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Threshold - Critical Mass CD (album) cover

CRITICAL MASS

Threshold

 

Progressive Metal

4.07 | 254 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A hypothetical clone with critical mass appeal

Critical Mass was Threshold's third album with Andrew McDermott (aka "Mac") on lead vocals and their sixth studio album overall. As I said in my review of the previous Hypothetical album, it is hard to deny that the Mac-era was Threshold's most stable (continuing until Mac's recent and very tragic death). But, in my opinion, it is not their best. This is the less adventurous and more conventional (and, dare I say, commercial) period of the band's career. Indeed, from Hypothetical onwards the band's output became a bit formulaic. Critical Mass is nothing but a straightforward continuation of Hypothetical. There is no evolution or progression of the band's sound here and absolutely no surprises. Still Critical Mass is every bit as good as Hypothetical (if not slightly better) and the band were still capable of making very good music in their by then fully established style, but the freshness and originality is gone and as such this is rather predictable.

The catchy choruses that were taken to its logical extreme on Hypothetical are still present here and for my taste this is maybe just a little bit too catchy. The production values are super high, and this is just a bit too polished for its own good.

As a side note, I can mention that I very much like the live DVD Critical Energy that was recorded on the tour in support of the present album and features songs from the band's whole career up to that point. Said live DVD is in my opinion a better purchase than any of the Mac-era studio albums and a good place to start investigating post-Clone Threshold.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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