hard Progressive music.

- Greger Rönnqvist

Threshold official website

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European JourneyEuropean Journey
Metalville 2015
Audio CD$10.68
$10.73 (used)
March of ProgressMarch of Progress
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$5.26
$11.28 (used)
For the JourneyFor the Journey
Import
Metalville 2014
Audio CD$8.91
$7.90 (used)
For The JourneyFor The Journey
Metalville 2014
Audio CD$8.61
$17.25 (used)
Extinct Instinct: Definitive EditionExtinct Instinct: Definitive Edition
Import
Nuclear Blast Int'l 2012
Audio CD$6.40
$7.58 (used)
Wounded LandWounded Land
Special Edition · Extra tracks · Import
Nuclear Blast Int'l 2012
Audio CD$6.84
$8.89 (used)
Subsurface: Definitive EditionSubsurface: Definitive Edition
Import · Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Int'l 2012
Audio CD$7.66
$48.00 (used)
Critical Mass: Definitive EditionCritical Mass: Definitive Edition
Import · Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Int'l 2012
Audio CD$5.26
$8.19 (used)
Friday On My MindFriday On My Mind
Soldoon
Vinyl$8.71 (used)
Hypothetical: Definitive EditionHypothetical: Definitive Edition
Import · Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Int'l 2012
Audio CD$8.91
$7.69 (used)
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THRESHOLD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THRESHOLD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 132 ratings
Wounded Land
1993
3.53 | 127 ratings
Psychedelicatessen
1994
3.67 | 124 ratings
Extinct Instinct
1997
3.75 | 118 ratings
Clone
1998
3.96 | 235 ratings
Hypothetical
2001
4.08 | 242 ratings
Critical Mass
2002
3.94 | 218 ratings
Subsurface
2004
3.62 | 195 ratings
Dead Reckoning
2007
4.01 | 371 ratings
March Of Progress
2012
3.71 | 99 ratings
For The Journey
2014

THRESHOLD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 26 ratings
Livedelica
1995
3.67 | 23 ratings
Concert In Paris
2002
4.03 | 47 ratings
Critical Energy
2004
3.24 | 26 ratings
Surface To Stage
2006
3.44 | 8 ratings
European Journey
2015

THRESHOLD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.51 | 35 ratings
Critical Energy (DVD)
2004

THRESHOLD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 13 ratings
The Ravages of Time: The Best of Threshold
2007
2.46 | 9 ratings
Paradox - The Singles Collection
2009

THRESHOLD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.91 | 15 ratings
Decadent
1999
3.48 | 24 ratings
Wireless - Acoustic Sessions
2003
3.39 | 17 ratings
Replica
2004
4.11 | 9 ratings
Pressure
2006
2.48 | 10 ratings
Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
2007
2.03 | 10 ratings
Supermassive Black Hole
2010

THRESHOLD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 European Journey by THRESHOLD album cover Live, 2015
3.44 | 8 ratings

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European Journey
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A lost opportunity

When I first heard that Damian Wilson had returned to Threshold I was very pleased as he is by far my favourite Threshold vocalist. Given that Wilson is back in the band I expected them to perform a set list packed with songs from the band's early days, particularly from the two first Wilson-fronted albums Extinct Instinct and Wounded Land. As it turns out, however, this expectation could hardly be more wrong. With the sole exception of Part Of The chaos (taken from my favourite Threshold album Extinct Instinct) the whole first decade of the band's history is sadly completely ignored here!

Instead there is a very heavy emphasis on their most recent albums to date with no less than nine out of the total 15 songs coming from their two most recent albums: 2014's For The Journey and 2012's March Of Progress. Two songs each are further taken from the two albums before that: 2007's Dead Reckoning and 2004's Subsurface. While it is certainly interesting to hear Wilson tackle some of the songs that were originally sung by the late Andrew "Mac" McDermott, I think it is a shame that they chose to overlook their early material. In my opinion, the band's first four albums are also their best. Of their more recent songs only Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams is really excellent.

In sum, European Journey is something of a lost opportunity to create a really good live record, and there are other live albums by the band that are better than this one; foremost among them being Critical Energy, which has a much more interesting set list.

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 Supermassive Black Hole by THRESHOLD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
2.03 | 10 ratings

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Supermassive Black Hole
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by Insin

3 stars To accompany the re-release of 2007's Dead Reckoning, complete with instrumental versions of each song, Threshold put out a digital single featuring a Muse cover and an edit of one of their most popular songs.

