Threshold Islington Academy 24-01-16
First up was Damnation Angels who played a 30 minutes set of bombastic metal that had the audiences attention the word go.
Riffs flowed alongside double bass drumming and sadly a prominent keyboard sound that was from backing tapes.Not a fan of that but the singer had an incredible range that at times seemed to have reached a peak and yet there was more as he soared ever higher.One to look out for.
Next up Spheric Universe Experience who played a 40 minutes set of prog metal with as many time changes as anybody could throw in.
The singer was good but paled in comparison to what we had seen previously and later and I just felt that although technically gifted it was all a bit prog by numbers.
Threshold played one show in Europe last year where they played 2014's stand out cd For The Journey in it's entirety and after an amazing reaction booked a 12 date European tour dubbed The Journey Continues.
As on previous shows Damian Wilson appeared in the crowd pre gig for a chat with the fans and this as always was a feature of the show.Top bloke.
I have seen Threshold 3 times but this was on another level.
For just under 2 hours stars aligned and this was the place to be as they played a 14 song set with For The Journey as it's centrepiece.
Here is what they played
The band were on fire and the sound stunning from the word go with everyone audible and Karl Groom's legendary guitar tone on his solo's jaw droppingly good.
With this being the last date of the 12 shows the band were so tight and having an absolute blast.
Damian is one of the best frontmen on the planet with a vocal range to match.His voice soars and swoops as he stalks the stage and on many occasions the crowd too.He spotted his record label boss on the balcony and joked of climbing up to him.A shake of the head from the boss.Later on he didn't head the advice and went on a death defying climb through the light gantry and up to his boss.Mad.
Opening with Freaks off the Clone cd was a great start and that is the thing with this band.They are special and whatever they play the fans would lap it up.
For The Journey was awe inspiring to watch.Everyone played their part from Damian to Steve Anderson's rumbling bass to Richard West's keyboard flourishes to the guitar team of Karl Groom and Pete Morten to the drum pounding of Johanne James who in my opinion hits harder than 99% of anyone on the planet and is amazing to watch.
Mid set for 13 minutes we watched as they performed The Box which is one of the best songs ever period.From it's acoustic beginning with Damian at his peak through staggering riffs and time changes a plenty as the song ebbs and flows.Simply staggering and the hair on the back of my neck showed that this you don't see very often.
The guitar duo continue to grow as a team.From their huge smiles they obviously enjoy playing together and their riffing and soloing is sublime.Karl Groom in my opinion has this wonderful texture in all of his solo's which tell stories and his melodic tone hits me every time.Outstanding.
Wonderful to hear Autumn Red this time with it's stunning chorus
How do you top the whole cd? Fan favourites Oceanbound and then a simply amazing Pilot In A Sky Of Dreams that again ebbed and flowed and soared with Damian starting it at the back of the crowd.
Finishing with Ashes that included Damian's climb that had the crowd going ever madder before a returning Art Of Reason and Slipstream finished the evening off in style.
The gig of 2016? Probably.
Threshold should be headlining stadiums and every time you see them you feel you are part of a secret club that knows how good they are but the world doesn't.
A gig to live long in the memory.