For Today
Breaker

As much as I like Facedown/Strikefirst Records and their quality―consistent Christian metal―none of the 2010 releases have blown me away. Sure, the likes of Impending Doom, In the Midst of Lions, As Hell Retreats, Onward to Olympas, Letter to the Exiles and The Burial are all solid, but I have to go back to the likes of Saving Grave, Earth From Above, Sleeping Giant, The Great Commission and Hands to find something that I was truly impressed by. Even though the third album from Iowa’s For Today is yet another improved effort, it does nothing to elevate the band above the other average if not entertaining releases listed above.

As Benjamin Deblasi stated in his review of Portraits, the band at least improved from their debut with their second album, and that improvement has surfaced again from album number two to album number three. The band is still plying a form of moderately heavy metalcore that combines chugging breakdowns, choppy stuttering riffs and some melodic injections that culls from Between the Buried and Me, Misery Signals, Life in Your Way and numerous tangible metalcore/hardcore influences.

As you’d expect from a Facedown release, everything is very competent and polished. While the band has indeed improved their metallic hymns of praise, it’s still a pretty nondescript, cookie cutter style that doesn’t really separate itself from the rest of the label’s roster. As with Portraits, even though the band is competent with their beefy bass drops and lurches (“Devastator”, “The Advocate”, “Seraphim”, “Arm the Masses”, “King”) the band is more enjoyable and convincing when delivering a more melodic, soaring, grace filled canter as heard on the likes of parts of “The Advocate” and “Seraphim”, “Phoenix”, “White Flag” and the start of “Psalm of the Sun”.

The album is broken up by four interludes (“The Breakers Origin”, “The Breakers Valley”, “The Breakers Encounter”, “The Breakers Commission”) and while three of them are typical Christian, acoustic/spoken word moments, “The Breakers Commission” actually ends the album with a superb, chorus backed, rousing hymn akin to some of Sleeping Giant’s more emotive, epic tracks (“Oh Praise Him”, “King of Kings”, “He Will Reign”, etc), and befitting the bands Christian beliefs.

Still, despite being a pleasing ending to an improved album, there’s just not quite enough creativity or character to warrant multiple listens unless you are a die hard Christian metal fan. And even then there are better options out there: For example Facedown’s next release by Your Memorial looks to break the label’s current streak.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 3rd, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: xbenx

    Nice review chief, looking forward to the Your Memorial then as I haven’t heard that one.


  2. Commented by: JH DOOM

    “quality-consistent Christian metal”

    LOL


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Christian metal sucks.


  4. Commented by: tom957

    Christianity, or any major religion, is not metal.


  5. Commented by: krustster

    How come every album from a christian band has retarded comments like this. Nobody gives a crap whether you think “christianity is not metal” or “christian metal sucks” because it’s completely pointless. Wow, you’re cool. Anyone that would be roasted by comments like that isn’t going to pay you any mind, and other than that it’s just a “heh, god sux, those guys are FAGS” circle-jerk. That’s like posting a comment that says “I didn’t this review and I have no intention of listening to this album, just so everyone knows.” What’s the point?

    As for this actual album I like it quite a bit although I can see where some of the complaints come in about not offering much in the way of new stuff. I definitely agree that “Seraphim” and “Phoenix” are among the best songs, also “Devastator” is a great start to the tape. I do think that this is a big improvement over their last album, which itself was good but pretty samey from a musical perspective. It’s also good to see some bands like this one just being blatant about the religious content and not worrying about losing fans, unlike groups such as Haste the Day and Underoath who have greatly moved away from that kind of content. The new HTD album is pretty darn good though.


  6. Commented by: krustster

    an added note about what’s metal or not, I’ve got news for you: it’s a style of music, nothing more. If it sounds like metal, it’s metal. It may or may not be GOOD metal depending on what you like. Case in point the subgenre of “death metal” which used to be thought of as music that involves lyrics about death and killing, but nowadays it just refers to a sound.

    Arguing about what’s metal or not based on anything other than what it sounds like is silly. Metal isn’t a lifestyle. I’m not metal either, far from it. I just like to listen to it.


  7. Commented by: JH DOOM

    Metal is a lifestyle, actually. To what degree you choose to live it is up to you.


  8. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    yeah, and part of that lifestyle lies with fucking SATAN. pose away, kids.


  9. Commented by: schmibra777

    Okay seriously guys, if you don’t like Christian metal or you think Christianity in itself is dumb or whatever than don’t listen to the album. For Today is notorious for their highly faith based lyrics, if you don’t wanna hear lyrics like that then don’t listen to them or just don’t hate on them for repping Christ.


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