Ah… THRESHOLD. Comforting thoughts come to me when I hear that name. Although this album dates from 1998, it’s new to me as I’ve only heard their last three albums, but it sounds just so ahead of its time that you wouldn’t be able to tell it was that old. The general feel of the album is familiar THRESHOLD however – classic riffing with some occasional satisfyingly dirty tinges, powerful, traditional main and backing vocals, but not in the typical effeminate manner of many Power/Prog singers, great melodic keys to back up the sound and altogether as top notch songwriting as you’re going to find in the genre – nice.
I won’t go into great detail about the individual songs as the album flows through and is thoroughly enjoyable on the first listen, but still rewards when the songs are known off by heart. And that, for all who are familiar with the band, is exactly why the British sextuplet have managed to bring out so many killer releases in their career – they have mastered the art of songwriting – sounds simple, I know but I have encountered few other bands of any genre who can do it quite as professionally as THRESHOLD. But does that mean they are slightly “pop”? Well that’s to be decided by you; the songs average in at about six minutes each, don’t stick to a regular pop song structure at all times, even if they do flow as effectively as one and the album does contain an awe-inspiring eight minute plus epics in the form of “The Latent Gene” and “Voyager II”, demonstrating the futuristic subject matter being covered in “Clone”.
So, as far as I’m aware this sound of THRESHOLD’s has pretty much stayed the same their whole career and in my opinion this is a good thing. Their fans can rest at night knowing that they’re not going to do a “St. Anger” on them, to use one potent example of an unpopular change. What we have in “Clone” then is a consistently melodic, highly accessible and addictive album that makes for some great easy listening and for fans of the band is definitely another one to get! (Online March 16, 2006)