THRESHOLD

Progressive Metal • United Kingdom
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A progressive metal band from the South of England, consisting of Damian Wilson (vocals), Karl Groom (guitar), Richard West (keyboards), Steve Anderson (bass), Johanne James (drums) and Pete Morten (guitar).

The band's early years saw four highly acclaimed albums released through the independent label GEP. After some line-up changes and many tours in Europe alongside bands such as Dream Theater, Threshold signed to Inside Out Music in 2000.

The albums "Hypothetical" and "Critical Mass" were released in 2001 and 2002, enjoying chart success in Europe while creating a strong reputation with both fans and the music press alike. A live DVD/CD set entitled "Critical Energy" was subsequently released at the beginning of 2004, while Threshold returned to the studio to record their most successful studio album to date, "Subsurface".

In early 2007, founding member Nick Midson (guitar) announced he is taking a break from the band, largely driven by wanting
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Thanks to [email protected], graphix, colt, DippoMagoo, adg211288 for the updates

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Legends Of The ShiresLegends Of The Shires
Metalville Mod 2017
$11.12
$19.73 (used)
Ravages of TimeRavages of Time
Inside Out U.S. 2007
$34.89 (used)
March of ProgressMarch of Progress
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$8.22
$6.39 (used)
For the JourneyFor the Journey
Metalville Mod 2014
$10.27
$8.00 (used)
Wounded LandWounded Land
Special Edition · Reissued · Extra tracks
Nuclear Blast Int'L 2012
$8.24
$13.26 (used)
HypotheticalHypothetical
Inside Out U.S. 2001
$14.95
$7.57 (used)
Critical Mass: Definitive EditionCritical Mass: Definitive Edition
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Int'L 2012
$8.17
$6.34 (used)
Subsurface: Definitive EditionSubsurface: Definitive Edition
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Int'L 2012
$7.49
$17.44 (used)
Critical EnergyCritical Energy
Inside Out U.S. 2004
$89.99
$43.00 (used)
Legends Of The ShiresLegends Of The Shires
Nuclear Blast Records 2017
$20.66
$25.98 (used)
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THRESHOLD Discography

THRESHOLD albums / top albums

THRESHOLD Wounded Land album cover 3.78 | 20 ratings
Wounded Land
Progressive Metal 1993
THRESHOLD Psychedelicatessen album cover 3.51 | 17 ratings
Psychedelicatessen
Progressive Metal 1994
THRESHOLD Extinct Instinct album cover 3.77 | 20 ratings
Extinct Instinct
Progressive Metal 1997
THRESHOLD Clone album cover 3.63 | 18 ratings
Clone
Progressive Metal 1998
THRESHOLD Hypothetical album cover 3.79 | 31 ratings
Hypothetical
Progressive Metal 2001
THRESHOLD Critical Mass album cover 3.99 | 26 ratings
Critical Mass
Progressive Metal 2002
THRESHOLD Subsurface album cover 4.15 | 27 ratings
Subsurface
Progressive Metal 2004
THRESHOLD Dead Reckoning album cover 3.76 | 34 ratings
Dead Reckoning
Progressive Metal 2007
THRESHOLD March Of Progress album cover 3.86 | 29 ratings
March Of Progress
Progressive Metal 2012
THRESHOLD For The Journey album cover 3.77 | 15 ratings
For The Journey
Progressive Metal 2014
THRESHOLD Legends Of The Shires album cover 4.76 | 9 ratings
Legends Of The Shires
Progressive Metal 2017

THRESHOLD EPs & splits

THRESHOLD live albums

THRESHOLD Livedelica album cover 3.64 | 3 ratings
Livedelica
Progressive Metal 1995
THRESHOLD Critical Energy album cover 4.40 | 5 ratings
Critical Energy
Progressive Metal 2004
THRESHOLD European Journey album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
European Journey
Progressive Metal 2015

