For Today is one of those bands that divide a lot of people's opinions. Whether you're familiar with the band or not, you've probably seen them recently making top headlines in the scene news due to their stance on subjects such as homosexuality. Despite all of this, the band still has a rather large following and is well renowned as an excellent live act. Their previous album, Immortal, debuted at number one on the Hard Rock charts and #15 overall, and this album is slated to do even better. But how good is the album musically?
As is typical for For Today, the signature aspect are the vocals. Mattie Montgomery is widely respected as one of the most talented unclean vocalists in the scene right now, and he his screams have never sounded better and the lyrics have an often intense delivery. Instrumentally, Fight The Silence is pretty much what you expect from a Metalcore band, but they do it exceptionally well. This is the sound of a band that is familiar with the sort of music they want to play, critics be damned. They have found their niche and continue to prove that they are one of the best bands playing this style of music. While a lot of bands can provide breakdowns and catchy melodies, For Today does it with such authenticity you can't help but feel impressed.
The album starts with the one-two punch of “Molotov” and the title track. “Molotov” kicks the album into high gear with the rallying cry of “BURN IT DOWN!” and the song doesn't let up until the clean chorus hits about a minute later. “Fight The Silence” is a rampant attack on human trafficking. Finishing with the aggressive shout of “We are the hope for the hopeless, fight the silence”. This is Mattie at his emotional best, and his anger and outrage is palpable.
“Break The Cycle” is noticeable for featuring Matty Mullins from Memphis May Fire. While guest vocalists on a Metalcore album are nothing new, the spot is featured so well it is worth a mention. The absolute stand out track on Fight The Silence is “A Call To Arms”. Easily the heaviest song on the album and featuring no clean vocals, this is the song that resonates with you even after the track is long done. The track is a verbal onslaught against poverty, focusing on the issue that is economic inequality. Opening with some of the best fry style screaming I've heard on a major release in quite awhile, the instrumentation keeps up with the intense pace set by the vocals, This is surely to be a live staple at all future shows.
“For The Fallen” features the best clean vocals/chorus on the album. Centering on a desperate plea for us to “come back to your home” this is one that grabs your attention regardless of your religious beliefs. The hook of “You are not what you've done, and this is not who you are. No matter how far you've run, you have not gone too far.” is something that has the potential to speak to a lot of people. Followed with the heavy emotional fare of “Fatherless” afterward the middle of the album is easily it's strongest.
The clean vocals are the weakest link of the album. Unlike the powerful and intense shouts from Montgomery, the cleans leave much to be desired, sticking with a tried and true Hard Rock style inflection. (The aforementioned “For The Fallen” notwithstanding) They're not necessarily bad, they're just boring and uninteresting. In a live setting, I'm sure they will provide satisfying sing back moments. But on the album, I found myself wanting to hurry and get back to the verses for the more intense moments. And after the intense four song rush of “A Call To Arms”, “For The Fallen”, “Fatherless” and “Dead To Rights”, the album does drag a little. But those four songs are worth the price of admission alone.
As well, it is important to note that For Today is donating a portion of all album sales to the A21 Campaign, which works to free people from human trafficking. As mentioned before, the album focuses on making the statement that it is not okay for anyone to remain silent when such activities like trafficking and extreme economic inequality/poverty have become such a very real fixture in our world. It is refreshing to see a band put some action behind their words. "Be the change you preach."
Fight The Silence isn't a perfect album and it isn't anything you've never heard before. But this is the genre at the top of it's game.
Be sure to catch For Today on their Fight The Silence tour with support from Stray From the Path, Like Moths to Flames, The Plot In You and Fit For a King. Dates are listed below:
January 30 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
January 31 - Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
February 3- Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theatre
February 5 - Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
February 6- Des Moines, IA @ Wooly's
February 8 - St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
February 9- Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
February 10 - Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
February 11- Toronto, ON @ Opera House
February 12- Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe
February 13- Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
February 14- Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
February 15- Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
February 16 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
February 18 - Springfield, VA @ Empire
February 19 - Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street
February 20- Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
February 21- Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
February 22 - West Palm Beach, FL @ The Box
February 23 - Jacksonville, FL @ Roc Bar
February 25- Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
February 26 - Louisville, KY @ Expo Five
February 27 - Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe at Old National Centre
February 28 - Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
March 1 - Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose
March 2 - Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre, Studio B
March 14-15 -Grand Prairie, TX @ SXSWhat
As well, For Today will be playing the entire run of Warped Tour.