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Listening to March of Progress

Discussion in 'Threshold' started by Drumius, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Drumius

    Drumius New Metal Member

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    YES ! I GOT THE ALBUM ! It wasn't supposed to be out until monday, officially, but they had it in store, so I bought it :)

    I've been waiting for 5 years, and god it was worth it. I'm listening to the album right now and it's a killer. Not quite the same texture as Dead Reckoning, it sounds like some Extinct Instinct, only ten times more epic, mature and powerful. And of course, what a production ! Congrats guys, that will do my five upcoming years :)

    Just something i noticed, the chord progression for the chorus to Return of the Thought Police is quite the same as the one for the 28 Weeks Later movie theme. Pure coincidence ?

    From Paris with love.
     
  2. Havermout

    Havermout Focused

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    Ahhhh, my copy came in today as expected and i'm at the second spin right now.

    It will take a few spins to sink in, but at certain moments this brings back great memory's to my first Threshold album: Extinct Instinct, the combination of Karl's riffs and Damian's voice :Smokin:

    gr.
    H.

    NP: The Rubicon, so epic, excellent!
     
  3. md976

    md976 Renegade of consternation

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    I've just heard it!
    And i cannot believe what i've read here http://www.onemetal.com/2012/08/23/threshold-march-of-progress/
    This guy must have serious problems whit his hearing.

    Overall, this record is good.
    Pete's Coda is excellent, just as the same as Damian's That's Why We Came.
    The Hours reminds me a bit o League Of Lights. :) That is my favorite track of the album.
     
  4. Astrid

    Astrid Member

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    Got my copy this morning and it's currently playing for the fifth time. Absolutely loving it! So very well worth waiting for. Excellent job, guys! Favourite song at the moment is 'Coda'.
     
  5. Bungalow Buttons

    Bungalow Buttons New Metal Member

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    Love the album, Coda is my favourite (no bias :saint:) but really loving Return of the Thought Police and the Hours

    All in all, it's just an amazing album. As I'm still new to Threshold I haven't had the 5 year wait but however long it's been for me it's been worth it
     
  6. Havermout

    Havermout Focused

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    It will only take a few days before most European fans will get their hands on a copy of the new album - and will love it ! - remains the pop question: When will we get to see the boys on stage performing the new songs live ???

    don't wan't to offend anyone, but Zoetermeer is great place to start a tour :D

    H.



    damn, boy i just love this disc.
     
  7. LavagesOfTime

    LavagesOfTime evangelist of Threshold

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    I'm finally starting the first spin! :D

    (those of you who mentioned some kind of "extinct instinct" vibe are definitely right!)
     
  8. LavagesOfTime

    LavagesOfTime evangelist of Threshold

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    I woul say A LOT! Loving it!
     
  9. smnvfdr

    smnvfdr New Metal Member

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    "Dead Reckoning" is much better than "March of Progress"
     
  10. Lake of despond

    Lake of despond New Metal Member

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    Luckily an overwhelming majority of fans and critics disagree with you. By the way, I can't understand why you've been trying so hard to deride this album for the last 12 months, if you've got a problem with this band then just change the forum.
     
  11. md976

    md976 Renegade of consternation

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    Damn!!! I wish i was film director, to do a promo video for That's Why We Came.
    That song has unbelievably great potential to become huge MTV, VH1 hit.
     
  12. Drumius

    Drumius New Metal Member

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    Chill out Lake of Despond...

    Honestly i've been noticing Threshold fans are very touchy when it comes to criticizing this album. I wasn't around when Dead Reckoning came out, maybe that's the reason why I missed it in the first place.

    I'll tell you why criticizing Threshold is good : because they should be a world class band, yet they're barely known. Unless i've gotten it completely wrong, I think that these guys LONG for success, they're not trying to put out records for a few fans on the internet and stay locked in their basement. So... they, and some Threshold fans, should really start wondering what the hell is wrong, what they are missing. This, I have been doing for years.

    Threshold changed my life, my vision of music, and I got "Pilot in the sky of dreams" tatooed on my forearm. So yes, I am a fan. I also am a long time musician, songwriter, and I listen to various stuff, so I tend to criticize a lot what I hear, especially from my favorite bands. And I agree with Smnvfdr, Dead Reckoning was better (I think), because it was so inspired and so efficient. All songs were killers. It really isn't the case with this album, and I think I understand why : Dead Reckoning was the achievement of the Threshold sound as we know it, with all the recipes they've been accumulating over the years : heavy riffs, catchy choruses, a few odd time signatures, solos, guitar/keyboard or two guitar unissons. Let's be honest, Threshold guitar/keyboards unissons always sounded like they were practicing their scales (the ones on The Art of Reason or Exposed are a joke), and two guitar unissons (Surface to Air, Chances, Narcissus) always made anyone around me laugh because of its ugliness. It's always been a patchwork of cheap licks, miles beneath early Dream Theater stuff, for instance. And as I said, they gave everything they had in Dead Reckoning.