Muse's styles span multiple genres, including but not limited to hard rock/borderline metal, orchestral prog, grunge, electronic (on some later occasions), and pop. Supermassive Black Hole falls in the last category, but Threshold makes it properly heavy, although they don't work their progressive magic on it. Verses feature distorted guitars, effortlessly transitioning into the pre-choruses with spacey, smooth keyboards. Mac is not able to pull off Matt Bellamy's falsetto and his voice is less suited to the song, but he puts more feeling into it than Bellamy does. They did not at all alter the solo (can it really be called that?), disappointingly enough. Muse gave little thought to that portion, and Threshold did not seek to fix it. Overall, however, they've improved the song, turning Supermassive Black Hole from a radio-friendly hit to something you can actually headbang to.

The other track on the single is an edit of Slipstream, the first song from Dead Reckoning. It is one of two Threshold songs containing harsh vocals (the other is Elusive, from the same album), and they have turned the growls into an electronic robot voice. It's been shortened as well, by a whole minute and a half, as a result of removing the ending and many of the instrumental parts. It follows a more predictable structure now and has lost much of its "progressive" feel. I think I'll stick to the original this time.

It seems almost as if some of the characteristics of the two songs have been switched with each other, the cover becoming heavier and a little bit more progressive (due to the sudden shifts between distorted guitar and keyboard) and Slipstream's shortening and cutting back on the prog elements.

The single is worth a listen for fans of the band who also enjoy Muse (or are at least familiar with Supermassive Black Hole), and a novelty for other Threshold fans. Whichever group you're in, it's a good way to kill six minutes.

Originally posted to www.metal-archives.com

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 For The Journey by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 99 ratings

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For The Journey
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars I was blown away when I first heard March of Progress, and most people should also have the same response. For The Journey did not hit me the same way, but after a few listens, I can tell you this album is equally excellent in it's own way. This band is definitely a stellar Progressive Metal band that everyone should be excited about. They are doing everything right, and this lineup will hopefully stay in tact for years to come. Damian Wilson's vocals on March of Progress and For The Journey are superb, and I could not see this band with anyone else at the mic. If you love progressive metal or enjoy previous Threshold albums, this is a must buy. Make sure you buy the version with the bonus tracks, because I Wish I Could is one of the best songs on the album.

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 Wounded Land  by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.82 | 132 ratings

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Wounded Land
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by Losimba

4 stars I admit that Threshold is one of my two favourite bands, the other being Celtic Rock veterans Runrig. For those who think "Huh?", I would have guessed that Runrig are included in the Prog Folk section of this site, but there are also some similarities between them and this album. The obvious one is the focus on environmental topics, but some of the melodies could easily feature on Proterra, the heaviest Runrig album, of course minus the double bass drum and with less distorsion in the guitar riffs. Keep It With Mine wouldn't even need any change at all (and I'm pretty sure Bruce Guthro would fit in as well as Damian Wilson does).

Even apart from that, Wounded Land is a really strong debut album. The rhythm section is solid, the guitar parts show great variety and the keyboards, while used relatively sparingly, leave their impact in the necessary places. The songwriting gives a clear impression of what is to follow in the later albums, it is consistent without getting boring. Needless to say that there is no weak song. Add in the deep lyrics (which are in no way ridiculous as another reviewer suggests, there are more than enough prog bands with fantasy as their only topic) and there is one of the best albums of 1993. The highlights for me: Paradox, Surface To Air with its extra moment of genius in the final chorus which makes it one of my Threshold top 5 songs, and the aforementioned ballad Keep it With Mine.

I don't want to throw around 5 stars too easily, so I go for 4.49 for now which may be edited to 4.51 later. By the way, the 1993 Runrig album Alba contains some really good songs, but is summa summarum considerably weaker than Wounded Land.

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 For The Journey by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 99 ratings

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For The Journey
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Perhaps because March Of Progress was such a strong album and a great return to form for a band that while never less than good, had been treading water for the few previous releases, I was initially a little disappointed with For The Journey. A few plays failed to ignite any great enthusiasm and it sat on my shelf unplayed again for a few months until now. Revisiting it has left me pleasantly surprised; perhaps as I'm returning to it with no expectations it's actually much better than I originally thought.

