Threshold - Dead Reckoning review


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Band: Threshold
Album: Dead Reckoning
Release date: March 2007

01. Slipstream [feat. Dan Swanö]
02. This Is Your Life
03. Elusive [feat. Dan Swanö]
04. Hollow
05. Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
06. Fighting For Breath
07. Disappear
08. Safe To Fly
09. One Degree Down
10. Supermassive Black Hole [Muse cover] [digipak bonus]

I don't write this review as an utmost expert of the band, I write it as a growing fan, having listened to one other album, "Hypothetical" and taking an interest in the band. From Hypothetical I got the impression that this Threshold band were a fairly typical, if actually substantially more catchy, Progressive Metal band with slight Hard Rock tendencies (in my opinion), and an overall quite epic commercialism to them. In simpler terms: VERY melodic metal put through the progressive wringer. I was actually really looking forward to this album as a result, and I was surely not disappointed at all. I was at first slightly put off by the album's more resoundingly commercial sound. The other Threshold songs I had heard were obviously very melodic and catchy, but this time around there seemed to be quite a few more that were focused on the catchiness of the melodies, and less on an epic expansive structure, but I mistook more simple songs for hollowness. Yes, I was indeed a moron, for this album is equally as good as Hypothetical. Songs such as "Slipstream" and "This Is Your Life" may be more commercial (with Slipstream having quite a hard rocky touch to the main verse: nice touch, actually), but it is also equally as powerful, catchy and memorable.

There are three main "epics" of sorts on the album, the first being "Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams", which is my personal favourite Threshold song; epic, catchy, moving from style to style, melody to melody, all of which tend to be brilliant. In fact, the same pretty much goes for "Fighting For Breath" and the slightly lesser "One Degree Down", all of them epic in structure and sound, yet continuing the album's slightly more streamlined sound to good effect. My own favourite tracks from the overall great album are the aforementioned "Pilot..." and "Fighting..." as well as the stunningly catchy "Hollow". The latter is a powerful and emotional little track that unlike most simply catchy pop/rock or pop-metal I can't actually imagine getting tired of. This is due to the progressive flourishes, and fantastic melodies the band seem to apply to their catchy brand of progressive metal, which leads me to my impressions of the albums overall sound, my conclusion of it: I love it. I really do. This album takes the epic nature and stunning instrumentation (not to mention the vocals; Mac is a truly gifted vocalist, who interprets the lyrics well, giving true emotion to the proceedings, not only when hitting those high-notes), and develops a slightly more commercial base to it, which surprisingly does not make it feel more hollow or shorter lasting. In fact it just results in another great batch of tunes, albeit with a more readily acceptable sound. As a final note, I'd like to put in that over time I have come to really love the drumming of Steve Anderson. At first listen it's not the most impressive but specifically on this album, I feel he has an almost groovy style that really adds to the album's sound as a whole.

In conclusion, anybody with an ear for melodic metal with catchy choruses and near flawless vocals should seek this out. It's not perfect, containing a few filler tracks and boring moments, but is still a fantastic album, with stunning all around melodies and compositions. The highpoint of the whole thing (the icing on the cake, so to speak) being the stunning vocals of Mac. Irresistible melodic Progressive Metal with brilliant performances all around a near perfect selection of songs.

Best song: Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
Worst song: Disappear

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10

Written by stratorock666 | 12.07.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Demonic Tutor
The leading UK progressive band Threshold has had a long career, going through seven studio albums already. I have always considered them more or less as a nice progressive rock or hard rock combo with Metal elements. Either way, there is no doubt that they have been a pillar band in the progressive scene all those years. Knowing all of this, it may come as a surprise that their latest album might just be my favorite progressive album of the year.

published 22.07.2007 | Comments (13)

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