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THRESHOLD ‘Subsurface’
SPV/Inside Out Music (2004)

Threshold have been a busy band of late what with the excellent double live CD/DVD ‘Critical Energy’ released earlier this year and now this new studio album. This album also marks the recording debut of new bass player Steve Anderson, who replaces original bass player Jon Jeary. Sound wise it takes up where 2002’s ‘Critical mass’ left off with some of the sharpest power chords around coupled with washes of keyboards.

Opener ‘Mission profile’ could easily have come off ‘Critical mass’ and again guitarist/producer Karl Groom proves his worth as it’s a high quality sound throughout (he recently produced the Power Quest album as well). ‘Opium’ has vocalist Andrew ‘Mac’ McDermott sounding like Thunder’s Danny Bowes. It’s a moving slow burner featuring a heavy drum sound and some cracking guitar solos. The ten minute epic ‘The Art of Reason’ shows all that is good in this band - thoughtful lyrics, riffs so big you could sit on them, atmospheric keys, a big rhythm section and the vocals of Andrew McDermott.

Fans of Dream Theater, Savatage, Stratovarius et al should really give this album a listen as it is sheer musical class. The only slight downturn is ‘Static’ which is fairly nondescript compared to the other tunes on display here. ‘Pressure’ and ‘Ground Control’ would make a good choice of singles, although singles aren’t what this band are about!

One of the best progressive metal bands around and the band manage to keep their high standards going with this release. ‘Subsurface’ is bound to feature on many ‘Albums of the Year’ polls.


Review by Jason Ritchie

Related>> Album review(Critical Mass)

Related>> Album review(Clone)

Related>> Album review (Critical Energy)

Buy this CD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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