Threshold - March of Progress
Nuclear Blast
Progressive Metal
10 songs (69:10)
Release year: 2012
Threshold, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Thomas

So, after five years, of which a particular difficult one in ’11 due to former vocalist, Andrew McDermott’s departure and death, Threshold returns with their ninth full-length March of Progress. Dead Reckoning was a great slab of progressive metal, and in my opinion contained some of the best tunes the band ever did. I keep coming back to it, revisiting the fantastic melodies, harmonies and of course the stunning vocal performance of McDermott. In other words, obstacles have been stacked in their path, but ultimately former vocalist Damian Wilson rejoined the band, perhaps to re-capture some of the magic from the old days. So far this album has already been recognized as album of the year on various sites and in various zines. Praised as everything we’ve waited for and anticipated, exceeding every expectation, and overshadowing the brilliance shed by Dead Reckoning. All this fuzz prompted me to give this a long while to sink in. Unfortunately it has not, and I doubt it ever will.

With all due respect, colour me really disappointed. Three things about this album are certain. 1) It’s not a bad album per se, but it’s not exactly stunning either. 2) This isn’t close to being album of the year (new Overkill is). 3) This sure as hell isn’t better than Dead Reckoning and here’s why: Despite starting off rather brilliantly with Ashes, this album just comes off as extremly dull with a few exceptions. March of Progress is based in mid-paced songs that never really flies. While I know Threshold were never ultra-fast or focused on sick rhythmic patterns, this is just never taking final step out into the sky as it doesn’t catch fire and light it up like they used to. The melodies and harmonies are there, waiting to explode, but sadly they rarely do. Slow and simple, straight-forward and boring, that extra element is mostly gone.

While my experience with this album is mostly negative, I will make room for a little praise and honour the band for the stuff they, in my opinion, nail. Up-tempo songs like Ashes, The Hours and Don’t Look Down puts a whole different band on display. Wilson’s pipes are remarkably strong, and guitars, bass and drums are handled flawlessly. In fact, the quality of those songs along with the stellar closer Rubicon kind of pisses me off a little. With danger of sounding way too arrogant, how aren’t other people hearing that this is borderline outright weak album with some strong spots?

Oh well, those who love this are of course free to do so, I for one, will skip it and eagerly await their next one. Here’s to that not taking half a decade.

Killing Songs :
Ashes, The Rubicon
Thomas quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Threshold that we have reviewed:
Threshold - Dead Reckoning reviewed by Cody and quoted 95 / 100
Threshold - Subsurface reviewed by Ben and quoted 86 / 100
Threshold - Critical Mass reviewed by Ben and quoted 94 / 100
Threshold - Hypothetical reviewed by Chris and quoted 74 / 100
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