THRESHOLD demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

THRESHOLD First Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
First Demo
Progressive Metal 1989
THRESHOLD Mother Earth album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Earth
Progressive Metal 1990
THRESHOLD Cult Of The Immortal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cult Of The Immortal
Progressive Metal 1991
THRESHOLD Decadent album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Decadent
Progressive Metal 1999
THRESHOLD Concert In Paris album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Concert In Paris
Progressive Metal 2002
THRESHOLD Wireless: Acoustic Sessions album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Wireless: Acoustic Sessions
Non-Metal 2003
THRESHOLD Replica album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Replica
Progressive Metal 2004
THRESHOLD Surface to Stage album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Surface to Stage
Progressive Metal 2006
THRESHOLD Paradox: The Singles Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Paradox: The Singles Collection
Progressive Metal 2009

THRESHOLD re-issues & compilations

THRESHOLD The Best Of Threshold: The Ravages Of Time album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Threshold: The Ravages Of Time
Progressive Metal 2007

THRESHOLD singles (4)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pressure
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 1 ratings
Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Supermassive Black Hole
Progressive Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Watchtower on the Moon
Progressive Metal 2014

THRESHOLD movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.52 | 9 ratings
Critical Energy
Progressive Metal 2004

THRESHOLD Reviews

THRESHOLD Legends Of The Shires

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Back when I was discovering metal I moved through hearing bands in multiple genres before one genre stood out for me. That genre was progressive metal. That was the first metal genre I could really say I loved. I discovered both big names like Dream Theater, Ayreon and Opeth and lesser known acts such as Anubis Gate and Darkology. One band that I know I became aware of early on in my journey of discovering progressive metal was the UK band Threshold. This would of course have been through the Ayreon connection, as vocalist Damian Wilson guested on multiple releases and other projects of mastermind Arjen Lucassen.

Wilson was fairly recently re-inducted into the band at that time, for his third stint with them, so the then current material I heard from Threshold instead featured vocalist Andrew "Mac" McDermott, who sadly passed away in 2011, and was from their Dead Reckoning (2007) album, at the time their latest release. For some reason, it didn't grab me. I remember one of the songs I heard quite distinctly though. Slipstream. It seemed a far cry from the kind of stuff that I was listening to at the time and didn't inspire me to explore the band much further than that. I therefore remained largely incurious through the release of a further two albums with Wilson, though I did hear the band's third album Extinct Instinct (1997), also a Wilson fronted release, in that time through a friend and enjoyed it without being completed won over by the band.

With Wilson departed from Threshold once again, they've re-inducted another previous vocalist, Glynn Morgan, who to date had only sang on their second album Psychedelicatessen (1994). If that had been the one album I had heard in full by this point, I may have been more curious when this new line-up released Legends of the Shires (2017), their eleventh album. But no, what really made me decided to check this out was a twofold thing: it's a double album and ever since Ayreon I've always been a sucker for a double progressive metal album. But also was how well regarded it was quickly becoming, being ranked higher on 2017 progressive metal lists than even the likes of Ayreon, Anubis Gate and Mastodon. So I checked it out.

Man, am I ever glad that I did! Legends of the Shires is not only a great album, but it also made me realise that for over ten years there's been a Threshold sized hole in my album collection. This one will proudly be the first one, of what I plan to be many, to plug it.

The two disc release spans a total of just over eighty minutes, so it's only just over what a single CD can fit. This will no doubt make it seem a bit less daunting to approach than some double albums that can last for over two hours. Things are kicked off with The Shire (Part 1), a short acoustic introduction, albeit one that does feature vocals, before the first metal song, Small Dark Lines, really gets the album underway. This is a good one, quite catchy but with a real proggy solo section, but if there's a track here that's going to sell you early on, as it did me, it's the epic third one The Man Who Saw Through Time, which at just shy of twelve minutes is the album's longest song. This is a exemplary example of the progressive metal genre, featuring twists and turns, heavy and soft passages, plenty of soloing with both guitar and keyboard, but linked together by a strong vocal and lyric so it still sounds like a song instead of aimless noddling.

