Threshold - Legends of the Shires - (9.5/10)
Published on January 2, 2018
There are bands, where the announcement of a new album alone is already enough to create a ripple effect and in the progressive metal field, Threshold are definitely one of them. Throughout their 29-year career, they have managed to keep an astoundingly high level of quality and musicianship throughout with March of Progress from 2010 often being seen as their peak. Legends of the Shires is their 11th album to date and while not quite reaching said masterpiece, it definitely is a more than worthy addition to their strong back catalogue.
To point out certain tracks is no small feat, because they all have their special character and play part in the organic whole that is the album, but the beautiful drive of “Small Dark Lines”, the power of “Trust the Process”, the incredible catchiness of “Stars and Satellites” (whoever said that prog can’t be catchy definitely has not heard Threshold!), the wonderful flow and dynamics of surprisingly heavy “Snowblind” that also features outstanding lyrics, or epic “Lost in Translation” with its grand chorus, they all are brilliant songs in their own way and that doesn’t even include the reprise of “Shire”, which starts out the same way as the acoustic intro, but then builds into a full song with fantastic chorus.
Does it reach March of Progress? Maybe not, but it comes very close, showing that even after 29 years a dog can surprise with some new tricks and honestly, Threshold have managed to combine their trusted sound with new and fresh elements for years now, creating both continuity and progress without even a hint of slowing down or losing their magical touch. Legends of the Shires is not just a must have for any prog fan, but should appeal to any fan of mature, strong and just plainly good music, no matter which genre gets slapped on it. A very hot contender for album of the year!