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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Threshold - 2007 Dead Reckoning
Threshold - 2007 Dead Reckoning

ARTIST: Threshold
ALBUM: Dead Reckoning
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
SERIAL: NB 1471-2
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Andrew 'Mac' McDermott - vocals * Karl Groom - guitars * Steve Anderson - bass * Richard West - keyboards * Johanne James - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Slipstream * 02 This Is Your Life * 03 Elusive * 04 Hollow * 05 Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams * 06 Fighting For Breath * 07 Disappear * 08 Safe To Fly * 09 One Degree Down



It didn't seem very long ago that I threw the pen at their 'Subsurface' album. So getting to review this so soon after has kept Threshold very much in my mind's eye. There have been a few changes in their camp though: a new label - Nuclear Blast, and the departure of second guitarist Nick Midson. Threshold as a band can't seem to put a foot wrong among fans and media alike. Their discography has proved to be a goldmine for fans of prog metal. Many sites and magazines have given them so much plaudits.. so much so that the bank surely must be overflowing with riches. I guess one of the reasons why these guys appeal so much is that they know how to keep it melodic, whilst not compromising on the heaviness. Threshold's move to Nuclear Blast is for me, a sign of the times and a changing of the guard. Their previous home Insideout Music is known as a prog fans nirvana, NB caters for the metallers tastes. So is this a significant move in the long run? Despite now being some thirteen years in existence - perhaps longer, Threshold may have been a progressive rock band doing heavy metal - now I feel the role has been reversed. A metal band doing prog! They've certainly come a long way since those Giant Electric Pea days.

The Songs
'Dead Reckoning' only delivers nine songs, but don't go thinking that you're being short-changed. There's still a good 55 minutes of material to wade through. On a couple of the tracks we hear some death metal vocal growls from Nightingale's Dan Swano, which admittedly don't turn me on so much, but in the context of the material, it kinda seems appropriate - but to be honest, it isn't what Threshold are all about - so don't be reading anything into it. You get to hear Mac and Danno whip it up on the opener 'Slipstream'. The guitar riffing from Groom a familiar friend from albums gone by. Second track in, the band keep it appealing, heavy, melodic with the super catchy 'This Is Your Life', the chorus a winner for me! The metallic overtones rip through the intro and verses on 'Elusive', again the chorus lightens up things, and Richard West gets to tinker those ivories with gusto! A few modern touches are to be found on 'Hollow', similar in part to Finnish band Wingdom. Perhaps the most variable track on display is the epic 'Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams', which sounds like it should be on a movie soundtrack, and judging by the album cover (resplendent with zeppelins, lighthouses, crashing ocean waves), it is easy to visualise this one. In fact, the band have released a video for this track, so it will be interesting to see how that turns out. The band alternate for tempo on 'Fighting For Breath', the choruses pick up speed and leave you gasping literally. A few more modern touches are apparent on 'Disappear'. In the lead-up to the album release, the band did hint at some musical surprises.. perhaps this is one of them? With the air still the balloon, the ballad 'Safe To Fly' has leaden elements within it to keep from floating away. The closer 'One Degree Down' is a typical and familiar Threshold rocker, just bringing it all back into the fold so as not to isolate the listener before the end of play.

In Summary
Some say the band have re-invented themselves for the 21st century. I don't think so, they still have the same attributes in their sound, it's just an ongoing process of refinement and focus.. nothing more. Judging be the early reviews around the Net, it seems the band have found favor once again, and after a few listens to 'Dead Reckoning' it's not hard to hear why. To that degree, Threshold have their act together, they know what works for them, and their fan-base should be mightily pleased by what is - an excellent album.

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