Wounded Land is the British prog metal band Threshold's debut album released in 1993. And what a debut! It is not too common for us progheads to find a debut release that blow us away. I'm actually one of the Threshold fans that got into the band with Clone, Hypothetical and Critical Mass. However I did know that Damian Wilson was the original singer of the band and I happen to be a great fan of his work in Ayreon, Star One and Landmarq. His contribution on Lucassen's projects Ayreon and Star One are particularly to my liking. So after listening to the recent Threshold releases for over a year I felt it was time to pick up the Wilson-era stuff and I'm glad I did. I am so very impressed by Wounded Land. It is an amazing album from songwriting to the lyrics to Wilson's vocals to the production and the guys' talents on their instruments. The guitarist Karl Groom particularly shines here and the rhythm section is absolutely superb. Because the band has two guitarists the music can be really heavy compared to the majority of the bands out there, which is a great thing. The bassist was obviously given a lot of room to showcase his talents and the drummer is doing a great job complementing him. The keyboardist is very versatile too, he goes from an Arabic/Middle Eastern sound (check out the opening song "Consumed To Live") to ambient sound creating an excellent atmosphere.
Lyrically the album deals with social issues such as deforestation, unemployment, anti-capitalism, the Gulf War and its effects (especially the song "Siege of Baghdah"). The CD also has a nice surprise if you pop it into your CD-ROM drive explaining where exactly the term 'Wounded Land' came from.
I recommend it to everyone who has never heard of Threshold before. Clone was the first album from them that I got and I must admit it took some time to click. If I'd gone for Wounded Land, I'd have completed my Threshold catalog earlier.
* Review originally written in 2003.
- Consume to Live
- Days of Dearth
- Sanity's End
- Surface to Air
- Mother Earth
- Seige of Baghdad
- Keep It With Mine