A lot has changed in the THRESHOLD camp during the last years. Second guitarist Nick Midson is not aboard anymore and the Britons have moved over to the German label Nuclear Blast, which can actually be described as another step up the career ladder. THRESHOLD are one of the few that have never released a weak or even bad album throughout their career, so I was eager to see if the new work “Dead reckoning” would manage to maintain the same level of quality.
But why should I beat around the bush. Of course, “Dead Reckoning” has become a killer, I can tell you that right away. While the last three albums were quite similar to each other without offering any huge changes (which was not a bad thing either), THRESHOLD have introduced some small innovations on the new record. For one thing, the band sounds somewhat more modern and heavier (as far as the sound is concerned), which may be due to the fact that Karl Groom laid down the guitar tracks alone, for another thing, “Slipstream” (ear-worm!) and “Elusive” (typical Prog killer) are the first songs in the band’s history where they used growls. However, they were not done by vocalist Mac but by Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY et al). That is a ballsy thing to do, but it fits with the respective songs. Apart from that we get catchy and shorter tracks such as “Slipstream”, “Hollow” or “Disappear” as well as longer, more intricate (but still catchy) Prog tunes such as the amazing “Fighting For Breath”, “Elusive” or the highlight, “Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams”. The bonus track “Supermassive Black Hole” (a MUSE cover) is really good as well, as the band did a great job adapting the track. As on most THRESHOLD albums, there is no real dud on “Dead Reckoning”. Even though I liked the Britons’ sound better when it had more atmosphere and was more dense, this is satisfying, too.
Compared to the previous album “Subsurface”, which became slightly weaker in the second half, “Dead Reckoning” is the winner of the race. However, I should mention that you have to listen to the new album several times before the ear-worms are revealed. On the other hand, the songs will stay enjoyable for a longer time. The disc does not quite reach the band’s highlights, “Hypothetical” and “Critical Mass”, but they should be able to enlarge their fan base with “Dead Reckoning”. All in all, this is a great album and a must-have for fans of the band as well as Prog Metalheads.
Check out tips: „Slipstream“, „Hollow“ and the rest
(Online March 29, 2007)