Threshold - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2016

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The Journey Continues Tour
January 24 (21:00 - 22:55)
Capacity 800

To finish off the touring for their most recent album For The Journey, and following their first live album in 11 years, probably English progressive metal's heaviest band elected to play the entire thing live for an exclusive two-week run in Europe.

A return to the Islington Academy, which they last played in 2014 when For The Journey was released, provided the only UK date on the tour, and therefore generated a significantly larger attendance than last time. Threshold have also been slowly gaining momentum since vocalist Damian Wilson rejoined the band in 2007, which has seen them move from a half-full Underworld to a nearly sold-out Islington Academy since the release of March of Progress in 2012.

The attractiveness of this trek to prog fans was bolstered by the addition of France's Spheric Universe Experience as main support, a well-respected band who rarely get to tour away from mainland Europe. Their set, led by charismatic front-man Frank Garcia, was very well-received, and should have got them on a few more peoples' radars at the very least. If they can follow up with another support slot or two, that should be enough to get them their own tour.

Threshold themselves had probably the best show they've had in London for some time. The bigger crowd, a longer set, and playing a very well-received album, must have spurred them on, because as flawless as they normally are anyway, this was the best performance they've put on in London since Wilson returned.

With For The Journey obviously taking up the lion's share of the set, and certain songs having becoming mainstays, like Slipstream, Mission Profile, and Pilot In The Sky of Dreams, there wasn't a lot of room left for deep selections from the band's catalogue, but they pulled one out anyway, and started with it. Freaks, from the Andrew McDermot-fronted Clones album, hasn't been in the set for over ten years and along with Mission Profile provided an excellent lead-in to the set's For The Journey centrepiece, which kicks of with three of the only four songs to have made it into the set on the album's original tour.

Familiarity out of the way, that meant many of following songs had not been played live before this leg, like Oceanbound, Siren Sky, and Autumn Red, some of them possibly to never be played again, but the crowd seemed to have done their research, singing along to virtually the entire album like it was already a decade-old classic. The strength of For The Journey is that it flows superbly as an album, and the songs manage the same thing live, even when broken up by Wilson's adventures into the crowd, or climbs up the rigging to the balcony, as the band continue in his absence from the stage.

Pilot In The Sky of Dreams and Ashes kept their places from last time to close the main set, and the brilliant The Art of Reason returned for the encore before Slipstream, as the band took the wise decision to close with a fan-favourite rather than a newer song that not so many people knew like they did last time. For just under two hours they were flawless, and once the word of this performance gets around, Threshold's next appearance in London show swell the crowd again, possibly enough to sell out a venue like the Academy.

“ the best performance they've put on in London ”

Setlist: Freaks / Mission Profile / Watchtower On The Moon / Unforgiven / The Box / Turned To Dust / Lost In Your Memory / Autumn Red / The Mystery Show / Siren Sky / Oceanbound / Pilot In The Sky of Dreams / Ashes // The Art of Reason / Slipstream

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2016, Gigs, Progressive,

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