Monday, October 6, 2014

Threshold - For the Journey (2014)
Easily one of my most anticipated albums of the year, prog metal band Threshold's new release "For the Journey" has managed to hit it out of the park once again.

2012's "March of Progress" was a resounding success for the band after the death of their previous vocalist and the return of original vocalist Damian Wilson. The album showcased their unparalleled knack for writing fun, heavy, catchy songs that still retain a distinct prog edge (mainly in the form of the keyboards).

"March of Progress" ended up being one of my top releases of 2012 and "For the Journey" nearly matches it. The new album is a bit more varied than MoP though I mean that in the sense that there's more emotionality and moodiness, not an actual change in musical style.

This change in lyrics and atmosphere from the political and social of MoP to the personal and introspective on FtJ can be seen in such dark numbers as "Unforgiven" and "Autumn Red." Similar emotionally charged moments include the gripping chorus to "Siren Sky," the poignant verses of "Lost in Your Memory" and the soaring guitar work of "The Box."

In particular, "The Box" is probably my favorite piece on the album.The solos are incredible and the song manages to be technical, showing off some of the band's most accomplished songwriting to date, yet it's also very accessible.

The only song that drags the album down a bit is "The Mystery Show." It's not bad per se, just rather average and a bit less memorable than the other stellar tracks on "For the Journey."

Overall, this is a excellent follow-up to the band's chef d'-oeuvre "March of Progress," even if it falls a tad short of matching the latter's brilliance. Given all the excellent riffs, sing-along choruses, and tight songwriting, it's unlikely that Threshold fans will feel disappointed.


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