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THRESHOLD, The Peel, Kingston 1 July 2011

One of music's great mysteries for me is why Threshold remain so unknown here in the UK. They have produced a string of enjoyable prog metal albums, put on a damn fine live show and would appeal to fans of Ayreon, Dream Theater and Muse.

The Peel is rammed, although that's only around 250 people and the band deserve to be in a venue the size of at least the Forum. But the real treat with the Peel is you get so near to the band. Only a minor quibble, with the sound the drums can drown out the other instruments in such a small venue, although the mix had settled down by the third song in.

With no new album to plug (it is now due in early 2012 according to the latest update), the band were free to play an extended set as there was no support, and dig out a few lesser played gems.

Starting of with 'Slipstream', (with keyboards player Richard West providing the cookie monster growls) one of their most commercial tunes to date, set a high standard for me as that is one my favourite songs by them!

Other highlights included the riff-tastic duo 'Hollow' and 'Falling Away' and the acoustic interlude. 'ground Control' sounded so different when stripped of its electric guitar riffs. 'Mission Profile' is another personal favourite and a fine way to end the set.

As for the band, drummer Johnanne James pounded his small set as though his life depended upon it, whilst Pete Morten (who I last saw live fronting Power Quest) provides the perfect foil for Karl Groom's guitar riffs and solos.

Vocalist Damian Wilson not only sings the songs with passion but kept wandering off into the audience. He also made a beeline for those at the back who were less reluctant to join in - a great way to get the whole crowd involved as you never knew if he'd head your way.

Encores were 'One Degree Down' and 'Light And Space', again the audience were appreciative of the band and their music, making enough noise for a crowd three or four times their size. A superb night of melodic, progressive metal performed by a band at the peak of their powers. If you've never heard anything by them pop along to Spotify, Last FM etc to see what you've been missing.

Setlist: Slipstream/ The Ravages of Time/ Long Way Home/ The Destruction of Words/ Hollow/ Sanity's End/
Falling Away/ Clear (acoustic)/ Ground Control (acoustic)/ Pressure/ The Art of Reason/ This Is Your Life/ Pilot in the Sky of Dreams/ Mission Profile/
Encores: One Degree Down/Light and Space

Review by Jason Ritchie

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