Threshold – Dead Reckoning

thresholddeadreckoningcover

Dead Reckoning is the eighth studio album (and fifteenth overall) by progressive metal band Threshold. This album was released in 2007 and was the first album since the departure of founding member Nick Midson and it would be the last album to feature Andrew “Mac” McDermott on vocals. It is also their first album on their current label, Nuclear Blast. Well, enough background info, let’s review!

Dead Reckoning opens with Slipstream and this song starts with a heavy riff ( I use this riff in the Metal Mania Podcast ) and you will even hear some death metal grunts during the song. Is this Threshold? Yes, and no at the same time. The song is very heavy and the before mentioned death metal vocals make the song very different from other Threshold songs. Karl Groom’s fantastic solo, Anderson’s bass lines, Johanne James’ quick drumming, Richard West’s atmospheric keyboards and Mac’s warm voice are amazing as always in this track and it’s different from other Threshold songs, but great nonetheless. After this heavy beast we go to This Is Your Life. This song has a keyboard intro and after that the crunchy riff kicks in and Mac starts singing. This song is very catchy and has a fantastic chorus, which will haunt you for days. The song has a short, but very fast Groom solo and is overall another fine song. Elusive is another fine track. It is the second track on the album with some death metal vocals and has some very good instrumental sections and time changes. West and Groom play fantastic solos in this song and the keyboard part starting at 3.41 is just amazing, followed by another fine Groom solo. Next we have Hollow, a bit of a slower song with great atmospheric piano play by Richard West. This song has ( as always ) a great Groom solo and the chorus is once again very catchy. Overall a very melodic and catchy song, just like the previous song.

Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams nears the 10-minute mark and is the longest track of the album, and one of the best. This song is very diverse, it starts almost like a ballad with great piano play by Richard West, after about a minute Groom plays a solo and after that Anderson plays a smooth bass line and the entire band kicks in. Experimental key arrangements and guitar solos follow. This song is filled with time changes and you never know what to expect. The song has fantastic lyrics as well ( What became of the blue horizon? I was sure I was flying blind, Never saw that the plane went diving, Never thought I was out of time ). This is one of the highlights of the album and the song is just plain fantastic. Another masterpiece is a darker and more complex song called ‘Fighting for Breath’. Richard West’s key soloing will leave you amazed and the song will slow down after that at around 4.45. The song rushes further after this slow part and is filled with Richard West’s keyboard wizardry.

Next we have Disappear, which is my least favorite song of the album. It starts great with a piano part ( like Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams ) and after that the riff kicks in. This song is good, but it’s just not as good as any of the other tracks. It’s a straightforward direct song, like This Is Your Life but just not as good. After that we have another similair song, Safe to Fly. This song is almost like a ballad, but, like the previous song, not that great. Disappear and Safe to Fly are my least favorite tracks on this album, but I prefer Safe to Fly above Disappear because of it’s memorable ( and once again catchy ) chorus. And it’s just a better song overall. They saved the best for last for this album. The last track on the album is called One Degree Down and is another highlight and is a progressive masterpiece. It’s a very melodic song filled with addictive musical passages. Mac’s voice is once again fantastic and the chorus is awesome. This song is the most progressive track of the entire album, keyboard soloing, guitar soloing, time changes, riffs coming out of nowhere, keyboard atmospheres and harmonies and tight drumming action. The absolute highlight of this song and the entire album is the grand finale of this song featuring endless guitar soloing by Karl Groom. After Karl Groom’s guitar fades out, it’s over, you get the change to breathe again! This song will seriously leave you breathless, it’s THAT good. This track is the best of the entire album and one of the best songs Threshold has ever created.

Conclusion –
Dead Reckoning is a solid progressive metal album. Short straightforward tracks like This Is Your Life and Hollow, and progressive killer tracks like Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams and One Degree Down make this album what it is. Disappear and Safe to Fly are the songs that make this album less perfect. But it’s still a damn good record leaving me very satisfied.

Rating – 90/100

Review by JustinMetal88

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~ by Justin on April 17, 2008.

One Response to “Threshold – Dead Reckoning”

  1. Great album, one of my Threshold favorites (together with “Hypothetical”)!

    95/100

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