Sound — 9
The sound of this album is very unique. It engages brutal breakdowns yet still maintains a very melodic sound to it. Very creative guitar work and just simply amazing drumming. The direction in which For Today has chosen to write their debut is a narrow road, but I think they pulled it off quite well. Mattie's vocals sound in the album are very well complimented with a clean vocal throughout the album. Not necessarily in every song, but still very evident. The breakdowns in this record are absolutely incredible. Progressive breakdowns would be the best word to describe it. Very, very talented group of young men and they know how to use it.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are very pro-christian in this album. Optimistic and thoughtful. They start off with "Infantry" which places someone asking to "Make us soldiers of men. Bringing strength to the weak". Although the lyrics are very vague or too deep. It calls people into seeing the good in others and God. The positive messages are often sung during very hard breakdowns and it is an odd combo but you just can't help the breaking ability of For Today. The singing of the album is very odd. It's not exactly singing, it's more of a complimentary voice rather than frontman vocals. There are plenty of gang vocals to go around and it sounds a lot like "Rage Against The Machine" at times. The screaming in not very diverse. Mattie variates between very high throaty vocals to pretty good lows.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, "Ekklesia" is a very progressive album in its sound but not it's lyrics. It has enough to tie someone over. Everything could be better but this album is definitely a great start to future great band. I'm really excited to see them live and listen to any future releases. The most impressive song musically is, in my opinion, "Agape". The sweeps in the breakdown make that song near immortal. If this album were stolen or lost, I'm pretty sure I would buy it again. It is definitely a must have for any metal fans out there. Don't past this band up. They have plenty of depth to keep you listening.