Threshold maintain their relationship with Nuclear Blast, and vocalist Glynn Morgan is with them for this album. For anyone (else) who struggles with band chronology, Glynn was the vocalist on the second album, Psychedelicatessen. At the risk of being controversial (well, actually, I really don’t care that much) I’ve always thought that Mac was far and away the best of the three vocalists – possibly due to a fantastic live performance at Cheltenham ProgPower where I spent much of the set completely enthralled by his incredible presence. Honestly, it was nothing to do with the kilt! But, sadly, Mac is no longer with us…
Legends of the Shires is very much recognisable as a Threshold album, which, in itself isn’t a bad thing. Except that it’s very much at the lightweight end of their output (in fact whilst I’ve been listening to it it’s generally been called “Threshold Lite” in the household). The biggest single issue for me is that the longest track on the album, “The Man Who Saw Through Time”, is bland with some of the most uninspiring lyrics I have ever heard – it drags, and also drags the album down.
Fortunately, it’s followed by two much better tracks “Trust the Process” with a distinct political undertone and “Stars and Satellites” which has irritatingly catchy lyrics. Conceptually, I’m not sure about this offering at all: the underlying theme seems to be one of relationships breaking up which just isn’t quite strong enough to hold everything together (irony intended). Musically, there just isn’t anything new being said or done here, it’s almost prog by numbers.
This isn’t bad, if I’d never heard Threshold before I might have quite liked it. But I have that shining memory of a night where Threshold were rock gods on stage and Subsurface and Dead Reckoning were two albums always on my playlist. Sorry guys, but I’m off to listen to those again…
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