CAUTION: THIS ALBUM NEEDS MULTIPLE LISTENS TO APPRECIATE!!!
Now that warning isn't a bad thing at all, because as is the case with most “Prog Rock,” you will need to digest the material over time to fully appreciate it.
Veteran British progressive band Threshold is like that old saying… they get better with age ! I have to admit I wasn't really into the earlier Threshold albums for some reason. Maybe that was a mistake on my part and I'll have to go back and give them a listen sometime. However, we're not talking about early Threshold today. We're talking about Subsurface , their latest album. This effort is quite possibly the most melodic Threshold album to date but it still maintains the progressive elements and superior musicianship that they are known for. This is also the fourth album to feature vocalist Andrew “Mac” McDermott and maybe there lies the reason I wasn't too keen on the early Threshold material, as they had a different singer back then. McDermott who previously sang for German hard rock band Sargant Fury has one great voice. It's filled with feeling and suits the new material perfectly.
Subsurface opens with the track “ Mission Profile” and it flat out rocks. Of course, the stellar playing is there but McDermott shines on this one with some very melodic singing. Next up is “Ground Control.” This track features some crunchy guitar parts interspersed with some truly melodic ones. Very reminiscent of something you might hear from Dream Theater during their Awake period. The album continues with more of the same on tracks like “Opium” and “Flags and Footprints.” The epic track “The Art of Reason” which clocks in at over ten minutes pretty much summarizes what Threshold is all about—crunchy, precise guitars, atmospheric keyboards and great layered harmony vocals. The track “Pressure” features a nice solo from keyboard player Richard West. It should also be mentioned that there are some nice keyboard parts throughout the whole album. The keyboard style reminds me very much of Kevin Moore (ex- Dream Theater ) at times. Like I said this album will require several listens for most, but it will reward those who do.
Andrew “Mac” McDermott – Vocals
Karl Groom – Guitars
Nick Midson – Guitars
Richard West – Keyboards
Steve Anderson – Bass
Johanne James – Drums
- Mission Profile
- Ground Control
- Stop Dead
- The Art of Reason
- Flags and Footprints
- The Destruction of Words
- What About Me (special edition bonus track)