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 m@x, graphix, colt, DippoMagoo, adg211288 for the updates

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THRESHOLD Discography

THRESHOLD albums / top albums

THRESHOLD Wounded Land album cover 3.93 | 26 ratings
Wounded Land
Progressive Metal 1993
THRESHOLD Psychedelicatessen album cover 3.57 | 23 ratings
Psychedelicatessen
Progressive Metal 1994
THRESHOLD Extinct Instinct album cover 3.89 | 24 ratings
Extinct Instinct
Progressive Metal 1997
THRESHOLD Clone album cover 3.69 | 23 ratings
Clone
Progressive Metal 1998
THRESHOLD Hypothetical album cover 4.02 | 36 ratings
Hypothetical
Progressive Metal 2001
THRESHOLD Critical Mass album cover 4.11 | 31 ratings
Critical Mass
Progressive Metal 2002
THRESHOLD Subsurface album cover 4.25 | 33 ratings
Subsurface
Progressive Metal 2004
THRESHOLD Dead Reckoning album cover 3.83 | 40 ratings
Dead Reckoning
Progressive Metal 2007
THRESHOLD March Of Progress album cover 4.19 | 31 ratings
March Of Progress
Progressive Metal 2012
THRESHOLD For The Journey album cover 3.74 | 21 ratings
For The Journey
Progressive Metal 2014
THRESHOLD Legends Of The Shires album cover 4.76 | 19 ratings
Legends Of The Shires
Progressive Metal 2017
THRESHOLD Dividing Lines album cover 4.60 | 8 ratings
Dividing Lines
Progressive Metal 2022

THRESHOLD EPs & splits

THRESHOLD live albums

THRESHOLD Livedelica album cover 3.85 | 4 ratings
Livedelica
Progressive Metal 1995
THRESHOLD Critical Energy album cover 4.80 | 6 ratings
Critical Energy
Progressive Metal 2004
THRESHOLD European Journey album cover 4.45 | 2 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 3.00 | 1 ratings
Decadent
Progressive Metal 1999
THRESHOLD Concert In Paris album cover 4.42 | 3 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 | 3 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 Two - Zero - One - Seven album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Two - Zero - One - Seven
Progressive Metal 2018

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 Dividing Lines

Album · 2022 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Who'd have thought that twelve albums deep and with Glynn Morgan back on lead vocals Threshold would have dropped perhaps their magnum opus? The band describe this as taking the sound of Legends of the Shires in a darker direction, and that's certainly accurate, with Richard West's keyboards taking on a chilly, almost cyberpunk quality to them and the lighter power metal influences on the prior album are dialled back, yielding an album which is both one of their proggiest and one of their heaviest (even working in the odd bit of harsh vocals more effectively than any of their previous brief experiments with such). The lyrical focuses of the band from their earliest years have never been more relevant than they are here in the 2020s, and they take aim at them here with pinpoint accuracy, yielding one of the angriest and most relevant albums Threshold have ever put out.

THRESHOLD Legends Of The Shires

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Legends of the Shires sees Glynn Morgan return to the post of lead singer of Threshold, having only appeared on Psychedelicatessen (and its associated live album Livedelica) previously. Eight albums later - one with Damian Wilson on lead vocals, five with Andrew "Mac" McDermott, and two more with a returning Damian Wilson - Morgan stepped back in to perform a cunning dual replacement, taking over for Wilson on vocals and from Pete Morten on rhythm guitar.

This means that in principle Threshold has a somewhat slimmed-down lineup on this one, making do with five members where usually they have six. The main past precedent is Dead Reckoning, where Karl Groom took on rhythm guitar along with all of his other duties, but this arrangement seems to work better. In terms of vocals, Morgan seems to be a bit less generic than he was on Psychedelicatessen - he'd already improved somewhat on Livedelica, and it seems like he hasn't been a slouch since.

On a musical level, the album finds Threshold updating their sound via mild borrowings from Muse and the world of power metal; they're still staying squarely in the particular melodic prog metal territory they've staked out for themselves, but they've enriched its sound nicely, with some of the nicest production work I've ever heard on a Threshold release. (And that's saying something given that Karl Groom is no slouch as a producer, being the head honcho at Thin Ice Studios in his side gig.)

Threshold tend to evolve their sound rather than revolutionising it, but this is one of the bigger evolutionary steps - as significant of one as, say, Hypothetical. And whilst this is the band's first double studio albums, this is no dive into quantity over quality - it's this long because they had enough album-worthy material to deploy. It's a true gem of their discography, and when bands are turning out some of their best work this deep into their career, that's a sign of true tenacity.