For The Journey is the second album since vocalist Damian Wilson's return and once again he turns in a fine performance with a strong ear for a good vocal melody. Musically it's their typically melodic prog metal with a number of up-tempo songs, an unexceptional ballad and The Box is the obligatory epic. Whilst there's nothing wrong with The Box, there are no great surprises and there are many better ones, Critical Mass for example, scattered throughout their previous nine studio albums. Much better are the opening two tracks - Watchtower On The Moon with a great driving riff and a strong melodic half tempo chorus. Unforgiven is darker and more dynamic with a strong hook - classic Threshold at their best. The other killer is Siren Sky for its slow brooding riff.

Anyone who's familiar with Threshold will know what to expect. The musicianship is as always spot on and the production typical Karl Groom and Richard West, powerful, clear if a little clinical. Overall a very good album with a few unexceptional tracks robbing it of great status. For The Journey sits in the middle of the league table of Threshold albums. 3 ˝ stars.

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 March Of Progress by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 371 ratings

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March Of Progress
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars That's it, it's the end of the world as we know it! Topsy bloody turvy! Yours truly, famous for having a huge collection devoid of any Dream Theater, Mastodon, Tool, Messhugah, etc? and looking at the Tech/Extreme prog-metal section of PA and going, what is this? has finally decided to give the chugga-chugga a chance. Up to now, my prog-metal was revolving around Roswell Six, Queensryche, Ayreon, Mastermind, a single Shadow Gallery album , a single Iron Maiden recording and Opeth's very soft "Damnation". Pfff, limp, I know. Well, I always felt that metal was like jazz and blues, it needed to be a live experience to be truly enjoyed. So I decided that in my golden age, I was going to prove to myself that I can rock, hard and long (LOL) with headphones on. So I got hooked up with a few vids, read a few glowing reviews and really liked "Ashes" as well as "That's Why We Came", certainly enough to pull the amazon trigger. I knew of Damian and Karl from their associations with the more neo-heavy prog scene but the rest were revelations, especially drummer Johanne James kicking some serious butt. The mail was particularly rapid as my CD arrived within a few days, here in the country music hotbed that is Calgary (stop giggling, you silly cowboys) and I wasted no time in getting cranked up and harassing my neighbours with torrential guitars. So I downed a case of Red Bull, swallowed 12 Viagra pills, united 'March of Progress" with my vintage Danish Bang & Olufsen system and my girlfriend's funeral is now set for mid-week!

The terrific "Ashes" pummels forth, slicing through the sweltering synths and getting all bothered up, the guitars hammering fast and hard, with Damian Wilson soaring like some leather-lunged oil-rigger on speed. There is nothing innovative here really, nor is it particularly scary, just tightly played prog-metal of the highest melodic content possible. In fact, it comes across like Maiden with a keyboard player! But what do I know, being such a novice at this type of head-banging stuff. I deeply enjoyed the wah-wah solo from Groom or is it Morten? a trait that is sorely missed in the more conventional neo-symph-crossover shrines that I pray to. Any music fan would enjoy this opening blast.

The more mid-tempo steamroller "Return of the Thought Police" is not only a highly reflective piece with serious subject matter but the music is nuanced enough to attract the simpletons as well as the technocrats. The dual guitar hammer solidly, the keys bubble and the drums pound mercilessly. 'I promise you', he says!

"Staring at the Sun" is lethally sharp and honed, as if a condemned man is looking up at some out of control guillotine and wondering when the basket will fill with his blood. The keys offer both eerie piano and bubbling synths, bullied by the screeching lead guitar solo that punches ahead. Damian Wilson can sure sing high notes, BTW!

"Liberty Complacency Dependency" is shorter on melody and more focused on blasting away in a different style that I find has always been my difficulty with metal (it's too smart for its own good at times) , somewhat in contrast to country in that it's not smart enough for its own good! I understand that this style is more attuned to the dedicated rockers out there.

"Colophon" is a more like it, a moody rocker that shuttles forward with interesting breaks, some piano and clanging guitar providing a different doom-laden vibe. By this time, I find myself tiring from all the pummeling. Thankfully, "The Hours" comes to the rescue, a cinematographic epic that transcends the power rock formula by offering a more diverse palette of sound, thrashing guitar onslaughts notwithstanding. Damian is more down to earth here, mellifluous and yet bold, a studied exercise in prog-metal singing. The instrumental break buzzes with dual guitar electricity and a hint of classical symphonics, a track that I enjoyed very much.

The video for "That's Why We Came" is what hooked me, an ultra-stimulating melody that sticks from the very first note, reminding me more of Roswell Six's classic first album. Wilson again displays intense versatility. A real cool melody that could have easily been on an Arena album, standard melodic genius and perfect delivery.

