The album kicks of with Watchtower on the Moon which is a quintessential Threshold song. From the simple yet catchy opening guitar riff, the gothic washes of keyboards, and to Wilson's dramatic vocal delivery; this song is everything that every Threshold fan expects when popping in their new album. Stylistically, this is very similar to the formula used on Threshold albums since about 2004's Subsurface (although traces of this can be heard throughout their discography). Duelling keyboards and guitars dominate the latter part of the song, while crunching rhythms and James' clean drumming keep things moving along. Unforgiven follows and this is where the darker elements of the band's sound really shine. It is quite a drawn-out piece with a very pulsing verse with added keyboard sparkle for colour. Wilson almost howls the chorus, and injects plenty of emotion into his performance. He can come across as a bit melodramatic at times, but he always manages to sound genuine. This song's chorus is an excellent example of this, and a lesser vocalist might make this sound contrived. Up next is the near 12 minute epic The Box which is a real progressive gem. It opens with delicate piano and acoustic guitar, but Wilson soon joins in and it is not long before the rest of the band kicks in and the song turns into a fully-fledged progressive metal piece. It moves through many movements in a short space of time. One moment we have flashy, shred-keyboards and the next moment the soundscapes return and Wilson's staccato vocal delivery along with similar drumming from James helps to create a real groove. The chorus, and overall feel of the song remind me of The Art of Reason from the Subsurface album which is no bad thing as that is an excellent song! Wilson uses many sides of his voice here, and his performance is stunning. West also stands out with lots of excellent keyboard textures, including a really melodic solo part-way through. Towards the end of the song, the melodies from the song's acoustic intro return, but with a full symphonic backing - it is truly stirring stuff! Turned to Dust is much simpler. This song, with it's heavy riffing and soaring chorus is very reminiscent of the songs that filled up March of Progress and gives you a nice headbanging piece after the more complex The Box. That is not to say that this song is not good however, as it is classic Threshold and boasts a really solid chorus of it's own!
Lost in Your Memory is a slower ballad, based around a really nice piano line. There is definitely an influence of 1980s AOR throughout this song with very prominent keyboards, clean guitar lines and lots of backing vocals to help Wilson. There is a really melodic guitar solo too that make use of note bending in a very classic prog way! Autumn Red is up next and it is probably my favourite song on the album. When I first heard it, the guitar line in the verse really stood out to me, and it was swimming around in my head for days after. That simple guitar line still does this, and it has proves to be one of the most memorable things on the album. Wilson sounds fantastic during this song's verses, and the chorus flows like only a Threshold chorus can. James also really stands out during this song. He is always more restrained on record, or than when he plays with his other band Kyrbgrinder, but for a short section after the song's guitar solo he really lets rip! The Mystery Show sounds a little like a sequel to The Box in some ways sound-wise. The introduction uses lots of effect-drenched guitars and vocals, but soon morphs into another progressive piece, albeit much shorter than The Box. The chorus has that similar, drawn-out structure to it and sees Wilson sounding his most theatrical as the song draws to a spooky close. The album's final song is the stunning Siren Sky, written by guitarist Pete Morten. He already showed us how strong of a songwriter he is with Coda and bonus track Divinity from March of Progress, but this is his best song yet! The song opens with hypnotic keyboards but crunching guitar riffing and double bass drumming soon kicks in and the song becomes a really heavy beast with some really rhythmic guitar playing. Like all Threshold songs though, melody is always king - and the chorus section is truly heavenly. There is also a rather spacey guitar solo that relies on atmospherics as much as technical skill. It has a little of Marillion's Steve Rothery about it, and helps to reinforce that progressive vibe. This song is majestic, and one of the best songs the band have ever produced, seriously. Overall, For the Journey is a really stunning piece of work. Every song here is really enjoyable (including the bonus track - a cover of Kyrbgrinder's I Wish I Could) and the album hangs together really well. After the five year delay between 2007's Dead Reckoning and March of Progress; plus the tragic death of former frontman Andrew MacDermott, the band have bounced back with two excellent albums in two years. Threshold are one of my favourite bands for a reason, and these albums are part of this.
The album was released on 22nd September 2014 via Nuclear Blast Records. Below is the band's promotional lyric video for Watchtower on the Moon.