In a time when the world is in uproar and chaos we need something familiar, something grounded that we can keep hold of to steady ourselves and music is one of those things that can provide that stability. When one of your favourite bands releases a new album, like a familiar friend, it is something you really look forward to and cherish.
There is no other band that sounds like prog-metal stalwarts Threshold, their style of music, punchy, hard hitting and yet very melodic, sounds like nothing else and is instantly recognisable, but never mundane or monotonous. Their 12th full length album ‘Dividing Lines’, is set to be released on 18th November via Nuclear Blast Records.
‘Dividing Lines’ marks the second album since the return of former vocalist Glynn Morgan, who reunited with the band on their previous effort ‘Legends Of The Shires’ (2017). A darker album than ‘Legends Of The Shires’, the band have described it as “Legends’ darker, moodier older brother”.
There’s no band that can fuse the hard hitting punch and power of top level prog-metal with a classy melody quite like Threshold. The thunderous riffs of Karl Groom’s guitar combine perfectly with the granite-like rhythm session of Steve Anderson and Johanne James, deliciously monstrous and monolithic. Add in the compelling, almost lyrical keyboards, of Richard West and Glynn Morgan’s definitive and potent vocals and you have a the perfect combination.
A new album from Threshold is always an event worth waiting for and ‘Dividing Lines’ is no exception, the thunderous power of opener Haunted literally takes your breath away and opens the album on a very high note. Hall of Echoes takes that dynamism and adds a layer of sophistication, Karl’s guitar and Richard’s keyboards working in perfect unison on a track that is pure Threshold and Glynn’s vocals full of an emotive intensity, a brilliant song. Let It Burn and Silenced continue the run of superbly written and performed tracks, the former full of a brooding authority thanks to Glynn’s fine vocal performance and the the latter (the first single released from the album) a pure cut of perfect Threshold, short, sharp and in your face but with a melodic resonance running deep to its core. You can feel a sense of real unity throughout this album, the musicians in perfect sync and seemingly having a total blast and you can’t help but get caught up in that feeling. I found that, at first, ‘Dividing Lines’ lacked the immediacy of ‘Legends Of The Shires’ but repeated listens have shown that patience is key with this new release and there is real depth, particularly on tracks like The Domino Effect, a ten minute prog-metal masterpiece that showcases all that is best about Threshold. A song that ebbs and flows with real elegance that combines perfectly with superbly judged dynamism and has a wicked chorus to boot! The album really clicked for me after a few listens to this musical gem and, in my opinion, it is one of the band’s best tracks of recent years.
Edgy, punchy and in your face, Complex is hard hitting and high-powered. A staccato riff giving the song a compelling potency and Glynn’s vocals once again on top form. King of Nothing opens in a wistful manner but that soon changes into a stylish vitality and forceful dignity to bring us another excellent track with another memorable chorus. Then we come to a song that just defines everything Threshold have become, Lost Along The Way is a perfect slice of prog-metal magnificence and defines just what the band are all about. Flawlessly judged riffs with potency and intimacy and an impeccable melodic backbone from the super smooth synthesisers, Glynn’s wonderful vocals and a haunting chorus all combine with the excellent backing of one of the best rhythm sections around to deliver a masterclass. Run is a more hard rock oriented track but one that fits seamlessly into this ever impressive album and then we come to the album closer Defence Condition, another ten minute plus song full of spark and energy, a fast paced rollercoaster ride showcasing a band full of confidence, self-belief and a certainty in their ability.
For fans of the band it’s been a long five years since ‘Legends Of The Shires’ but when they return with an album as strong as ‘Dividing Lines’, you could say it has been worth the wait. Threshold are one of the pre-eminent proponents of prog-metal performing today and this fantastic new release has cemented their position right at the top of this particular musical tree.
Released 18th November, 2022.
Order the album here:
Threshold – Dividing Lines (bfan.link)