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Threshold - 'European Journey' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/10/7b/8f/threshold-european-journey-77-1449516956.jpg Hot

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An essential live document for fans of any era of this criminally under-supported unit.

Still the U.K.'s best kept secret despite over twenty-five years in the business, the underrated Threshold certainly lost a lot of headway after the departure of their previous vocalist Andrew "Mac" McDermott on the verge of what should have been their breakthrough album; 2007's 'Dead Reckoning'.

Maybe too Prog for Hard Rockers and too Hard Rock for Progressive Metal aficionados, Threshold have proven their live credentials over the years with almost as many great live albums as studio releases, doing so again here with a great fifteen track double album that focusses heavily on their last two studio albums; 'March Of Progress' (2012) and 'For The Journey' (2014).

'...Progress' came after a five year drought since singer Damian Wilson started his third tenure with the band, but label Nuclear Blast have thankfully kept faith in a band so consistently masterminded by keyboard player Richard West and celebrated guitarist and producer Karl Groom.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Never ones to deviate too much from the studio versions, 'European Journey' is over a hundred minutes of their best work, played with an attention to the details of the original recordings. Long-time bass player Steve Anderson and irrepressible drummer Johanne James skilfully anchor the songs for Groom and second guitarist Pete Morton to riff over and West to embellish with some impressive keyboard work.

Whilst Wilson does a superb job on the nine excellent songs from the last brace of releases, and indeed the reintroduced 'Part Of The Chaos' from 1997's 'Extinct Instinct' – the first Threshold album Wilson sang on – the spectre of the sadly deceased "Mac" hangs over classics like 'Mission Profile', 'Slipstream', 'Long Way Home' and especially the wonderful 'Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams'. That isn't a slight against Wilson, Groom and West, they wrote those songs with their former singer in mind and no-one else will ever sound quite right.

Even so, Threshold are a pretty impressive live band for one who play relatively few shows every year, and are captured here in their element. You tend to forget just how good they still are; so with a raw and powerful production from Groom and a set-list that doesn't replicate previous live albums too much, 'European Journey' is an essential live document for fans of any era of this criminally under-supported unit.

Phil Ashcroft

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