Album Review

For Today - Fight The Silence

Released February 4, 2014
Lisa Sanchez
For Today is some kind of weird mecha-metal-Christian-machine. I don't fully understand it, but the new album Fight the Silence defines the band well. It's filled with peaks and valleys of steeped, heavy vocals coupled with more melodic choruses and rhythms. Unfortunately, the ups and downs of the album reflect my level of interest.

Fight the Silence blasts in heavy and fast with the first two tracks, "Molotov" and "Fight the Silence" which feature some almost surprisingly observant lyrics. "Molotov" acts as a call to arms for social change, whereas "Fight the Silence" actually deals with the harmful effects of sex trafficking. I know, right? "Fight the Silence" embraces an emotional topic and rages against the system of apathy which allows the practice of sex trafficking to continue. Kudos to these guys for reminding me bands sometimes care about stuff.

The following song, "Pariah", only amps up the heavy riffs and bitter screams. Sadly, it's one of those songs where I have to try and pretend they're not singing a guitar-layered version "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know". I was actually really annoyed that this is one of the better songs on the album musically, but the lyrics are so heavy-handed that the song turns into the crazy blind priest of "Little Nicky". It's not pretty.

For Today is a super-Christian band. By "super-Christian" I mean they've lost members to missionary service. That's their deal, just like plenty of other agenda bands. However, For Today's vocalist, Mattie Montgomery, has included commentary for each song on Fight the Silence. Someone should have edited him, advised him, or just straight forbidden him from speaking anything resembling words. His commentary does expand on some of the themes of the album, but most of the lyrics are so blatant that almost anyone could get the gist. It seems to damage the individual appeal of the album as a whole, because now all I can think of when I listen to "Pariah" is Mattie Montgomery blathering on about martyrs and how hundreds of thousands are killed each year. Then I took a nap.

Following the short interlude, "Reflections", the band fires back with "Break the Cycle" a rallying cry against the lack of role models in the metal and alternative music scenes. I don't know if For Today is willing to step up to fill the lead role, but I'm pretty sure that's how Jonestown happened. Jim Jones loved hardcore. At this point in the album, I realized I had been lured into a musical snare. I was digging the catchy lyrics, the bouncy riffs, but then realized I was being hit with scatter-shot morality. Whatever, it's still a good song.

That's the phrase you have to keep repeating to yourself throughout Fight the Silence. Another highlight from the album was "For the Fallen", an onslaught of guttural vocals coupled with an emphatic chorus. Then, oh wait, it's about shaming people who left Christianity. For Today, I beg of you, let me have one song I can legitimately enjoy. You've got a good thing going. Just...chill out for the length of one entire song. WWJD?

The next few songs trail a bit until "One Voice" where For Today get some trippy guitars involved, and, finally a god honest hardcore "Fuck You" song. It's legitimately enjoyable to hear the band let go and Mattie Montgomery really belt out some truly devastating vocals.

Fight the Silence ends right with the brutal track "Hated by the World". Seriously, you can tell For Today knows what that feels like, so it's awesome to hear the legitimacy of the lyrics. "Hated by the World" has to be a killer live song. It's got some great gang vocals, chunky guitar parts, and slows the tempo a bit to build suspense. This song is the trophy piece of the entire album, it actually showcases what For Today can really do, so at least you don't leave disappointed.

For Today appear to do the compliment sandwich approach to album writing. They start out strong, put all the crap in the middle, and then bring it all back around town with some killer tracks. Music is universal, independent, and personal. Explaining all of the intentions and lyrics to the songs hurt the overall experience of Fight the Silence, but it doesn't hide the composition. Listen to the album without even acknowledging the commentary, heed my warning. For Today have some really good points in their music, but they're obscured by the shear volume and tenacity with which they are expressed.

With Commentary: 30/100
Without Commentary: 70/100