Album review: Legends Of The Shires – Threshold

threshold-legends-of-the-shires

Threshold return and is better than ever!

Like a fine wine, Threshold get better with age. The band sounds rejuvenated on this, their new album, legends Of The Shires, released through Nuclear Blast Records. There certainly wasn’t anything wrong with their previous releases, it’s just this album doesn’t have any low moments, it doesn’t miss a beat…nope, not one.

I had a feeling this would be pretty special after hearing the two tracks, Lost In Translation and Small Dark Lines. Both tracks are perfect in showing what this band is all about and where they are in 2017. We have the epic 10 minute plus Lost In Translation with its brooding, moody structure and the poppy rocker Small Dark Lines, with its killer chorus. The good news is that there are other tracks on the album that are as good as, if not better!

Legends Of The Shires is ambitious. 2CDs of metal-infused prog brilliance awaits the listener. The production is crisp and clean, each instrument is given its own space to breathe and the beating heart of the band is vocalist Glynn Morgan. I’ve long been an admirer of Morgan and his voice seems suited perfectly for the songs on this record.

I lost count of the number of times I got shivers down my spine whilst spinning this album. It simply is chock full of great melodic prog rock. The band sounds super focussed and the songwriting is right out of the top draw. Just listen to tracks like Small Dark Lines and Star And Satellites, both have a commercial almost poppy vibe to them. The crunching guitars, melodies and hooks forbid these songs from leaving your head. It really is fantastic stuff. Oh, you want something with a little more depth, musically perhaps? Well, how about the 11 minute The Man Who Saw Through Time? For me, this is the albums centrepiece. It is an immense song that features everything great about the Threshold sound. From the narrative style song structure to the excellent musicianship, it really is a fantastic song.

The opening track on disc 2, The Shire (part 2) is an expanded version of the intro from disk one, except this time the song builds into a breathtaking sound scape of rock splendour. Melodies soar and Morgan really delivers in some style during this song. Lost In Translation is a track that I have touched on briefly already. It is yet another masterpiece of songwriting, melody and musicianship and despite its run time, it never once feels unnecessary or overly long. Other tracks such as Subliminal Freeways and Superior Machine also have some real magical moments sprinkled throughout.

I really could go on about this record for a very long time but I think you, the listener, should climb on board the Threshold train and see where they take you. It is perhaps not quite as progressive as previous efforts, but the songwriting and melodies is a cut above what many other bands are doing. A truly astonishing record filled with unlimited moments of beauty and metallic crunch.

5/5 guitars from the Grim Reader.

Pick up a copy from here.

 

 

 

 

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