Winston : Alex Papatheodorou is a German (ha, you thought Greek right?) guitarist who must have been sitting in his attic room, playing the first three Ayreon albums back to back before he realized that he could give it a try himself. And, to say it right away, he succeeds, but not with flying colors but a nice compliment is justified here. That doesn't erase the fact that some passages and moments sound familiar, as if he went through Arjen Lucassens' Electric Castle garbage.
Three vocalists are featured on 'Threshold Of Pain' and it is a pity that the best one, Leonie Ludwig only sings on one track, the nice 'Winds Of Hope'.Ex-High 'n Dry singer Joe Mizzi handles the most vocal duties but he sounds a bit forced at times. All the Ayreon/Star One ingredients are there; the heavy riffs, the melodic and quiet passages and nice keyboard work. Papatheodrou takes his acoustic guitar out often and that offers a nice variation though in the song 'Master Of Another World' Tobias Scheid (The Prophecy) sings with a grunt voice over acoustic guitar and that made me laugh. That's not the way to do it I'm afraid. The song itself is nice enough, an innocent mishap therefore. Young talent must be supported so Alex deserves a bonus in the final grading of this album. Ayreon and Star One should go and take a look at the MySpace page of Eternal Journey.