Threshold live in Athens 2017

A night to remember – for various reasons! It was 1999 when I first bought “Psychedelicatesen”, which was my first contact with the band, in a small record store in Coventry. You see, at that time we didn’t have the opportunity to “taste” the bands before we head to the record store. So, I had heard that Threshold were touted to be the “European Dream Theater” and I was sure I would fancy their music. 18 years later, I have a look at my album collection and I can see that I have bought every single Threshold album from “Critical Mass” to this date. This makes an impact in my conscience, given that I have skipped buying records from Pain Of Salvation, Dream Theater and other prog legends (yes, I am a prog fan).
Threshold Athens 2017 poster

Threshold was the only “big” progressive metal band I never had the chance to see live… until now! Both expectations and wondering were embedded in my head for two main reasons. First, they have just released one of the best records in their career – the magnificent “Legends of the Shires”. Second, they got back in the band vocalist Glynn Morgan, who has associated his name with the legendary “Psychedelicatesen” album – but was absent from music stage since then.
Entering the club with anticipation, I can hear Silent Wedding playing their stuff. They sound good, with the sound being clear (especially for a support group) and the cohesion of the band in good heights! They played songs from both of their albums (“Livin Experiments” and “Enigma Eternal”), with their mixture of power metal with prog elements and with the keys in respectable position, they seemed to be “playing at home”. I can definitely say that their performance makes you wanna check them out.
It’s 21:45 and Threshold jump on the stage. For the next approximately two hours they provided a living example of how progressive metal should be played. As if they are playing together for ages (I remind you that this was the first show of their current tour and the first show with Glynn on the vocals since… I can’t remember how long!). The prog attack begins with “Slipstream” and smiles are painted on the crowds faces. Glynn is fantastic! Richard holds the conductors wand with his keyboards and Karl on the guitar paints his riffs and solos like a pure artist.
I always thought of Threshold’s music as Beethoven-ian: Heavy riffs smash you to solid walls, hitting you hard, and then – all of a sudden – a window of opportunity appears on the wall that transfers you to green fields and skies full of stars. This is what happens here, with the rhythm section bombarding us. Steve on the bass provides the canvas for the others to walk on, while Johanne builds stonewalls with his amazing drum technique (I can say he is currently one of the best prog drummers worldwide). The most amazing thing is that he makes everything he plays seem so easy… always with that big smile on his face! A true great!
The setlist is based on the recent album, which is well-deserved! I anticipated listening to the new songs – some of them already classics for prog fans: “The Man who Saw through Time”, “The Shire (part 2)”, “Snowblind”, “Stars & Satellites”, “Lost in Translation” and “Small Dark Lines” (with the latter two being the encore of the show).
We also heard “Sunseeker” and “Innocent” from “Psychedelicatessen”, “Long Way Home”, from “Hypothetical”, “Mission Profile” from “Subsurface” (in a devastating performance, with the whole club yelling the lyrics), “Ashes”, from “March of Progress” and three songs from “Dead Reckoning” (“Pilot in the Sky of Dreams”, “Hollow”). Talking about a really full show that left all of us more than happy.
Some notes on the performance:
  • I believe that Threshold found in Glynn the perfect performer and singer. He is the one who can lead them to the next stage.
  • The band is among the absolute prog metal elite of all time, they’re right next to Dream Theater, Queensryche, Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery and Psychotic Waltz.
  • They seem to be great characters and very down to earth (they stayed in the club after the show to discuss with the fans and sign records).
  • Please do yourself a favour and go watch them live if they drop by your neighbourhood – you will have something to remember in a long time.
  • It’s been one of the most well-tied bands on stage I have ever seen in my life.
  • Prog metal ceremonies, like Threshold’s gig, are meant to be followed by only few.
  • We experienced one of the best progressive metal gigs that’s ever taken place in Athens, Greece – Thank you!