THRESHOLD - Legends Of The Shire
October 14, 2017, a month ago
11th studio album by the UK progressive rockers sees them not losing a step. Since the 1993 debut, guitarist Karl Groom (1988 - ) and Richard West - keyboards (1992 –) the lone members from the first couple albums, always challenging themselves. Evolving, growing, while maintaining recognizable elements – the driving riffs, bass, drums, and complimenting keys and vocals. Legends Of The Shires sees the return of Glynn Morgan, former singer from 1994 to 1996, replacing Damian Wilson. Morgan early on shines for 11 minute “The Man Who Saw Through Time”, as does the beautiful leads and melodies.
Reflecting the earthy organic album art are the three part “The Shire”, a soundscape of dynamics with peaks and valleys. Threshold are one of those (few) prog bands who understand how to balance between technical prowess and writing the song. Sometimes they will go for of a minimalist arrangement, see “Snowblind”, or harder hitting moody guitar effects on “On The Edge”, to the outer spacy keyboards to “Superior Machine”. Excellent vocal harmonies for “Stars And Satellites”, and that chorus is catchy enough for AOR radio. Second to last track, “Lost In Translation”, is ten minutes of the five guys coming together, still able to keep things interesting, avoiding redundancy in composition.
It’s always a pleasurable experience listening to a Threshold album. A 10/10 is an easy call when you have flawless craftsmanship and artistic direction because of a loose formula. Sure to make my end of year list in the Top 10.