    I love a lot of stuff on March of Progress (Ashes, ROTTP although the 7/8 keyboard solo section is pretty much useless, Staring At The Sun, and my two favorite : Liberty Complacency Dependency and Don't Look Down). But MY GOD, just as they sing it, THEY MUST INVENTE AGAIN THEMSELVES ! Sticking to the exact same recipe is starting to sound ridiculous ! The writing is better, more consistent, the production is excellent, I love the electronic sound, the lyrics are great but :

    - Karl Groom's well of inspiration for his solos and riffs is going dry. There's not much left here. He masters what he does perfectly, but he's been playing the EXACT SAME licks for twenty years ! Come on ! I don't think it is normal that I can predict note per note what a solo is going to sound like. Karl Groom is the only guitarist I know with whom this is possible. Drop the power chords ! Drop the endless triplet lick to end each solo ! Listen to some blues, some jazz, some Pagan's Mind, some Steve Lukather...

    - The choruses from the Pete Morten's two songs really don't keep up with the rest of the album. I was even shocked to hear that the ending of Divinity simply sounds off key because Damian sings a 2nd over a 2b power chord (sorry, pretentious theory stuff), which creates a really unpleasant tension, that one might just call : bad taste, or basic songwriting mistake.

    - The "classic Threshold heavy metal arrangements" on That's Why We Came simply kill the song. I LOVE Damian solo stuff. His ballads are great, Threshold ballads so far have been great, That's Why We Came is not.

    I'll stop here. Wow, that looks like i've been crying my heart out here, but for 6 years i've been listening to this band, getting goosebumps at every chorus. As Richard West once said, Threshold's sound is OVERFLOWING. It is orgasmic until... until you ask yourself "why the hell did they just play that ? Why did they just ruin that part with some cheap proggy lick ? Some ugly uninspired solo ? With some cheap heavy metal riff ?"

    I'll finish with saying that my wish is that they get rid of those few elements that have been, for too long now, making their music so uneven, and holding them back from being some of the greatest songwriters in the world today.

    Love and respect,
    Vincent
     
  13. bst

    bst New Metal Member

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    I think DR and MoP are pretty different, DR is more accessible, heavier, etc. Its got more "singles" on it. MoP is more of a grower, its more subtle, also I think more soulful and authentic, the fresh direction for the band has a sense of vulnerability and courage about it which I find endearing. I think its a really amazing direction for the band to take. I mean DR doesn't sound hardly any different now than the first time I listened to it, but MoP changed (improved) a lot already since I first listened to it. Actually at first I found it a bit overwhelming, how much there was to take in.

    To me, DR is more like love at first sight, but MoP has more of an inner beauty which you discover more and more of on each listen. Its true progressive at its best, because its not just a collection of new things scattered around, it ties them together so well that you can embrace them fully when you realise how much of a masterpiece it is ;)

    Its the same thing as the other threshold albums, but if you listened to Subsurface before DR, you've been prepared for it, they are quite similar. MoP is understandably a bit of a shell shock after DR, but not in a bad way, imo.
     
  14. LavagesOfTime

    LavagesOfTime evangelist of Threshold

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    I instead hope they won't and never will, because what you superficially call "the exact same recipe" to me is instead their trademark, the thing that makes you say "yes, that's threshold!" despite the changes of singers, players and style. I see LIGHTYEARS between, say, Angels, Ground Control and The Hours, and I LOVE they way they reinvented themselves through the years.

    Last but not least: I'm pretty sure you could predict note per note what a solo from, say, Billy Gibbons is going to sound like, but you would not complain, ever. :err:
     
  15. karl groom

    karl groom Member

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    Firstly, Threshold is not immune to criticism and we have accepted that for many years from both the informed and less knowledgeable. However, it has to have some basis and reason to be of any worth. The important thing to know about what we do is that it is still completely based on the love of the music. Good or bad, it is the music that inspires me and always has since Jon, Nick and I decided that we would start writing together. I would argue that this is true of majority of bands in this genre, as there are very few with any real standing. Although we would like to have reached a mass audience at times, this has never been a driving factor.

