"Subsurface" is the seventh studio album from Threshold, and the first one with Steve Anderson taking care of the bass guitar (he played on the "Critical Mass" tour and can be seen on the "Critical Energy" DVD). And like all their previous albums this is high quality progressive metal, it's not without a reason, that many consider them to be one of the best representatives of European progressive metal, because they set the standard on each release very high!
Jon Jeary leaving left a void, since he had taken care of most parts of the lyrics earlier on, but the void has been filled by Karl Groom and Richard West, who shares the lyrically side of Threshold now. Musically we get all the trademarks from them, with excellent guitarwork from Karl Groom and Nick Midson, and they deliver some great guitar-soli and rock solid rhythm. Richard West's keyboards is as always nice, smooth and fits the music perfectly, the rather new rhythm section is tight and lays down the foundations for all songs with ease and conviction. And what can I say about Andrew "Mac" McDermott's performance on this album? Absolutely awesome, he is in my opinion one of the best kept secrets in progressive metal, his voice is made for progressive metal, and he really excels on this album.
This album has alot more in commen with "Clone" than any of their last releases, it's not as hard or heavy, but do have hard and heavy parts, no worries there. Just the overall feel to it is a bit more laid back, rockier and a bit more progressive. The production and mix (done by Karl and Richard) is top noth and compliments the music great, and makes this album one of the best progressive metal albums on the year.
This is one of those albums, where you notice new facets to the music by each spin in your CD-player and the album don't open up the first few times you listen to it, but now some 15 times later I've really come to terms with this motherload of an album.
Do yourself a favour and buy this album NOW, and do get the Ltd. edition, because the bonus-track was originally written by "new" drummer Johanne James for his old band and with melody-lines fitted for him, which makes this track rather strange and a gives the album a nice touch to finish it off .....
Recommended tracks: "Mission Control", "Ground Control" and "The Art Of Reason"