THRESHOLD European Journey

Live album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Damian Wilson returned to Threshold to do them a solid - after their previous singer, Andrew "Mac" McDermott left abruptly after the completion of the Dead Reckoing album, they needed someone to take up the microphone for their upcoming tour, and with Wilson having been the singer on their debut, Wounded Land, and their third album, Extinct Instinct, bringing him onboard made total sense.

At the same time, after two more studio albums he parted ways with them again - but at least on this go around he was able to record a really top flight live album with them. Unless there's tapes from old gigs from the Wounded Land or Extinct Instinct days sat in the Threshold archives somewhere, this is essentially the only way we're going to hear a live setlist from the band with Wilson fronting, and it's a damn good thing we did.

With For the Journey being a bit of a lukewarm release by Threshold's often high standards, it's good to hear material from it given more life here, and the band also give a good airing to material from March of Progress and a cross section of the Mac-era albums, giving Wilson a chance to demonstrate his emotive, borderline theatrical style of vocals.

If there's one thing which is a bit of a shame about this release, it's that there's only one song here from Extinct Instinct (Part of the Chaos), and absolutely nothing from Wounded Land - so I think it would still be worth Threshold's while poking about their old tapes to see if there's any live material from the early days they can release, because not having any live cuts with Wilson on vocals from their debut feels like a bit of a gap.

Still, given the high standards the band have maintained over the years, it's understandable why early albums would get crowded out of the setlist, and that old material did at least appear on other live albums fronted by other vocalists. By comparison, much of the material here wasn't on prior live albums (the band having not put out a major live release since Surface To Stage). If this must be the end of Damian Wilson's story with Threshold, then it certainly leaves him with a track record of the group he can be enduringly proud of.

THRESHOLD For The Journey

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Threshold's final studio album with Damian Wilson to date is another competent slice of melodic prog metal of the sort we're well-used to getting from the band. Indeed, that's kind of the issue - the band really feel like they are going through the motions a bit here, perhaps entering the studio a bit too soon after March of Progress before they had cooked up a solid slate of material (recent studio albums have tended to have longer gaps between them, after all). Wilson's vocals seem to take on a bit of influence from Peter Nicholls from IQ, but otherwise this is much the same as we've had from them. It's good, don't get me wrong, but little of it actually stands out beyond the powerful opening track Watchtower On the Moon.

THRESHOLD Dead Reckoning

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
OK, let's address the elephant in the room: this was Andrew "Mac" McDermott's final album with Threshold. With five studio albums under his belt at lead vocalist, he set a record in the role that still hasn't been beat (Damian Wilson was on four but then left again, and Glynn Morgan is on three at the moment). And unfortunately, there will never be another Threshold studio album with mac on lead vocals - because he died tragically young in 2011, after an illness which so far as is known was a total shock to his former bandmates, adding grim irony to the title of this album.

Mac made no secret about his reasons for leaving: the statement he released at the time stated plainly that his work with Threshold just wasn't paying the bills, to the point where his girlfriend was having to work overtime so that he could afford to go on tour with them, and he was fed up of having no money and passing up better-paying opportunities due to the demands of being the Threshold frontman. This may seem shocking to some, but we should all remember that not all the musical acts out there earn masses of money - especially in niche genres like progressive metal. Sure, the other members seem able to make ends meet, but how many of them have been able to supplement that with side hustles, like Karl Groom's work as a producer at his Thin Ice Studios facility?

One has to wonder whether Dead Reckoning might itself be the product of Mac (and maybe other members of the band) feeling something of a pinch, because it feels like an attempt to steer the band's sound a bit away from the "prog" side of their sound and a bit more towards a more conventional "metal" approach. It's not a complete reconfiguration, mind - Pilot In the Sky of Dreams, in particular, is as prog metal a workout as they've ever done, and the guitar solo at the close of One Degree Down sounds an awful lot like a tribute to The Black Knight by Groom's pals in Pendragon.

Still, there's heavier riffs and a few harsh vocals this time around, when previously they'd consistently been a clean vocals band, and in general an air of a band in transition, perhaps not altogether sure of where they are going. Dead Reckoning is, after all, a term from navigation - perhaps the band not too subtly signalling that Threshold were dabbling with changes of direction here.

It's frequently been the case that I've tried out a Threshold album I've not heard before, not been too sure about it early on, but found that it's won me over the span of it - aside from Hypothetical and Subsurface, their album openers generally don't grab me. The effect is stronger than ever here, with opening numbers Slipstream and This Is Your Life doing little for me and the album only really beginning to click for me from Elusive onwards. The back part of the album makes up for the shaky start, however, though equally I find that Mac's vocals here are comparatively unmemorable set next to his excellent work on the run from Hypothetical to Subsurface, lacking the passion he'd proved himself capable of previously.

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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