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Threshold - March of Progress (Nuclear Blast Records)

By: Kenneth Gallent

[8/10] It’s taken five long years for Threshold to release their next opus, and it’s been well worth the wait. Their 9th studio effort begins life with new singer Damian Wilson (now a permanent member) at the helm and it’s simply a colossal effort from beginning to end. I wasn’t sure what to expect after the death of their previous singer Andrew McDermott, but Damian is more than a capable performer. He’s about to take the band to the next level and it starts right here with March of Progress.

What you get with this new release is an album containing 60 minutes of progressive complexity, coupled with thought provoking lyrics. The riffage gets epic, almost post-thrash at times, but definitely atmospheric for the most part. I find the style works best in songs like “Staring at the Sun,” “Colophon” and “Don’t look Down.” There is also a dark vibe that lingers in this release and on the song “The Rubicon” you will find it bursting at times into a punishing dirge. My personal favorite is the all encompassing track called; “The Hours” and it’s arguably the most complete song on the album.

Now getting back to the vocal position though, Damian sings some of his best vocal lines that I’ve heard in a long time. He starts out strong on opener “Ashes” and goes from strength to strength throughout this release. Guitarists Karl Groom and Pete Morten also compliment Damien’s magnificent vocals, especially with the awe-inspiring leads and crunch laden rhythm section to back it up. This is indeed a stupendous amount of musicianship pouring out of every nook and cranny of this release, so March of Progress is expected to go down as an eventual classic.

This might be the most complete Threshold album to come down the pipe in years, so don’t be surprised at the long running time. An hour of music is much to digest, but what you get is a powerful representation of progressive metal taken to the highest of degrees. March of Progress could very well be the pinnacle for the genre, and if anything else be a candidate for album of the year. Now that’s the type of progress every band should make.

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