‘For The Journey’ is another progressive metal masterpiece
In the 25th year of their existence British progressive metal combo Threshold are a household name of the scene. Now they are about to release their tenth studio album ‘For The Journey’. It has only been two years since their previous record ‘March Of Progress’, atypical for a band that used to take their time between albums. ‘For The Journey’ is also the second album with returning lead vocalist Damian Wilson. The unchanged line-up and the support of Nuclear Blast has the Brits more focussed than ever before in their career it seems.
The track ‘Watchtower On The Moon’ opens the album in true Threshold style. The song shines with straight heavy rock riffs, melodic guitar and keyboard solos and a break in the middle part that is so typical for Threshold. The band then follows up with ‘Unforgiven’, a track with a similar concept, before they switch over to the centrepiece of ‘For The Journey’. The almost 12-minute long ‘The Box’ is an epic song that moves through all the trademarks of Threshold: slower parts are intertwined with mid-tempo heavy rock parts, guitars and keyboards offer climaxing solos throughout the song and Damian Wilson puts his unique voice over the top of the song structure telling a story in which the new world meets the old world. ‘The Box’ is testament to the core strength of Threshold. The band is capable of writing songs with brilliant arrangements. This is what makes them one of the leaders of the progressive metal genre.
The remaining five songs on ‘For The Journey’ are of a similar high quality with the highlight of ‘The Mystery Show’. This track combines the slower and the heavier side of Threshold. It creates the feeling of a Rush show with the occasional Pink Floyd and Queen references. The twin-guitar solo towards the end of the track is one of the finest moments of the album.
The production (done by Karl Groom, guitar, and Richard West, keyboards) is crystal clear, modern and to the point. The songs are well structured and let you find little details even after the tenth time listening. Damian Wilson is at his best. He is one of the best singers in the clear-vocal part of the metal genre. All in all ‘For The Journey’ is a strong album, the logical next step after ‘March For Progress’ and the release that fans had hoped for.