Subsurface is bound to keep the Threshold faithful happy. With Critical Mass enjoying enormous success, spawning a live CD and DVD titled Critical Energy, and the release of this monster prog-metal album, it will most surely continue to up the ante for worldwide stardom for this band. Yes, international acclaim most certainly beckons now with impressive back-to-back powerhouse releases behind them.
There is a new member now, Steve Anderson, he takes Jon Jeary’s place on bass. Anderson fits in nicely into the scheme of things. Mac is steadily becoming one of the most effective and charismatic front man in rock, leaving no doubt of his ability to belt out anything thrown at him with strength and conviction. What can I say about Karl Groom and Nick Midson? They are two of the most underrated guitar players on the planet. The foundation of the band, the drummer, is simply phenomenal; Johanne James pounds the skins as if he was hypnotized. Concisely, this unit defines the word band.
The lyrics of this album really grabbed me and the cover is a clue to what the premise of the entire album is. The picture is saying that we are reflection of ourselves and we see it everyday on that idiot box we call TV, it forces us to reflect. Right below the subsurface is all the crap and muck…but is it really buried that deep or is it plain to see? In some people it is and in others it remains well hidden, yet bubbling just below (the subsurface) ready to come gushing forth in all it’s nasty splendor.
On “Flags and Footprints” Mac sings about the summer of promises turning into the lies of fall by using the analogy of the leaves turning red and falling from the trees dead to the ground-its all so prolific and thought provoking, with powerful and sweeping surges that take you away with the wind of the words. “The Art Of Reason” is possibly one their most stirring warnings yet, with lyrics like “I can’t believe we never noticed, I can’t believe it took so long, for us to turn around the future, in the rush to be globalized we signed away our freedom, as the truth was neutralized we’ve lost the art of reason.” This makes a very strong reference to our freedom as human beings. This album’s principle revolves around not compromising our freedom and rights for anything, i.e. money, political reasons, and to stand firm with our truths at all cost, and to never give in or we will lose our integral spirit, the very life force that continues to drive us and give us hope to carry on another day.
I believe that this is one of the most important releases of the year both musically and lyrically. It is a real revelation-get it.
Note: The Limited Edition features an extended booklet, Bonus track “What About Me” (4.19), multimedia section including video, gallery and more.
1. Mission Profile (8.15)
2. Ground Control (7.13)
3. Opium (6.48)
4. Stop Dead (4.21)
5. The Art Of Reason (10.20)
6. Pressure (5.17)
7. Flags And Footprints (4.54)
8. Static (5.07)
9. The Destruction Of Words (6.14)
Karl Groom: guitars
Nick Midson: guitars
Richard West: keyboards
Steve Anderson: bass
Johanne James: drums