Threshold deliver a worthy successor to March Of Progess
Review by Raymond Westland
Release date: 19 September 2014
It took veteran progressive metal act Threshold four years to come up with a worthy successor for Dead Wreckoning (2007). Released back in 2012 March Of Progress saw Damian Wilson back on vocals and it turned to be quite a return to form. However, due its relative long length and complex nature the album was quite difficult to really get to grips with. Let’s see what Wilson and Co have come up with on For The Journey, the latest addition to the ever expanding Threshold back catalogue.
While very much retaining the stark atmosphere of the previous record, For The Journey address the aforementioned issues which plagued March Of Progress quite sufficiently. Generally speaking the song material feels more compact and cohesive, which bring Threshold staples like Hypothetical (2001) and Subsurface (2004) to mind. The energy that resonates within tracks like ‘Watchtower On The Moon’, ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Turned To Dust’ is very reminiscent of Critical Mass (2002) and Dead Wreckoning (2007). Despite all the nifty hints of the band’s previous records For The Journey is far from a sort of retrospective effort or a vain attempt to capture past glories. Far from it.
For The Journey sees Threshold playing to the strengths, namely impeccable songwriting, abundant musical ability without overplaying and sweeping guitar and keyboard solos by Karl Groom and Richard West respectively. The instantly recognisable voice of Damian Wilson is the proverbial icing on the cake, especially on the quieter songs like ‘Lost In Your Memory’ and ‘August Red’. A special mention should go to ‘The Box’, which showcases a more proggy side of Threshold and it forms the missing link between March Of Progress and For The Journey.
One could argue that For The Journey is somewhat of a ‘safe’ album and there’s a lot to say for that. But then again, Threshold has never been a band of drastic stylistic changes or far-flung experimentation. It’s always been about keen songwriting and clever arrangements and For The Journey is a perfect representation of that philosophy. While there are tons of bands within the prog rock and metal sphere that value experimentation over consistency, there are only a few bands with flawless a track record like Threshold and there’s a lot to say for that. For The Journey is the type of album that doesn’t see the band venture in new directions, but it still retains the urgency and relevance of many of the finest works by Karl Groom and Co.
8.5 out of 10
- Watchtower On The Moon
- The Box
- Turned To Dust
- Lost In Your Memory
- Autumn Red
- The Mystery Show
- Siren Sky