Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Threshold - For The Journey (2014)

Threshold has always been that progressive metal band that has produced solid works during their entire career, but nothing too ground breaking nor overly magnificent. You know that their next album will be good, but it will not reach the same heights as some of their bigger equivalents. However, their latest effort, "March of Progress", did quite a big splash in 2012 and almost single handedly helped the band to gain a greater number of fans.

That is why it comes as no surprise that "For The Journey" sounds like a logic follow up to "March of Progress". Just like its predecessor, "For The Journey" impresses with its great guitar and keyboard combination and melodic songs. The only real difference is that this album has a slightly darker mood that gives the album its own identity, but there is no denying that most of the songs here could have easily been fitted in "March of Progress". However, the quality on "March of Progress" was so strong, so I doubt that any of the songs here could really switch place with any song from "March of Progress" without weakening the album.

Fortunately, that does not mean that "For The Journey" contains only weak tracks. The opener "Watchtower On The Moon" is just like most of the songs in "March of Progress". Melodic, groovy and epic. The following track "Unforgiven" is darker and more gloomy, but still contains a good deal of epicness to raise your neck hair, while "Turned To Dust" is incredibly catchy and simple. "The Mystery Show" is also a noticeable track with its powerful chorus and epic ending.

Threshold is not known for their mastodon pieces, but they could have done their best 10+ minute song in this album. "The Box" is a epic 12 minute track that tells an intricate story, and does it with great technicality and musicality. The song shifts tempo here and there so you do not lose interest, and it does it in a very smooth fashion. It is an impressive piece that gives the album an extra edge.

A peculiar thing I noticed with "For The Journey" is that it is a rather short Threshold album. Actually, the first album that is below the 1 hour mark. Excluding the bonus song "I Wish I Could" and the acoustic version of "Lost In Your Memory", "For The Journey" is only around 50 minutes long, which is not impressive since it has a couple of songs that does not completely cut it. It is especially the second half of the album that feels lack luster with a boring riff based song ("Autumn Red") and a song that tries to be more epic than what it can handle ("Siren Sky"). I get the feeling that the band almost rushed this album in hoping to keep the momentum that was started by "March of Progress", which here proved to not be a fully bad decision, but it would have been better for the band to take an extra year with this album to really work it through.

"For The Journey" does not quite reach the same height that "March of Progress" reached, but there is no doubt that this album is still a good outing for the band. The band has kept on building and developing the sound that made the predecessor so successful and made a album that is great, but still miss some stronger song writing. No matter what, Threshold is still riding along on the high road after realising another high quality album. Their musical journey does not have a end in sight just yet, so I will keep on enjoying it with pleasure.

Songs worthy of recognition: The Box, Watchtower On The Moon, Turned To Dust

Rating: 7,5/10 Mystery shows

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