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Threshold - Dead Reckoning (CD)

Dead Reckoning
by Michael Dalakos at 17 March 2007, 10:25 AM

Progressive metal. Honestly how many original acts are still around in this genre? 3? 5? Sadly after many years following the scene I can say with no doubt that this number of bands is less than the fingers in my hands (twelve that is…). It all took the downward spiral with the appearance of flashy bands like DREAM THEATER. From there on everyone tried to include 17 minutes long solos (well except FATES WARNING who try to remove every sign of solo from their songs) and write complicated and most of the time going nowhere songs.
How many bands are still honest in what they are doing, really progressing their sound through the years and never failing their audiences? Really few ones. I won't bother referring to the once wholly trinity of progressive metal since all three bands (again except FATES WARNING that manage surprise everyone and release a really good album) seem to be stuck in a world of their own.
Yet there are still progressive metal bands out there that really treat the word metal with respect. Some really hard working folks trying through the years to raise in the chain of popularity. THRESHOLD is such a band. Yes they did suffer a lot of set backs with line up changes and probably a couple mistakes in their career but since their collaboration with Inside Out they manage to take careful steps all the way up growing their reputation day by day. They have also managed to keep the interest level around them high most of the time with parallel released through their fan club.
And now here's a big step for them: the signing with Nuclear Blast Records, a label (like it or not) so big that can turn every band in their roster into stars (see the terrible DEATHSTARS for example). Finally and after seven studio albums the band seems to have the additional push they always needed to overthrown every clown from the top of the progressive metal food-chain.
Dead Reckoning is huge! By far their most diverse, multi-layered yet easy to digest work until now! Imagine a cross over of Psychodelicatessen, Clone and Critical Mass. Is this heavy? Does the fact that two songs include the melodic / angelic voice of Dan Swano gives any hints to you? We are talking about some really heavy shit going on in this album. Yet commercial at the same time? Yes indeed this album is full of potential hits for the market: tunes like Slipstream, This Is Your Life or Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams can easily cause a frenzy press the repeat obsession to the listener. Hell, I know hard rock bands that write less catchy tunes that THRESHOLD.
Two things I won't bother saying much about THRESHOLD: Mac's vocals and the production. About Mac… oh well everyone knows he is such a distinct and charismatic singer so nothing to add. People who are familiar with the band also know that they produce on their own their works in their own studio in England, you can bet your money on the production as far as I can tell.
So will Dead Reckoning land this band on the top? In my opinion? Yes. Not only is an amazing album but at the same time sounds so fresh and energetic that one can say THRESHOLD sound more pumped up than they used to sound twenty years ago!!! Though the calendar in the wall says March the 8th I strongly believe that I hold in my hands the best progressive release of 2007. buy or die!

5 Star Rating

This Is Your Life
Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
Fighting For Breath
Safe To Fly
One Degree Down
Mac - Vocals
Karl Groom - Guitars
Richard West - Keyboards
Steve Anderson - Bass
Johanne James - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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