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Limited first pressing in a digipak!
THRESHOLD issue a new double-disc digipak concert recording, »European Journey«, via Nuclear Blast in November. The UK-based band was responsible for one of the most remarkable statements in rock music of last year. Hailed by fans and reviewers alike, »For The Journey« - their tenth studio release - provides the centrepiece of the material featured on this new double-set and will be the subject of several in-its-entirety-based performances in January 2016.
»European Journey« contains 15 live tracks preserved for posterity as the six-piece band rendered audiences spellbound at various continental European venues during the promotion of »For The Journey« in November of ’14. Despite the popularity of the download culture THRESHOLD still very much believe in the album as an artistic statement, also retaining affection for the format of a double-live release.
THRESHOLD have released live albums in the past, but »European Journey« is their first to showcase the majestic voice of Damian Wilson, who re-joined in 2007 following the departure of predecessor Andrew “Mac” McDermott to begin a third spell with the group.
The album’s production, courtesy of Richard West and guitarist Karl Groom - the latter of whom has been employed by DRAGONFORCE, TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED, PENDRAGON and YES - is pristine. Close your eyes and you’re there in the fifth row back and dead-centre of the stage.
“That’s what we hoped for, I felt it was missed on ‘Critical Energy’ all those years ago,” admits Richard. “This time we wanted it to sound like a concert, as opposed to a studio album.”
The set-list goes all the way back to 1997 with 'Part Of The Chaos' from the group’s third studio album, »Extinct Instinct«, but its thrust is provided by more contemporary material from the most recent three records, all cut during a tenure with Nuclear Blast - »Dead Reckoning« (2007), »March Of Progress« (2012) and »For The Journey« (2014).
Full of enterprising, exciting songs that challenged the lazy tag of “progressive-metal” so often foisted upon the group, »For The Journey« was the subject of consistent critical acclaim. “Damn, this is catchy,” observed Classic Rock, adding: “What an entertaining ride.” The UK’s Metal Hammer was in agreement: “This is not an album that seeks refuge in the past. It reeks of the modern era.”
And the chart positions backed things up: #33 in Germany, #19 in Switzerland, #82 in the Netherlands, #118 in France, #116 in the UK, #33 in Finland and #71 in Austria.
As has so often been the case with double-live recordings, »European Journey« closes another chapter in the story of THRESHOLD and prepares to write another.
“A lot has changed since ‘Critical Mass’, which was recorded shortly before Jon Jeary [bassist] left the band,” West considers. “Jon, who wrote with Karl, was a very key element of our sound. Since then Karl and myself have been the predominant writers in THRESHOLD and we have very different approaches. Though I hesitate to use the word, sometimes my style is a bit poppy for a band that’s rooted in rock, metal or prog. We weren’t doing songs like ‘Lost In Your Memory’ back in the 1990s.”
Indeed, very few bands are capable of gracing the stage of a leather ‘n’ studs gathering such as Bloodstock, as THRESHOLD did in 2004, or conversely the hard rock all-dayer the Firefest, at which they played three years later. Their music is eloquent and deeply melodic without relying upon the usual gratuitous levels of power and repetitive twiddly bits.
Listen to disc two of »European Journey«, which includes the aforementioned ‘Lost In Your Memory’ and the two weightier pieces, ‘Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams’ and ‘The Box’, and the listener achieves a perfect handle upon where THRESHOLD stands in 2015. No surprise, then, as well as nurturing the diehards THRESHOLD’s music is also attracting a younger audience.
“It’s a good sign that 19-year-olds are starting to appear at our gigs,” Wilson chuckles, “though it does feel a little unusual because I’m used to looking out at halls full of middle-aged men with beards.”
And what of the future, you may ask? Well, look out for those January 2016 dates in which THRESHOLD will perform »For The Journey« from front to back. It’s already been performed once in Germany last summer, to an ecstatic response. “We can’t wait to do it again,” Wilson comments, “the songs run so well together, there’s a real sense of flow.”
Liste des titres
- Slipstream (live)
- The Hours (live)
- Liberty, complacency, dependency (live)
- Ground control (live)
- Unforgiven (live)
- Long way home (live)
- Part of the chaos (live)
- Coda (live)
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Liste des titres
- Watchtower on the moon (live)
- Pilot in the sky of dreams (Live)
- Lost in your memory (live)
- Mission profile (live)
- The box (live)
- Turned to dust (live)
- Ashes (live)
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