The tortuous "Don't Look Down" is a sly little devil, starting out quite conventional (Read: boring) before evolving into a sensational level of contrasting sections , alternating between heavy and light, complex and accessible, stop/starts on a dime, shifting riffs and blustery axe solos. A bloody whirlwind that took me by surprise. I did look down, in shame, blast!

Peter Morten's comp "Coda" is described as a Judas Priest-like tune (I don't know Judas that well but I do like leather, lol), machinegun-like attack, careening drums, explosive bass and a rather hysteric vocal. Hmm, not bad, maybe I should check out Priest, wot? Definitely, off the beaten path.

The 10 minute epic "Rubicon" is the final nail in my ignorant coffin, a sublime piece dedicated to that moment in everyone's life when indecision is relieved by the urgency to act, a decision to throw caution to the wind and take the plunge into uncertainty. Julius Caesar did it ("alea iacta est") in 49 BC, crossing his XIIIth Legion and thus forcing Rome's hand, passing the point of no return. This is the 'prog' part of prog-metal, using historical inspiration to write thunderous music. A bloody brilliant church organ segment really highlights the imperial bombast, as centurion Damianus Wilsonus bellows to the Coliseum faithful, thumb raised upward. The torrential guitars bluster, like a victorious legion returning from battle.

This megalodon album has sharp teeth, primal yearning and a relentless temperament that has ravaged my misgivings about prog-metal, offering a tantalizing platform to admire the lethal attributes this genre occasionally provides.

4 Evolutionary strides

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 For The Journey by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 99 ratings

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For The Journey
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by buddyblueyes

4 stars The Snickers of Progressive Metal.

Damian Wilson could sing about pomeranian puppies playing pattycake in the poppy fields and sell it in a way that would make the most ferocious, die hard metal fan ferris wheel their brain pan with school girl delight. For The Journey is Threshold 's sophomore follow up to March Of Progress, which found the band reuniting with Wilson after a long hiatus. March of Progress was a great title for an album that essentially got listeners fired up for revolution, ready to take the mutinous stance of opposition against big government, politics, and the economical greed of "the man." With pitchfork and torch in hands we were expecting the next vigilante theme song, the soundtrack for headhunting the 1%-ers throughout the world. For The Journey, however, leaves us standing confused amongst the ranks, without sonic leadership. The themes for this album were a little darker, more obscured and less abrasive. "Soft" you ask? Nah, there's a new facet, a dark creepy factor is ominously present, especially with songs like "The Box" or "Autumn Red." The lyrics are still somewhat fueled by malcontent and angst, like the previous release, but also foresee the barren, post-apocalyptic landscape -- the fallout, the aftermath. Perhaps Frank Herbert got it right with Children Of Dune: the blossoming of every revolution already contains within it the seeds for it's own destruction, even if victorious. [note: don't read that statement while stoned or you'll ponder the complexity and forget to breathe for a duration which may cause you to black out.]

Threshold is a band that understands their "sound" and there's a specific direction and philosophy that has remained strongly consistent throughout much of their discography. They have solidified their position as one of the best prog metal bands out there, having catchier lyrics, hooks, and melodies than the countless Dream Theater clones (and perhaps even DT themselves!). Threshold remains the most accessible of the prog metal acts. They stay laser-focused on proven song structures and formulas, but it's done so well you find yourself not asking for something experimental. It works. It satisfies. It's the Snickers of progressive metal.

For the Journey is another solid release. The musicianship is superb. There's a quiet reserve about the musicians that hint at a skill set that can easily keep up with the most young, tech/extreme bands out there. But Threshold is mature enough to ask: why would they want to? What's the point? Do they spotlight themselves or the song? The songs take priority. Period. Not to say there's not some dynamic playing, though, just check out the drum break at 3:35 of "Autumn Red" if you're questioning the chops. A few extra spins concludes this release fares up there with March Of Progress. Now if the guys can only make their way to the US for some touring! That would make this reviewer happier than pomeranian puppies playing... well, you get the point.

Wishful concert band pairing: Pagan's Mind.

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 For The Journey by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 99 ratings

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For The Journey
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by PlanetRodentia2

4 stars Life in Transition

To appreciate this album, I had to set aside my expectations of this being March Of Progress 2. March Of Progress was my introduction to Threshold, and, after perusing their catalog from Extinct Instinct to the present, I came to the impression that it was their masterpiece. Conceived after the death of their lead singer Mac, the return of Damian Wilson as vocalist, and a successful tour, March Of Progress proved that Threshold could not only survive but thrive, and the excitement of that rebirth, I think, infused the album with passion and excitement, regardless of how dark the songs were lyrically or musically. Despite the change in direction lyrically, I expected For The Journey to be imbued with the same joie de vivre. I was wrong, but that's a good thing.