    Some assumptions about us are quite wrong though. I remember someone complaining about us touring and avoiding writing a new album in order to make money. I can only speak for myself with any certainty, but touring is a luxury that comes with both financial and personal cost. If the considerations were fiscal, I would sit in the comfortable studio and produce other people’s albums all year. Touring for Dead Reckoning was so enjoyable with the new line-up that we could not resist every offer of a show. It also bonded us and established the band after some tough times with Mac.

    It would be a lie if I said that it was not gratifying that we had such amazing reviews from all the top magazines. Making March of Progress with Damian was a real joy for me. It was chance to make music I am passionate about with someone I consider one of the best vocalists there is. Not only that, but he is a great live performer since rejoining the band. I am sure that each release aggravates some people, but we cannot pretend to be something we are not and do it well. This was originally the reason Glynn left the band and good on him for being honest. I very much admire the albums he made with Mindfeed, but we could not have gone that way with Threshold.

    To smnvfdr, I am sorry you don’t find anything to your taste in March of Progress. I see you decided not to like it long before we had even written anything though, so no surprise really and you never explained why. Drumius criticism is a lot easier to understand because it is thought out and has reason. Some things might not appeal to you, but then blues & jazz are certainly not my thing (writing or solos). We each make our own choices. Pagan’s Mind are excellent musicians and write good music, but if Threshold sounded anything like that it would be completely wrong. Funnily enough Damian sang a cover with them on stage at PPUSA when we went in 2007. In short, we specifically want to keep our own identity regardless of success or failure. Nuclear Blast’s belief in us is the reason I signed for them, even though they mainly release completely different music.

    Vincent – you are in exactly the same position that I was before Threshold existed. Feeling that the bands I liked were just short of being great is what inspired me to create my own music. I hope and look forward to your first release (even with a few blues scales in it!)…
     
  16. Drumius

    Drumius New Metal Member

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    Thanks for the reply maestro !

    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely don't want you to sound like other guys (PM or Toto for instance). But, as Mikael Akerfeldt, whom you might know for being the singer/guitarist for Opeth, once said : once you know what your sound is, the only way to keep it fresh is to listen to stuff that is different. The man writes progressive death metal, but listens to jazz, psyche, blues, ABBA... Everything BUT metal. Anyways, I always felt like it was the right thing to do, especially if you've been in the business for many years.
     
  17. Lake of despond

    Lake of despond New Metal Member

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    This just shows the difference in people's approach to the music, rather than personal preferences. There will always be fans who like certain album more than the rest but the fact that you talk more of the technical side of Threshold music simply proves you are completely missing the point on this one.

    You see, for me Threshold is a world class band and the fact they don't sell as many albums is due to the fact they are too original and not commercial enough. I don't think the band ever wanted to have huge success at the cost of their style and freedom in composing. So to mention the word 'cheap' and Dream Theater shows you don't understand how organic real music is, it's not being arranged in the 'right' order to please certain prog fans or get rated highly by some metal magazine. Threshold have always been true to themselves and never composed loads of incoherent nonsense like DT, just to show off their speed. Karl's solos are full of beauty and honesty and I've never heard anything similar in his previous ones to what he's done on LCD. In fact, I can't even compare Threshold albums because they are all so incredibly diverse. You might find certain parts 'ugly' (although I'm pretty sure 99% of the fans would disagree) but to say patchy and uneven is just a wild stab in the dark and makes no sense to most of us. A simple example, not seeing how inventive and fresh Rubicon is points out that this band is way above your league.

    By the way, I wasn't being touchy but merely told off the guy who had decided that MoP was a very weak album a year before it even got released, and that I hardly find a constructive criticism.
     
  18. Lake of despond

    Lake of despond New Metal Member

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    Fully agree with you, in my opinion MoP is far greater than the less emotional DR and I wish people would give it few more spins before criticizing it unjustly.
     
  19. Drumius

    Drumius New Metal Member

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    Whatever, this band is quasi perfect, there's not much they can do to improve, they're never trying to sound like anybody else, especially not in their instrumental sections, their verses, choruses, bridges, are not commercial enough, and they are far too original, compared to Queen, Opeth, Porcupine Tree... People just AREN'T ready for them.

    Stay on that road :)
     
  20. Lake of despond

    Lake of despond New Metal Member

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    God, you are really not getting it? For me Threshold don't even compare to the 'greats' you're into, they are perfect and should never change, so for that I'm eternally grateful as a matter of fact. Luckily, many are ready for them as it were and to quote Karl - just in a rather sarcastic way - looking forward to your masterpiece.
     

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