Threshold - Dividing Lines

Kev Rowland

It may have taken five years for Threshold to provide the follow-up to the mighty ‘Legends of the Shires’, but at long last they are back with their twelfth studio album. In many ways I find it hard to understand that it has now been 30 years since they released their debut, as in many ways it seems like just yesterday that I played it in the car for the first time wondering what on earth was going on, but in others ways it is truly a lifetime so I guess that’s right. There have been quite a few line-up changes over the years, but guitarist Karl Groom and keyboard player Richard West have been there since the debut, drummer Johanne James has been there for more 20 years, bassist Steve Anderson has been there since 2004’s ‘Subsurface’, it is just within the singers that their history has been a little more fraught. Incumbent Glynn Morgan replaced Damian Wilson for their second album, before being replaced by Damian in turn who left the band before returning years later, after which he was replaced by Glynn again in time for the last album, which means that Glynn is not only the new boy but also one of the three who were in the group in the 90’s.

Confused? There is no need to be, as Glynn knows exactly what he is doing and has slotted right back in where he was back in the day. They have kept with the style they demonstrated so well on their last release, using a single guitar yet still looking back in time to what they were doing in the 90’s. The single guitar means they are not as heavy as t1/23hey used to be, as Karl has resisted the temptation to overdub everything in sight, which means there is more room for Richard to shine. Steve and Johanne stay back in the pocket, meaning they are providing the support required for the others and ensuring the foundation is always there but never taking anything away from the two melodic leads. This also means there is quite a lot of space within the arrangement, deliberately so that Glynn has been given the room for his voce to really shine. I am not the only person who felt it was a shame he had not been allowed to develop his time with Threshold nearly 30 years ago, but here he is comfortable and enjoying himself.

Richard has also brought in some of his non-metallic or prog influences, which adds additional flourishes to what is an incredibly polished release indeed. Wherever Karl Groom is involved one knows the production is going to be superb, and the guitar sound great, but he also has restrained himself at times to provide more balance and thoughtfulness, while also riffing hard in the way we have come to know so well at others. They describe the album as ‘Legends’’ darker, moodier older brother, yet to my mind it is also still very much linked back to their earlier works. I have been a fan of these guys throughout their career, and even saw (and reviewed) them when Glynn was in the band first time around. They say they can’t wait to get out on tour, and all I can say is that everyone in Europe is very lucky as this great band has released another great album.

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