Sound — 9
The Christian metalcore act is back at it with their fourth album release! I discovered these guys not too long ago, and I am impressed. After setting out an album every year, they now go to the 2-year span, and quite honestly it has really paid off. Now signed to Razor & Tie Records. Gang vocals were still set in this album, but not as much as their past albums. The focus was more directed towards Mattie on the sound, and occasionally Ryan would come in and do cleans. I noticed that he contributed more with singing on this album, and he fit in quite well. The smooth, heavy guitars busted throughout pretty much every track on this album, as well as the banging of the drums.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics portrayed pretty much what you'd expect from For Today. More lyrics about their religious beliefs were brought into context, but spoken with even more powerful energy than from what we heard from Mattie before. The cutting edge of Mattie's screams really killed it throughout just about every single song here. His screams are so powerful that I honestly could imagine him fronting a death metal band, and his screams do fit that perspective. At times, I would just get blown away by the force of his powerful screams.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I really liked this album. It sets the stone for their fourth release, and they went strong on this one. I feel as though these gets get better after every album they make. These guys can be compared to many other Christian metalcore acts, but what makes them really different is the overall tone of Mattie's voice, and the lyrics they put on through. Bands I could compare these guys to, though, if anything, would be August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Texas In July, and As I Lay Dying. They're all Christian metalcore acts for that fact. And speaking of August Burns Red, For Today did a song with Jake Luhrs, who is the lead front man of ABR, on this album. That song is called "Set Apart". "Set Apart", "Stand Defiant", "Fearless", "Immortal", "Foundation", "Open Eyes", and "My Confession" would have to be my favorite songs from the album. I pretty much love every song off the album, as you can see. For Today also did a song with Sonny Sandoval from P.O.D. I thought this was a pretty cool collaboration. My favorite from the album would definitely have to be "Stand Defiant", though. Just the overall energy Mattie's vocals brought in throughout the song gave me the chills. Another song I absolutely loved was "Immortal". In the beginning of the song, Mattie already rages his voice out at 0:10 and speaks this "Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives. Everyone dies, but the faithful will live on to rule the Kingdom." Just the message Mattie is trying to send really shows how much it means to him, and they way he speaks it with brutal force. Another track, that I also got hooked on, was "Fearless". This lead single just pumped me up so much. This song had more of the memorable moment of gang vocals. Right off the bat in the song, it went like this, "We will not, We will not, We will not be afraid x4" I thought these lyrics added on quite nicely as gang vocals, and then Mattie comes in right away with, "We are FEARLESS... FEARLESS! My favorite line of the song would have to be, "Every threat is hollow because our victory is already set in stone." This line also is quite nice, "Though we stand in this dark valley (we will not be afraid) For we know that you are near." This album was quite amazing, and really showed that metalcore really has some potential. The overall energy brought in by every member was quite impressive. I am not Christian, I am actually Buddhist, so the other side to the lyrics, in which shows many of the band's beliefs, didn't really make me necessary believe too, but it made me see how these lyrics really show something to them, and about them. As for Mattie's vocals, I am quite impressed, even though I'm not very into the death metal-esque type screams. But it does work in this band, and I am pleased by it. Other than that, I can't wait to this these guys at this summer's Warped Tour!