Three more excellent tracks take us to the end of the first disc, with some symphonic elements appearing starting with Trust the Process. Disc 2 then kicks off with The Shire (Part 2), which is musically and lyrically a throwback to the first part, though it's over twice the length and more like a full song in its own right this time and unlike Part 1, turns metal after a time. There's another brief recursion of this, The Shire (Part 3), later in the second disc. I do find the second disc to be a bit weaker than the first but there's still plenty of enjoyable material on offer, including another ten minute plus number, Lost in Translation. Despite the eighty-plus minute total length, it's a pretty easy album to take in one sitting, though can just as easily be broken into two chunks with each disc if preferred.

One thing's for sure about the whole thing though, Threshold know their craft, with plenty of riffs, melodies, progressiveness and most importantly memorable songs making up the album. Glynn Morgan, who let's be fair has to be thought of as that guy who sang on one Threshold album over twenty years ago and whose name isn't near as often associated as the voice of the band as much as Damian Wilson or Andrew "Mac" McDermott, proves to be something of a dark horse. His melodic voice is pretty stunning from start to finish, which really helps those lyrical hooks stay with you.

Threshold are old hands at this game now, and they're really showing the young guns how its done with Legends of the Shires (and maybe a certain founding father too after their own still recent double effort). I'm just sorry it took so long for me to catch on to how good they are. Legends of the Shires is undoubtedly deserving of all the praise it can get.

THRESHOLD Legends Of The Shires

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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Nightfly
I’ve followed Threshold for most of their career and during that time they’ve released some truly excellent albums. There have also been a few treading water moments that were always at least solid but they’ve never released a bad album for sure. Pick of the bunch for me would be 2001’s Hypothetical and March Of Progress from 2012. It was on these that they got the balance just right between the progressive and metal elements as well as some damn fine songs that as well as packing considerable punch contained strong melodies. Now of course melodic progressive metal has always been these guy’s style but I found 2014’s For The Journey, whilst not a disaster by any means, a little ordinary after March Of Progress. It also marked the last album to feature vocalist Damian Wilson. To most bands this would be a major blow but fortunately they were able to recruit former Threshold vocalist from the Psychedelicatessen (I spelt that without checking – impressive hey!) era Glynn Morgan. That was another excellent piece of work from the band and probably their least prog album. Ironically Morgan has returned for their most progressive album yet and I’m pleased to say it joins that elite club of Threshold favourites for me.

Legends Of The Shires is a long album – a double no less stretching to over an hour and twenty minutes. It could have gone pear shaped but fortunately Threshold mainstays Karl Groom and Richard West have crafted some of the best songs of their career. Bassist Steve Anderson also gets a look in composing On The Edge, one of the less proggy moments, but a good driving piece of metal nonetheless. An album of this length needs diversity, dynamics plenty of time/tempo changes to keep the listeners attention for this long and they’re in no shortage here. One of the albums strengths is the inventive use of melody with sometimes clever twists and turns taking the song in an unexpected direction. This happens both vocally and musically with some excellent solos from West and Groom, his searing guitar work impressive as always. Morgan proves to be an inspired choice and a more than worthy replacement for Wilson. He’s nearer to sadly deceased former singer Andrew “Mac” McDermott in style and able to deliver a strong melody with plenty of power. The material ranges from the acoustic intro of The Shire (Part 1), the obligatory ballad in State Of Independence to the heavier Threshold metal like Small Dark Lines and Superior Machine. Much of the material as is the way with more progressive songs contains elements of all the above, no better exemplified than in the two longest compositions – The Man Who Saw Through Time and Lost In Translation. Both are album highlights, the latter in particular blowing me away, but there’s still no shortage of diversity in some of the relatively shorter pieces with some compelling twists driven by the excellent drumming of Johanne James.

By upping the prog quotient this is not one of the heavier Threshold albums which is not a problem at all for me, especially with melodies this strong. There’s not a weak moment on the entire album – okay The Shire (Part 3) is a bit throwaway but it only lasts just over a minute. Anyone who has a liking for Threshold should love this. The only problem is how they are going to top it next time.

