Review Summary: "So I laid down my life for the world to see. There was only one who could break the chains that bound me."
For Today have conviction. It has been a constant since the beginning of their career as a band, harkening all the way back to Ekklesia. It is what has helped to set them apart from their contemporaries. With Immortal For Today shows yet again why they continue to be a competitive force in the Christian and metal scenes.
Immortal begins with a compelling intro that contains excerpts from different preachers proclaiming the name of Christ. Although having this sort of intro is very formulaic For Today does manage to pull it off, a lot of credit being due to the haunting strings that occur throughout the track. An interlude also containing string instruments occurs halfway through the album; both of these tracks adhere to what amounts to a pretty conservative album structure, but still manage to feel genuine and thought-out.
The instrumentation on Immortal is very similar to all of For Today’s other albums. Expect constant breakdowns, frequent bass drops, and a little guitar noodling every now and then. Although this style of instrumentation can get a little tedious to listen to at times For Today does it well; their sheer passion, aggression, and energy more than compensate for the sometimes repetitive nature of their songs. Tracks such as “Immortal,” “Under God,” and “Set Apart” really showcase these traits although listening to any track on Immortal can effectively convey all three.
Mattie Montgomery’s vocals are as good as always; he easily transitions from deep growled vocals to screeches reminiscent of those found on Portraits. His vocals truly affirm the passion for which he and his band mates proclaim the name of Christ. A new addition to For Today’s vocal arsenal is the clean vocals employed throughout the album. It is refreshing that although For Today decided to make use of clean vocals they did so infrequently; this allows for some vocal diversity throughout the album without feeling too overpowering. Tracks such as “Fearless,” and “Foundation” showcase these new vocals, and they are a welcome addition. While some may have a problem with the lyrics on Immortal they are well-written; grounded in religious faith, hope, and trust that there is something beyond this world. There are also a few surprise guest vocals from Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red, Tommy Green of Sleeping Giant, and Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. that add some extra flavor to their respective tracks.
Overall, Immortal is an album that is put together well. For Today continues to preach their faith, while still keeping things musically interesting. Although the conventions they choose to employ may get slightly repetitive at times the amount of effort and passion that they put into their music more than makes up for it. They are a band with clear intention: to bring religious faith to the world. Their unwavering conviction professes itself loud and clear through their music.