For The Journey examines character traits required for life's journey by viewing life if those traits are lacking. It's an unexpectedly dark approach that works. As always, the musicianship is high, the vocals are great - perhaps Damian Wilson's most nuanced effort with Threshold - and the lyrics are smart, though not as sophisticated as on March Of Progress. If you can accept that the album will be at turns cold, morose, and even creepy before there's hope on the horizon, then you might find yourself enjoying this album quite a bit.

"Watchtower on the Moon" opens the album with the thesis that flawed character hurts everyone. Lyrically, it's a solid introduction to the album's concept. Although the song feels like "Ashes" from March Of Progress at first, it quickly becomes clear that For The Journey is a different album altogether. The use of 2nd person and the processed voices of the chorus lend it a clinical air that's a bit cold, but the instrumentals are fiery and well-done.

"Unforgiven" explores forgiveness and repentence in their absence. It's also dark. Wilson displays a fine dynamic range, and the background vocals from other band members are welcome. My major complaint is the fade out ending with some guitar noodling; it doesn't really seem to fit the song, but hints of this return later.

"The Box" is the epic progressive number. An actual story song, almost like some Greek tragedy, about the cost of embracing convenience and instant gratification (I think), the music shifts through many different moods and instrumentations, while the story unfolds from both personal and societal perspectives. Wilson's final confession is heartbreaking.

"Turned to Dust" puts Wilson through some interesting choppy vocal stylings. The chorus is very catchy. A strumming/shuddering motif appears in this song to be echoed in later songs - perhaps suggesting the glimpses of rousing from slumber.

"Lost in Your Memory" is a power ballad. It suits Wilson quite well.

"Autumn Red" continues, apparently, a series of songs about autumn. It's a great song but rather mysterious lyrically. Along with "Lost in Your Memory," it heralds a change in direction from darkness to glimpses of light and hope. Johanne James demonstrates some very good drumming here; I hope he's permitted to cut loose more in the future.

"The Mystery Show" is one of my favorite songs. By turns creepy and instructive, it explores the nature of knowledge, both temporal and spiritual.

Written by Pete Morten, who penned "Coda" and "Divinity" from March Of Progress, "Siren Sky" is the mountaintop experience of the album. The lyrics are smart, the music grand in the best sense, and the vocals pull out all the stops. The subtle shuddering motifs heard earlier take over, and the song becomes an awakening to the possibility of a new life. Rather than ending happily, For The Journey ends with an impassioned prayer.

"I Wish I Could" was penned by drummer Johanne James. (Why haven't they included this guy's songs on previous albums? It's good!) Alas, because it is a cover of an old song, it was saved as a bonus track and doesn't fit the album's concept by being placed at the end. It brings the mood of the album down, so keep in mind that it's not the true ending of the album's concept when listening to it.

Overall, the album effectively explores the cost of flawed character, the need for repentence, and the desire for change through a careful gradation of mood and color by means familiar and novel. Although much of the old Threshold is apparent in these songs, the new shines through: Wilson's more varied delivery stylistically and dynamically, the addition of new colors to the guitar and keyboard palettes, and a sense of experimentation born of confidence in the solidified lineup. It makes for an interesting journey.

It's hard for me to assign a rating to this album, because my appreciation for the album keeps increasing. Initially, I was disappointed in the predominating gray color of the album. "Siren Sky" won me over, and I've slowly grasped how the dark moods do give way to something more hopeful. I would have liked a final song that was truly uplifting - life after redemption - but that's not what Threshold wanted to deliver. For what it is, it's very good. I'm not quite convinced it's a masterpiece yet, but I have come to believe it is far better than just "good". Strongly recommended - just be prepared to take the time to properly digest it.

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 For The Journey by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 99 ratings

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For The Journey
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Threshold's second album with Damian Wilson back at the mike is somewhat slower and simpler affair (songs average 5 minutes with repetitive structure) than its bombastic predecessor. But pretty much sticks to the familiar formula of catchy heavy rock with adult-oriented rock and atmospheric Pink Floyd bits. It's designed for fist pumping and singing along alright, but I kinda feel a lack of inspiration. It's not that it's not very proggy, but too much here is repetitive and reminds of what we've heard on their records before - always a problem with such bands, but even more so. They could write such songs in their sleep. It looks more and more like the bands that started the new wave of heavy prog in the 90s, such as Dream Theater and Threshold, are running out of steam.

