Today I have read Joe's review of THRESHOLD's new album "Critical Mass" and would like to give my two cents, too. I thought that Joe's opinion was not doing this album justice, so I will do so now.
Since their last album "Hypothetical" I am a die hard fan of the Britons. That should not mean that I try to suck up here or anything. "Critical Mass" is exactly what the previous album had been, a hammer! The guys often are heavier than DREAM THEATER and more melodic than SPOCK'S BEART. The big strength of the band is to convey this wonderful tangible mood on their albums. Just listen to the sweeping opener "Phenomenon". This track rocks and at the same time is supercatchy.
The following duo "Choices" and "Falling Away" hits into the same curb, but thanks to some calm interludes offer even more variety. And variety is the operative word for this outstanding album. Hardly a song of any other Prog Metal-band contains as much energy and tension as, for example, "Fragmentation" or the fantastic "Echoes Of Life". Guitars and keyboards harmonise 100% and carry you away into a different dimension. The final trio "Round And Round", here calm, there stomping, "Avalon", moody ballad, and the hammertitletrack "Critical Mass" exalt this album into Prog heaven! I do not exaggerate here.
THRESHOLD create a thorough ingenious mood in their songs that can hardly be described. Singer Mac again has reached new highs and the instrumental fraction is top-notch anyway. Lyrically they offer interesting and demanding stuff, a look into the booklet is more than worth it. After the first five listens I still thought that "Hypothetical" was the better album, but by now I have changed my mind. "Critical Mass" is the best album of the band to date. Who thinks that DREAM THEATER are too intricate and not imminent enough and SPOCK'S BEARD are too soft, should definitely try out THRESHOLD. This band has power, diversity and the certain something. Listen to it! The first edition of the CD comes in a double-pack, which contains an edit of "Phenomenon", the songs "Do Unto Them" and "New Beginning" and a multimedia section for PC. For me an essential buy!
Checkout tips: all (Online November 13, 2002)