THRESHOLD For The Journey

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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Nightfly
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 recently. 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.

THRESHOLD Wounded Land

Album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
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Losimba
I admit that Threshold is one of my two favourite bands, the other being Celtic Rock veterans Runrig. For those who think "Huh?", there are some unexpected 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 and cliche-ridden as another reviewer suggests, there are more than enough prog and metal bands with fantasy as their only topic, and hey, something can be well-written even if I don't agree with the point made) 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 happily go for 4.5 which I couldn't do over at progarchives. By the way, the 1993 Runrig album Alba contains some really good songs, but is summa summarum considerably weaker than Wounded Land.

THRESHOLD March Of Progress

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Threshold's March of Progress sees them knocking out a brand of prog metal which draws on the same sort of melodramatic emotional hysteria that Muse have made their own. The preceding Dead Reckoning, their final album with Andrew McDermott on lead vocals, proved to have a woefully ironic title, since McDermott died in 2011 after leaving the band.

Many groups would be knocked off their stride by such a blow, but Threshold instead seem to have risen to the challenge. It helped that they had acquired the aid of Damian Wilson, their original vocalist; this represents his third stint as frontman of the band (having stepped into the role briefly in 1997 between the departure of Glynn Morgan and the arrival of Andrew), and it's the strong performance from him this time around which really keeps this together. Between this and the first release from Headspace, 2012 was truly a busy year for Wilson, and any band which can count on his services is lucky to have him, though musically speaking this album seems more a matter of treading water than breaking new ground.

THRESHOLD Movies Reviews

THRESHOLD Critical Energy

Movie · 2004 · Progressive Metal
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rdtprog
This DVD show the band in top form with some close shots that give you the impression of being there in this small venue. The music is excellent because it's a band that play a very melodic and emotional prog metal just on the border of power metal but with a original sound. Mac the vocalist has a great voice. Here he challenges the fans between some songs with a kind of self-confident look that is funny to watch. The other musicians are also interesting to watch especially the guitar work of Karl Groom and the drums of the athletic Johanne James. If the picture is not that great the 5.1 surround sound is full, well balanced between the front and the rear speakers.

In conclusion, a show that you have to see, great performance, by a great band that plays some of their best songs from their catalogue.

THRESHOLD Critical Energy

Movie · 2004 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SouthSideoftheSky
Live flow

This impressive live DVD captures Threshold performing a career-spanning set of songs in front of an appreciative Dutch audience. Every studio album up to and including Critical Mass is represented here and they have very wisely chosen not to let any particular album dominate the set list. Two songs are taken from the classic debut, Wounded Land; two from Psychedelicatessen; three from Extinct Instinct; three from Clone; four from Hypothetical and four from Critical Mass. My favourite Threshold albums are the early ones, especially those two with Damian Wilson on lead vocals, but Andrew McDermott, or "Mac" as he is called, handles the songs originally sung by Wilson and also those by originally sung Glynn Morgan very well.

All the selections here are very good but one of several highlights for me is the short acoustic section in the middle of the set that makes the show varied and lets the viewer catch his breath before another Prog Metal onslaught. The acoustic songs played are Clear and Life Flow, both originally from the Extinct Instinct album. Another highlight is Paradox from the debut on which both the audience and the band are on fire.

The band is in top form throughout with the drummer in particular ponding the drums like a madman! And he never seems to get tired either. Karl Groom may not be much of a show man, but he is a fantastic guitarist and he seems to enjoy himself a lot on stage. Mac is, on the other hand, a show man who moves around a lot on stage and interacts with the audience. He has a strange sense of humour though, telling the audience to shut up and go home and similar rude things! But that's the way he is, I guess.

Overall, I think that the set list is very well balanced and that the band performs their songs with impeccable skill and enthusiasm. There might be some overdubs in the vocals, but not very noticeable. The sound is great. The DVD includes a few extras such as a tour documentary which is interesting to watch once or twice perhaps.

A great live document by a great band!

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