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Threshold - 1993 Wounded Land

ARTIST: Threshold
ALBUM: Wounded Land
LABEL: Giant Electric Pea
YEAR: 1993
CD REISSUE: 2001, Inside Out, IOMCD 083 * 2012, Nuclear Blast, NB 2976-2


LINEUP: Damian Wilson - vocals * Karl Groom - guitar, bass pedals * Nick Midson - guitar * Jon Jeary - bass, acoustic guitar, vocals * Richard West - keyboards, backing vocals * Tony Grinham - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Consume To Live * 02 Days Of Dearth * 03 Sanitys End * 04 Paradox * 05 Surface To Air * 06 Mother Earth * 07 Siege Of Baghdad * 08 Keep It With Mine


This was one of my first purchases from a UK mailorder service back in 1993. Truth be told, I was pretty rapt to pick this CD up at the time, but also I was unsure what I was getting. Threshold were an up and coming prog metal band (more prog than metal) emanating from the UK. I didn't quite realise they were going to be as big as they were in the prog/metal scene, as 1993 was a long time ago, and this was their debut after all. I was given some clues about the prowess of keyboardist Richard West, and being a synth dabbler at the time, I was only too keen to hear him. But the band overall just took my breath away. Signed to the indie prog label Giant Electric Pea, this was their first significant CD, and 'Wounded Land' was a stellar release for the 1993 year.

The Songs
The production on this indie CD is top shelf. Just listen to the power and clarity of the opener 'Consume To Live', keyboards to die for as Richard West gets to throw caution to the wind with a flurry of ivory finger strokes. The other ace in the hole is lead singer Damian Wilson, who keeps the whole show in check. Fuck, this is really awesome stuff. Most of the songs are very lengthy, all but one over five minutes. So that suggests this band has a lot to say musically, and they do that without any problems whatsoever. 'Sanity's End' clocks in over 10 minutes, but the arrangement is utterly gorgeous. Power, grace, dexterity, and chops everywhere. And just when you think it's time to catch breath, along comes 'Paradox', which is a 7 minute masterclass of prog. Thank you Richard West. It stormed my senses in 1993, and it still does today. The quiet passage at the three minute mark is utterly stunning. Beautiful and poignant amidst the prog power on display. 'Paradox' remains one of my favourite prog tracks ever, and that's a big call. 'Surface To Air' is another mammoth 10 minute affair, and when broken down into segments, there will be something for everyone. The commercial and rather melodic mid-section is a case in point. Groom and Midson take control on the rather heavy 'Mother Earth', five minutes of mostly riff-heavy guitar. Interesting that Threshold were singing about world politics back in 1993. 'Siege Of Baghdad' an obvious dabble at the affairs of Saddam Hussein, even though it would be a full decade later that he would be strung up by a rope. The shorter than short 'Keep It With Mine', at two and a half minutes is a mere interlude compared to the rest of the album, but leaves an indelible mark nonetheless.

In Summary
As a debut this is very impressive. Threshold did change their style over the years. Probably due to changing line-ups and especially lead vocalists. I liked them at this stage of their career, and found their later efforts a bit 'hit and miss'. Give this one a listen, 'Paradox' as a song is a masterpiece.. say no more.

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#1 | gdazegod on June 29 2015 22:37:31
Threshold - 1993 Wounded Land [full album]
#2 | rkbluez on June 30 2015 21:36:01
Love this album and band...the name Threshold has been synonymous with great heavy well produced and original progressive metal of the highest quality and this is were it started for me...I own everything by this band and will buy any release blind...great stuff.
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