Review Summary: Fight the Mediocrity.
For Today have always been a band in need of a preface, and it’s a simple one at that. If you are to enjoy their music, you either have to agree with their aggressively Christian message, or just ignore it entirely because it certainly isn’t easily palatable, nor is it an aspect of the band that sits on the wayside. Indeed, vocalist Mattie Montgomery’s words are arguably more a signature feature of For Today than the metalcore music chugging behind him, and whether you love the band or hate them is largely going to depend on how you receive the band's religious stance more than anything else.
Keeping that in mind, you can approach their music with an objective criticism – for as we all know quite well, their past public words, particularly on the subject of homosexuality, have made discrediting them as a band especially appealing for many, yet it would be the mark of a poor critic to dock their music for their personal beliefs.
Therefore, if I may review Fight The Silence
in an approach which leaves out the lyrical aspects of the album, as they are essentially the same as they’ve always been (with an added focus on bringing awareness to human trafficking), and commenting on the effectiveness or quality of them would be unlikely to change anyone's opinion of the band at this point anyway, I can instead comment on the quality of Fight The Silence’s
songwriting, and it’s not too great.
explored interesting and unconventional song formulas (look no further than “Isaiah, The Willing,” “Seraphim,” "White Flag," and "Talmidim” for great examples of this), and maintained easily distinguishable tracks, Immortal
, and especially Fight The Silence
, are plagued by your generic, repetitive breakdown + bass drop + shredding agendas, with little to no variation from track to track. It’s as if the band had finally found a niche sound, but weren’t conscious of the fact that evolving and experimenting are exactly what musicians need to do if they are to remain relevant and interesting.
Now, of course when a particularly sound, no matter how rigid and monotonous, is what you enjoy playing the most, it’s an admirable thing – writing music that is fun to play will translate to an energetic and inspiring live show, after all – but that degree of repetition isn’t what we as listeners can find exciting on a band’s fifth album, and that’s the biggest problem with Fight The Silence
. You have tracks “Molotov,” Fight the Silence,” “Break the Cycle,” “For the Fallen,” “Fatherless,” and “Dead to Rights” doing absolutely nothing better or different than what the band has done on past LPs, other than implementing an overabundance of clean choruses from guitarist Ryan Leitru, which frankly are boring, uninspiring, and somehow more generic than anything else about the band's music. Yet, if there is anything Fight the Silence
proudly displays it’s Mattie’s vocals, which based on their clarity and power, are still some of the best in the genre.
While many disciples of For Today will surely enjoy Fight The Silence
just as they’ve enjoyed everything else the band has put out, the band’s latest LP is simply a weak release and one that makes the future of For Today look irrelevant, which is a shame because when the band does stretch their creative limbs, they can create some truly enjoyable songs.