THRESHOLD-Legends Of The Shires
Nuclear Blast Records
In the first months of 2017 there were some surprising changes in line-up of the British progressive metal band Threshold. First guitarist Pete Morten called it a day after ten years, wishing to pursue his own project. In March vocalist Damian Wilson (being on his third spell with the band) got the push, a band decision that surprised him totally but he respected the decision. So a guitarist and singer was needed and the return of Glynn Morgan turned out to be the solution to two problems. Morgan was already part of Threshold in the period 1993-1996 recording a studio album (‘Psychedelicatessen’) and a mini live-CD (‘Liveadelica’) before starting his own outfit Mindfeed that released two outstanding albums (‘Perfect Life?’ and ‘Ten Miles High’) on which Morgan could combine singing and playing guitar, while at Threshold he was just the singer. Now he has made a comeback, one that it is applauded by the author of this review as ‘Psychedelicatessen’ and the two Mindfeed releases are among my ultimate favourite albums ever! Now Morgan can also play guitar with Threshold. On ‘Legends Of The Shires’ he has only done the singing (if my info is correct), but on stage he will be playing guitar as well. This is for the first time in their almost 30 year long career that Threshold has released a double studio CD.
It is a concept CD as well, clocking about 82 minutes in total. As keyboardist Richard West has already expressed in interviews and press statements ‘Legends Of The Shires’ is a monster double album and indeed it is. Band leader/guitarist Karl Groom, West, Morgan, bassist Steve Anderson and HeadBangers LifeStyle very own columnist Johanne James (drums) have really created a monster 2 CD. It has all the typical Threshold components like the cast iron heavy metal guitar rhythms, iconic sounding keys, the big choirs, surprising arrangements and the bands ability to time after time being able to change the mood, pace and character of a song, switching gears whenever they see fit and there is a singer on board whose voice just fits like a glove. Glynn Morgan could not have been a better replacement for the popular and iconic Damian Wilson. For me (but that is purely personal) Glynn Morgan is the ultimate singer for this band, although Damian Wilson and the sadly deceased Andrew McDermott did a great job during the years. He gives this record so much extra dimension by being so versatile. With Morgan yet again Threshold can move in any direction they want. I have always considered Threshold as the best progressive rock and metal band in the whole of the UK, with a recognisable sound, a distinguished style and the talent to create epic tracks. So yes, I am over the moon that all these ingredients are still intact on this record. Especially the long and adventurous tracks that are so typical for Threshold are the absolute highlights on this CD. ,,Lost In Translation’’, ,,The Man Who Saw Through Time’’, ,,Trust The Process’’, ,,Stars And Satellites’’ and ,,Snowblind’’ are all pure epic songs, with a lot of variation, mood changes, great instrumentation and Glynn Morgan feeling clearly in his element. Am I exaggerating? No, believe me, I am not, this is one of the best (maybe even the best) records that Threshold has ever recorded in their career. Stunning cover design by the way as well!! Buy a copy, buy a download, just get it and judge for yourself. Pretty sure that you will agree with my findings!