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 Extinct Instinct  by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.67 | 124 ratings

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Extinct Instinct
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by Raccoon

5 stars "Nightmare is coming and I hear the drumming of demons in the night."

Progressive Metal and I have a complicated relationship. I loved the classic Prog Metal groups (DT, Riverside, Symphony X), but other bands I'd only touch after years passed.

Yeah, it's that kind of relationship. So, I gave up! Stopped following the genre. Then? I saw For The Journey on New Releases, I went on a whim. Whenever I think I've discovered all the LEGENDARY bands, a few days pass and I end up finding another. This is the case with: Threshold.

Listening to Ashes from March of Progress first, I smiled maniacally. I knew This WAS something to write home about!! And so, my favorite album from Threshold Extinct Instinct rose from the grave.

After the disappointing Psychedelicatessen, they made up for their first loss. Taking a three-year hiatus, Threshold delivered this hour-long monster. Heavier than its predecessor (and much less silly?), this album devours your soul, rocks out, drinks a little too much, and pukes you back up.

"Exposed" kicks off with serious drums and an even serious-er guitar. Guitar solo, raunchy keyboards, and kicking your a**. The voice of Damian Wilson may be the BEST in Metal. Yep, a bold statement. Exposed drives 100 miles, rocks hard, only slowing down after the 6:25 time limit is up.

"Somatography" rings Wounded Land with its narrative. Till? 1 and a half minutes in, chunky guitars. High vocals of Damian coordinated with that same riff throughout. You can predict which direction the song's going, but in now way is that bad. It goes in the direction you want.

"Eat The Unicorn" is Threshold's best song. Yep, it's comparatively as epic as Relayer: A war of guitars, tough lyrics, only occasionally taking a break?an instrumental passage. These breaks, especially later (just look at the header's lyrics!! ^) are when the song shines. Then, shines brighter than originally imagined: "Unicorn so wild and free, balm my eyes, carry me home!" Followed up by wild guitars, perhaps topping the best-of Symphony X. The background vocals are reprised front-and-center in the conclusion. Subtle, brilliant.

"Forever" is the first 'ballad-y' song in Extinct? How many of you readers turned away from my review after reading that..? Guess what, it's not a bad ballad! Glistening chimes and Damian's powerful voice lead you on every word. No sign of cheese here!!

"Virtual Isolation" echoes through each ear. The bulk builds, heavy track. A 100 pounds of metal riffs dig into your brain. Then the vocals of Damian reach the clouds. You could almost see him. It continues, octane raising ever-so slightly. Begins like any other track, though it leads to something wonderful.

"The Whispering" is lyric-based. Catchy chorus, and STILL real heavy! That takes skill. Still, no smell of cheese. Oh, and that chorus: "IF THEY SAID GO, WOULD YOU GO?" A mellow guitar suite, nearly lulling you to sleep after that brutal guitar ear-rape. You hear all ranges of Damian, from sweet to ungodly dark. Hail Damian.

"Lake of Despond" is right up there with "Unicorn" for epics on this. Keyboards are prominent and power, for nearly the first time. The echoing guitars suck you in to their world, until the all-powerful voice of Damian guides you through hell. "This is not a lethal wait, but it can BE a sort of decep-tion!" Not only is the chorus catchy-as-hell, (get the pun?!?) it also leads to? Can you guess..? Another great ballad! So begins:

"Clear," another showcase for Damian's talents, brightening up the mood. This song's comfort-food. A laxative from all the s*** the previous songs hit you with.

"Life Flow" chimes with a gong. What's a better way to start..? This leads to another soaring chorus, belting keyboards (credit to you, Richard West), ending with Mark Heaney's drums.

Part of the Chaos gives me a 'desert' vibe. The tempo, chorus, and riffs all shift throughout. If you want a prog song, there you are. 'Nuff said.

Overall, a LONG, but rewarding album. I had a hard time going through the full hour the first time I listened. Then you realize: You're constantly thinking of those choruses. Damian's godly voice. Karl Groom's chunky guitars. Richard West giving the music just the right dose of melody and light-heartedness that this rough diamond needs, and Mark Heaney's constant hard-hitting drums. You've got yourself a Metal Masterpiece. Remains as my favorite Threshold album. You can already guess I can listen to the full 77 minutes now? JUST LISTEN TO IT!!!

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