THRESHOLD — Critical Mass — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

THRESHOLD - Critical Mass cover
4.11 | 31 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 2002


1. Phenomenon (5:28)
2. Choices (8:19)
3. Falling Away (6:53)
4. Fragmentation (6:34)
5. Echoes Of Life (8:55)
6. Round And Round (5:26)
7. Avalon (4:45)
8. Critical Mass (13:34)

Total Time 59:57


- Karl Groom / guitar (lead)
- Johanne James / drums
- Jon Jeary / bass guitar
- Andrew "Mac" McDermott / vocals
- Nick Midson / guitar (rhythm)
- Richard West / keyboards

About this release

InsideOut Music
September 2nd, 2002

Limited Edition has a bonus disc with the following tracklist:

1. Phenomenon (edit) (3:47)
2. Do Unto Them (4:27)
3. New Beginning (5:29)

Reissued and remastered as Definitive Edition in 2012 by Nuclear Blast with the following bonus tracks:

9. Do Unto Them (4:27)
10. New Beginning (5:30)
11. Echoes Of Live (Live In Switzerland) (8:29)

Thanks to colt, Lynx33 for the updates


More places to buy metal & THRESHOLD music


Specialists/collaborators reviews

Having had something of a breakthrough on their previous album, Hypothetical, Critical Mass establishes another landmark for Threshold: six studio albums deep into their career, they've finally managed to put out a release where the band lineup was the same as on the previous album. It's a moment of stability which wouldn't last - Jon Jeary would depart after this, replaced on bass by Steve Anderson - but the days of the Threshold lineup being in near-constant flux were well in the past here. Mac's vocals, in particular, are really coming into their own.

Musically speaking, the band don't simply turn in Hypothetical Part 2: instead, to my ears it seems that they shift their sonic balance a little, offering more touches of the Marillion-influenced neo-prog which had always been part of their sound (it's the "prog" component in their "prog metal" blend), with more gentle moments sitting beside the explosive melodic metal material here than had previously been the case.

Once again, it's an album I take a while to ease into - really, one thing which seems to be regular with Threshold's studio albums is that they don't necessarily start out strong, with Hypothetical really being the only one prior to this to avoid that. Still, if you give the album a chance and show patience, it shows another side of Threshold which was always somewhat present, but had never been showcased to this extent prior to this.
Conor Fynes
'Critical Mass' - Threshold (87%)

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

Members reviews

No THRESHOLD CRITICAL MASS reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • adg211288
  • The T 666
  • Losimba
  • era_serph
  • kalacho
  • Alex
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • theaterd
  • Khabarov
  • 666sharon666
  • Nightfly
  • powermetal2000
  • cennsor
  • ElGordoPopochas
  • Uknowntoall
  • SevDawg
  • stefanbedna
  • Anster
  • bassgeezer
  • cannon
  • aecht
  • IndianaJones
  • ollischr
  • Colt
  • spitf1r3
  • Fernandi
  • Phoenix87
  • Sleeper

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Legend Technical Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Funeral For A King Doom Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Make Me the Heart of the Black Hole Symphonic Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Moon Healer Technical Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Immerse Atmospheric Black Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us