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Threshold: Dividing Lines
Threshold - Dividing Lines Album Art

Threshold: Dividing Lines

Melodic Progressive Metal

From their first demo in 1989 to the present day, England's Threshold has had an illustrious and consistent career, making them both veterans and icons in the progressive metal genre. I'm a huge fan. Following their 80 minute opus Legends Of The Shires, Threshold presents their twelfth studio album, Dividing Lines. It's the second album with returning vocalist Glynn Morgan (who played with the band in 1994 and 1995, appearing on Psychedelicatessen).

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Honestly, being a huge fan, it's hard to be objective when writing this review. There are a great many reasons I find Threshold a pleasant listening experience. One has always been their selection of great vocalists and their vocal arrangements. Whether Morgan, Damian Wilson, or the late Andrew McDermott, all brought their own vocal character but, more importantly, all have clean melodic voices. Even though Wilson is gone, I continue to follow his career with interest.

Another reason is simply the depth and breadth of their song arrangements. Yes, this is prog metal but it's not grossly technical or difficult to follow. Mostly this is due to the fact that Threshold has high regard for song melody, vocal harmony, memorable refrains, and the necessity for rock rhythm and groove (which, almost single-handedly, can account for their accessibility). Of course, their arrangements mix things up. Songs like The Domino Effect and Hall Of Echoes have contrasting parts of mellow subtlety and heaviness. But I might add, heaviness, even in a brooding sense, may loom large across the album. Complex has plenty of groove, but leading into the solo can be fast and heavy like power metal. Alternatively, some songs simply ride like progressive metal rock: Haunted, Silenced, or Let It Burn. That latter song is interesting with juxtaposition of faster heaviness with groove but also how slowly the chorus sneaks up on you. Finally, the interplay between guitar and keyboard solos are always quite entertaining. Beign a fan of lead guitar, Karl Groom dishes out some fantastic leads, always.

I already have a short list for my album of the year. Threshold's Dividing Lines may quite quickly move to the top spot. All said, if you're a fan of the band or melodic progressive metal, then Threshold's Dividing Lines is a significant and entertaining work of music, and not to be missed. Quite recommended.

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The Take Away

If you're a fan of the band or melodic progressive metal, then Threshold's Dividing Lines is a significant and entertaining work of music, and not to be missed. Quite recommended.

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