Review Summary: Vicious. Vile. Visceral. Employed to Serve deliver again.
Employed to Serve's sophomore album (The Warmth of a Dying Sun) saw a massive leap in both ambition and quality from their debut (Greyer Than You Remember). It received critical acclaim and even topped Kerrang!'s album of the year list for 2017 as they barraged their way out of the underground.
Following an extensive touring cycle over the last two years, Employed to Serve have unleashed their third album (Eternal Forward Motion)... and it's brilliant.
One element Employed to Serve never disappoint on is riffs and guitar work. This record is no exception. It is rammed to the rafters once again with a concoction of chugging verses, battering breakdowns, and viscerally intense sections.
The dynamics and atmosphere throughout this album are also excellent. Track two (Beneath It All), which feels familiar in some regards to track two on the previous record (Good for Nothing), is a perfect example of where quiet/loud dynamics are employed to great effect to serve the song. Each instrument gets it's brief individual moment in the limelight before being forced back to tussle and tangle with the rest of the band once more.
Lyrically this album is very strong and attempts to address and attack various social issues throughout. However there are a few lyrics which do border on cringeworthy ("I need to try and block that sink hole in your face" in Force Fed a prime example). Justine Jones' delivery of these lyrics is certainly not cringeworthy though. Her voice is rarely anything but either vicious, gnarly or full of dread. The wild and vile shriek in Harsh Truth prior to the final breakdown will shiver straight down your spine.
One criticism I have of this album is the slower and more atmospheric songs (such as Suspended in Emptiness and album closer Bare Bones on a Blue Sky). Albeit still good, they simply do not reach the soaring heights which the title track and Half Life did on The Warmth of a Dying Sun.
The highlight of this album for me is the penultimate track (Owed Zero). It is a vile and visceral song from start to finish and is where Employed to Serve's influences of hardcore come directly to the forefront.
Overall, Employed to Serve have delivered again. Eternal Forward Motion is another welcomed addition to the collection of excellent records to emerge from the currently vibrant heavy music scene in the UK.