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
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European JourneyEuropean Journey
Metalville 2015
Audio CD$10.95
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March of ProgressMarch of Progress
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THRESHOLD Discography

THRESHOLD albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.80 | 17 ratings
Wounded Land
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.83 | 14 ratings
Psychedelicatessen
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 17 ratings
Extinct Instinct
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.67 | 16 ratings
Clone
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.78 | 27 ratings
Hypothetical
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 21 ratings
Critical Mass
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.94 | 23 ratings
Subsurface
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.78 | 28 ratings
Dead Reckoning
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 25 ratings
March Of Progress
Progressive Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.10 | 12 ratings
For The Journey
Progressive Metal 2014

THRESHOLD EPs & splits

THRESHOLD live albums

.. Album Cover 3.98 | 2 ratings
Livedelica
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 5 ratings
Critical Energy
Progressive Metal 2004

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

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
First Demo
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Earth
Progressive Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cult Of The Immortal
Progressive Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Decadent
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Concert In Paris
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.17 | 4 ratings
Wireless: Acoustic Sessions
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Replica
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Surface to Stage
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Paradox: The Singles Collection
Progressive Metal 2009

THRESHOLD re-issues & compilations

.. 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
4.33 | 9 ratings
Critical Energy
Progressive Metal 2004

THRESHOLD Reviews

THRESHOLD For The Journey

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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 Extinct Instinct

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
When their third album was released in 1997, some three years after ‘Psychedelicatessen’, not only did the band have a new drummer but also a ‘new’ singer. Glynn Morgan had replaced Damian Wilson after the debut, only for him to in turn be replaced by Damian Wilson. Damian would only hang around long enough for this album before being replaced by Mac, before coming back yet again after the release of ‘Dead Reckoning’ in 2007. But, at the time of this recording the future was yet to unfold and although Glynn had done a good job, many fans (me included) were pleased to have Damian back as the frontman.

I think of all of their albums, this is the one that takes the longest to make an impact and I have never been able to work out why, possibly most of the stronger songs are to the end? No idea. All I know is that each time I play it I start off by thinking that it is a 3* album but by the end I am convinced that it is a solid 4*, and that happens every time, and I hate to think how many times over the years I have played this. Maybe that’s the point. I first heard and reviewed this album when it came out some 15 years ago and I still play it. True, I have just been sent this to review by Nuclear Blast which is why I am playing it so much at the present, but Threshold have never gone out of favour with me from the time I first heard ‘Wounded Land’. By the time that was released I knew Karl from Shadowland and Strangers On A Train and Damian from his solo work and Landmarq, yet Threshold blew me away, and still do. The understanding between keyboard player Richard West and his guitar-toting colleagues is second to none, and bassist/backing singer Jon Jeary was an awesome presence during his tenure. Mostly more metal than prog, this is an album of different shades and colours and they all come together in “Forever” which is a ballad, a symphonic masterpiece, and a brooding metallic monster all in under five minutes.

By the time ‘Clone’ came out the following year Damian was gone, and this album gets somewhat overlooked by many, but if you want metallic prog with stunning vocals, great melodies and musicianship then this is worthy of discovery. www.nuclearblast.de

THRESHOLD Hypothetical

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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voila_la_scorie
This is my third Threshold album and the first that I will review. I started out with 'Dead Reckoning' and later bought 2012's 'March of Progress'. Interested in hearing their older material and reading that 'Hypothetical' came highly recommended, I ordered this album next.

First, allow me to comment briefly on the two latest releases. I first listened to samples of 'March of Progress' and was blown away by the guitar sound. If a progressive metal band sounded this awesome in the guitar department, they were good enough for me. Furthermore, I was not yet ready for the death growl vocals of many metal bands, so the clean vocals of Threshold appealed to me. But 'Dead Reckoning' was cheaper and after a quick listen I found the guitar sound was the same and bought that album instead. Now, 'MoP' ranks as the number 11 album of 2012 on the Prog Archives and other reviewers said 'DR' was not as good. So after a few listens to 'DR' and being only mildly impressed, I decided to go for 'MoP' which I personally found was quite similar.

So, how about this older album from 2001? The first thing I noticed was that there was a little more keyboard work featured here. The later albums seem to use keyboards mostly as a rhythm instrument and for some effects, and piano (or synth piano) for the mellower moments. 'Hypothetical' includes some synthesizer solos which, for me, makes them sound a little more progressive oriented than the later albums which sound more commercial. In the 80's, any metal band that added synthesizer was most likely trying to appeal to the mainstream market, and among my friends and I, the synthesizer was almost a dirty word. So if a band is going to have a keyboard player on board, he'd better have more to do that just play rhythm chords that soften the heavy impact of the guitars.

Second, I noticed that the guitar sound was a bit grittier with more crunch to it. As Threshold already had impressed me with their guitar sound, I welcomed this to my ears openly.

Still, though, when all was consumed and digested, I couldn't help but think that this older album was still very similar to the later albums, notwithstanding the change in vocals from 'DR' to 'MoP'. Threshold are similar to Fates Warning in that they are not as technically complex as Dream Theater and instead go progressive by creating longer compositions with tempo and mood changes and add in some odd drum beats (though I'd say Fates Warning do more with the odd drum beats from what I've heard). Also like Fates Warning, Threshold often stick to the soft verse/loud chorus routine except they mix it up by doing a hard verse/melodic chorus pattern sometimes. Threshold adds a lot of melodic parts to their songs to contrast with the grittier heavy parts, but in the end the clean vocals and synthesizer prevent them from ever becoming really really heavy. I am sure most metal heads in the 80's would have peed themselves over that monster guitar sound, but by today's standards being that raunchy and heavy is pretty well, well standard. Generally speaking, while there are progressive moments, much of the music is still fairly ordinary heavy metal with clean vocals and melodic parts.

The three songs that stand out for me are 'Ravages of Time', 'Long Way Home', and 'Keep My Head', with nods to 'Turn On, Tune In' and 'Narcissus'. 'Ravages' has some of that gritty crunchy power chord guitar and sounds rather aggressive at first. The lyrics start of dealing with a theme that is of interest to me: how a single location changes over time as in a sea bed becomes a mountain range, a mountain range a plain, a plain a desert, and so on. The first half of the song keeps me listening but I find my attention wanders through the second half. 'Long Way Home' has some great heavy guitar and elements of progressive metal as I identify it. 'Keep My Head' is a metal band's take on what could be a late 70's or early 80's adult contemporary pop song. Maybe Glenn Hughes has something like this on one of his 90's albums. A nice change of pace though possibly out of place in the opinions of some. 'Narcissus' has a powerful anthemic riff at the beginning in later in the song. The middle section where the band does a bit of musical mood exploration adds interest to a long song.

It's a good enough album and perhaps just a bit more interesting than the two most recent efforts, for me anyway. But honestly there's not much to my ears that separates 'Hypothetical' from 2001 from 'Dead Reckoning' from 2007 or 'March of Progress' from 2012. Actually, I don't see any real progress. One Threshold album is as good as another would be my conclusion. But I am sure that more devoted listeners can separate the wheat from the chaff, as reading the reviews suggests. At least I can say I won't have to think about writing reviews for the other two as my thoughts will be similar to what I have written here. Good music and good band. Nice to add songs to a playlist and maybe on a mixed CD. But nothing I feel compelled to tell my friends about.

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
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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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