Sound — 7
Known amongst the collective of Christian metalcore bands that quelled the notion that "all heavy music is devil music," For Today holds very strong convictions about their beliefs and the messages they convey in their music. And whether that makes you love them or hate them, they are going to keep making music regardless. While working on their fifth album, frontman Mattie Montgomery saw something that would rattle his very core, and end up being the newfound inspiration for the upcoming album that was already in the works: he saw a spectacle on human trafficking. After that experience, For Today created the album "Fight The Silence," which would be their articulation about the atrocity of human trafficking and the need for action to end it. Not only would the band drive this message with passion, but they would also put their money where their mouths were, and donate proceeds from the album and the supporting tour to the A21 campaign that works to fight human trafficking.
Generally, For Today keeps it pretty formulaic with the sound on this album: you'll find the standard routine of heavy chugging guitar riffs and screaming vocals in verses, and more melodic guitar lines and clean vocals in the choruses in nearly all the songs. The drums are perhaps the most complex throughout the album, with plenty of fantastic drum-fills to choose as your favorite (but it's just as easy to say that they're all your favorites). For Today mixes it up with their intros, though: using the filtered instrumental intros in "Molotov," "Fight the Silence" and "Pariah"; guitar feedback crescendo intros in "A Call to Arms," "For the Fallen" and "One Voice"; and songs like "Fatherless," "Dead to Rights" and "Hated by the World" just jump right into the metalcore with reckless abandon. The guitars get to display some higher skill in "Fatherless," where quick fills are thrown on top of the chugging riffs, "Pariah," where the lead goes into a nice sweep arpeggio at the bridge, and "One Voice," where complex clean riffs ring over the heaviness of the choruses. The guitars also get to be very harmonious in "Resonate" and "Reflections," which are the interludes of the album that let you take a breath before diving back into the aggressive songs. "Reflections" is also the somber counterpart and predecessor to "Break the Cycle," which features guest vocalist Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire, and the two tracks work well in tandem.
Lyrics — 8
While the sound aspect of the album is just about everything you'd expect from For Today, the lyrical aspect is where "Fight the Silence" becomes more than your standard metalcore album. Frontman Mattie Montgomery had made it clear what he intended for the album when they released the eponymous single as the flagship music video a couple months ago. The lyrics to "Fight the Silence" really go all-out about bringing awareness to the issue of human trafficking, with Montgomery's poignant rhymes and symbolism about fighting the silence that plagues the unawareness of human trafficking being delivered with the utmost intensity. While "Fight the Silence" is the lyrical MVP of the album, Montgomery did not put all of his lyrical eggs in one basket, per se - songs like "Call to Arms," "One Voice" and "Resonate" also contain messages that complement the core message in "Fight the Silence." And while the direct subject matter in "Fatherless" is about the absence of a father figure, parallels can be tied between that message and the children who are victims of human trafficking, which also helps people who may relate to the direct message to be able to better comprehend the plight of human trafficking. But if you're someone that's hoping to hear For Today's classic subject matter of Christian overtones, songs like "Pariah," "Dead to Rights" and "Hated by the World" ought to satisfy.
Overall Impression — 8
Music becomes better when it's composed with substantial purpose. Though For Today sticks with the methods they're familiar with musically, they use those methods to deliver a message that meant a great deal to them, and they did it well. It's hard to imagine if the connotation of human trafficking was completely absent from the album, but if it were, "Fight the Silence" would probably be just an average metalcore album. But you can't separate that message from the album, because that message is the album. And that's what makes it more than just average.