Threshold - 'Legends Of The Shires' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/18/7f/fa/threshold-legends-of-the-shires-80-1514582439.jpg

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 29, 2017    
 
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Anyone who likes Dream Theater, Devin Townsend and the like will really enjoy this.

It's three years since their last album, 'For The Journey', and things have changed in the Threshold camp. It would appear that vocalist Damian Wilson has left "abruptly", something it appears he tends to do on a somewhat regular basis. Apparently, it was just before they started recording the album, so what did they do at the end of Wilson's third term with the band? For a replacement and new vocalist, they turned to their old vocalist (again) in Glynn Morgan who was last with the band in 1994 for 'Psychedelicatessen'. This must have been a little daunting for him as they didn't just drop a concept album in his lap, but a double album to boot. To be honest, I will admit that when I initially saw the title for this, the first thing that came into my head was "Hobbits". However, the album isn't about hobbits at all, it's actually about a nation trying to find its place in the World or it could be a person in the same situation. For those that don't always have time to read complete reviews, in short, I will say that this has Threshold printed right through it – quality music, quality song-writing and quality performances.

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The album manages to strike that balance between divine melody and pounding Metal with ease, something that only the biggest stars of the genre do. A good example of this is the melodic, piano-led opener, 'The Shire (Part 1)', and first track on the second disc, 'The Shire (Part 2)', which reprises the first part but takes it so much further in a grandiose way. 'The Man Who Saw Through Time' is just under twelve minutes long and always moving so it feels nothing like that amount of time. There are Techno sounds in 'Small Dark Lines' and hints of Dream Theater in 'Snowblind'. 'Lost In Translation' is what Prog music was invented for; it has touches of David Gilmour and Genesis, particularly with the Mike Rutherford style bass and Tony Banks sounding keyboard. There is also some re-use of choruses; when you listen to the album, musically this can make you think "I've heard this before somewhere", but it can take a while to work out it was only around twenty minutes ago. A good example of this is 'The Shire (Part 2)' and 'Superior Machine'.

This is a Threshold album through and through and one that I feel it is better than their last. Anyone who likes Dream Theater, Devin Townsend and the like will really enjoy this.

Andy Brailsford

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