Threshold – For the Journey

Threshold - For the Journey

Threshold are certainly not a band that was born yesterday. Already twenty years in the progressive metal scene, which they spearhead in the UK, one has high expectations for each of their new releases. However, in the case of their 2014 album ‘For The Journey’, feelings are mixed, as besides good songs, some others appear to be fillers.

Let’s consider the typology of songs in the first instance. On one hand, the listener will be exposed to catchy tunes with bite all along and some generous keyboard/guitar interplay (the futuristic “Watchtower On The Moon” containing a few vocoderized vocal parts and cosmic keys, the straightforward “Turned to dust” punctuated by an uninspired chorus, the majestic “Autumn Red” colored by varied keys including a mischievous piano). The record presents also “Night meets light” songs where the dark/melancholic verses contrast with enthusiastic choruses (the languid “Unforgiven”, the anthemic “The Box”, the energetic “I Wish I Could”), the whole filled with wounded guitar solos. Finally, ballads intersperse the aforementioned tracks (the quite listless “Lost In Your Memory”, the haunted “The Mystery Show”, and the mesmerizing “Siren Sky” with its operatic overtones).

Damian Wilson’s vocal abilities still shine throughout this new offering, always in this peculiar theatrical range. They can be best appreciated in verses, in introspective moments (the overture to “The Box”) and in orchestral sections (the closing section to “The Box” again). As exposed in introduction, the album sounds to me uneven. In fact, the band excels when they are at their most dynamic and Damian at his most passionate (“Watchtower On the Moon”, “The Box”). However, when they wander into ballad territory, they fall quite out of inspiration and the music becomes tiring. More disturbing, even in catchy tunes like “Turned To Dust” they fail to deliver memorable choruses, while those always played a big part of their appeal.

To sum up, ‘For The Journey’ is a mixed bag, with moments of pure beauty (the 12 mn epic “The Box”) alternating with flawed parts (the syrupy ballads), the strong sections fortunately outweighing the weaker ones. Damian Wilson’s return in the band was a good thing, as he has a highly recognizable voice, pleasant and really fitted to this type of music. But the band seems to be breathless and running out of new ideas. The album should nonetheless appeal to people who love their music melodic overall, and not very demanding in terms of complexity or originality.

Tracklist:

1. Watchtower on the Moon
2. Unforgiven
3. The Box
4. Turned to Dust
5. Lost in your Memory
6. Autumn Red
7. The Mystery Show
8. Siren Sky

Line-up:

* Karl Groom – guitars
* Richard West – keyboards
* Damian Wilson – vocals
* Johanne James – drums
* Steve Anderson – bass
* Pete Morten – guitars

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: