Threshold - LIVE: The Underworld, London 2013

March of Progress Tour
March 1 (20:30-22:00)
Capacity 500

A Threshold show in London is serious business for prog metal fans. Mostly because the closest the band normally get to the capital is Kingston, in Surrey (where they headline the Celebr8 Festival in May), but also because they're such a consistently good live act.

Many fans were also keen to hear material from their exceptional new album March of Progress, the first since popular vocalist Damian Wilson returned to the fold, and after a meandering set from Enochian Theory which excited only the most devoted prog fans in the audience, Threshold hitting the stage with the big riffs of Mission Profile from the Subsurface album was a welcome relief for the sizable crowd.

Wilson, having apparently recently borrowed Russell Allen's beard, was in as fine a voice as ever and led from the front backed by a constantly grinning Karl Groom on guitar and Steve Anderson on bass. Unfortunately for keyboard player Richard West he was somewhat relegated to the shadows because of the tiny stage, and guitarist Pete Morton was forced to battle constantly against technical gremlins, having to leave the stage a couple of times, but not letting it affect his performance, even if it did affect his mood.

The band squeezed as much as they could into their 90 minutes on stage, and although Hollow should have been third, and Light & Space was due to open the encore, both being dropped due to the 22:00 curfew, the main focus on the material from March of Progress was not lost. Indeed it seemed most of those in attendance had invested in the new album as much as the band have, because they not only sang along to those songs just as readily as they did classics like Pilot In The Sky of Dreams and Part of The Chaos, but called out for the new songs absent from the set as well, mostly Return of The Thought Police.

The six new songs did mean that there wasn't much room for the revolving cast of rarities fans have enjoyed on the last couple of tours, with tracks like Slipstream and Long Way Home retaining their place as well, but they still found a spot for Angels from the Clone album, a track which hasn't been played live for ten years, and never with Wilson on vocals until this tour. The standard tracks were as good as ever, but the highlights really were the new songs, which rank among the band's best.

Threshold recognition and popularity is not what it should be, and why, given how much more accessible their songs are compared to most progressive music, is one of the biggest mysteries in metal, but they're still the first class live act they've always been, and at the moment they could very well be in the best form they've ever been. They didn't put a foot wrong all night, even in the face of Morton's technical problems, and full deserve another tour off the back of this one.

“ invested in the new album ”

Setlist: Mission Profile / Don't Look Down / Coda / Part of The Chaos / Colophon / Pilot In The Sky of Dreams / Ashes / Angels / Staring At The Sun / Long Way Home / The Rubicon // Slipstream

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Gigs, Progressive,

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