Dividing Lines: Limited Digipack CD
Formed in leafy Surrey in the late ‘80s, Threshold truly blossomed in the following decade, and swiftly established themselves as the UK’s chief progressive metal standard bearers. From 1993’s Wounded Land debut onwards, the enduring creative core of guitarist Karl Groom and keyboard maestro Richard West constructed a unique new strain of heavy, progressive music,...
Formed in leafy Surrey in the late ‘80s, Threshold truly blossomed in the following decade, and swiftly established themselves as the UK’s chief progressive metal standard bearers. From 1993’s Wounded Land debut onwards, the enduring creative core of guitarist Karl Groom and keyboard maestro Richard West constructed a unique new strain of heavy, progressive music, combining incisive melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and intricate but thunderous arrangements. Whether fronted by current vocalist Glynn Morgan, who first sang with Threshold on 1994’s Psychedelicatessen, the late, great Andrew ‘Mac’ McDermott (a member from 1998 to 2007), or three-time alumnus Damian Wilson, Threshold have marched inexorably forward across three decades of creative fervour, arguably hitting a new peak of potency on the conceptual and musical splurge of 2017’s Legends Of The Shires. With Glynn Morgan back in the fold, the Brits’ enduring line-up of Groom, West, drummer Johanne James and bassist Steve Anderson somehow pushed themselves to new heights, receiving widespread acclaim and finding themselves in more demand than ever before. Despite the unavoidable setback of a global pandemic, Threshold arrive in 2022 in the best of health.
Following up a newly-minted classic was always going to present Threshold with a challenge, but the band’s twelfth studio album swiftly confirms that the challenge has been met. Darker, heavier and even more adventurous than its predecessor, Dividing Lines reveals a band with a lot on their collective mind, while also boasting some of the most wildly inventive and melodically potent material they have ever recorded.
Despite its many tense and tumultuous moments, Dividing Lines is also a showcase for just how much fun Threshold are having right now. Whether finding new ways to break hearts and touch souls on the streamlined, direct likes of Haunted, Silenced and Lost Along The Way, or exploring all kinds of new territory and re-tooled trademarks on elaborate epics The Domino Effect and Defence Condition, these ageless veterans are plainly in the form of their lives.
While Legends Of The Shires presented a self-contained narrative that enabled Threshold to let their imaginations run wild, Dividing Lines eschews the conceptual approach in favour of a more traditional group of songs, linked by a hazy but unmistakable common theme.
A collection of emotionally potent monuments to humanity’s eternal turmoil, Dividing Lines may be a dark record for dark times, but at its heart lies a message of hope for better times.
If the future of this planet looks bleak, at least the soundtrack will be spectacular. Dividing Lines is an album of shadows and light, of despair and hope; the human experience, rendered in dazzling, widescreen colours and performed with all the intensity and passion that has typified Threshold’s more than three decades of active service. The UK’s kings of prog metal are back, and ready to conquer the world all over again.
- CD Album
- Nuclear Blast