Album Review
For Today - Immortal Album Cover

For Today - Immortal

Reviewed by
For Today - Immortal
Record Label: Razor & Tie
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Music is no stranger to religion. And vice versa. No matter what the faith believes or the music sounding, it seems as if nearly every boundary of the relationship between music and ministry has been plotted. I’d search for a particular quote to best fit the description, but one listen to Immortal, regardless of your musical or spiritual preferences, leaves no question behind the purpose of For Today’s breakdown-laced proclamations of faith and fury. While many a band have taken their career down this road before, i.e. August Burns Red, Underoath and The Devil Wears Prada to name some of the more recognizable ones, their is something inherently different about the presentation and the unwavering message of hope and overcoming struggle through the power of faith.

The music, though often quite grab-baggish in its nature of pulling from different lines of metal’s bloodlines, seems almost foreign when given such an unapologetic nudge from Mattie Montgomery’s thundering growls of faith-influenced lyricism. It might not speak to us all in the same way, but the varying familiarities of the message here doesn’t hinder Immortal from being a strong case for metalcore’s latest example of crossing the streams – and succeeding regardless of your acceptance for it.

Bridging influences from radio rock to borderline deathcore, For Today shows solid growth on Immortal. It’s a little strange to say the band is on their fourth full-length in five years, but the two year gap between this record and Breaker has certainly given the band time to shrug off some of the sounds they seemed less influenced by and were more copious of.

The dark, yet hopeful vibes of Immortal ring true as the band bounces between breakneck melodic hardcore and burst rhythmic pummeling. Single “Fearless” opens up and rekindles a vibe of Stick To Your Guns, though the comparison doesn’t come about often (“The Only Name”) in Immortal. At first thought, For Today comes off as another breakdown machine, churning out punch after punch without adding much in between. However, as the track proceeds, the band’s addition of flair throughout the verses and very As I Lay Dying-like inclusion of melody throughout the track set the tone from this band falling between the cracks of their own breakdowns. It is a tone-setter for the rest of the album, bracing us for the tweaks of later tracks like “Immortal” and “Under God”.

“Fearless” is also one of several songs that isn’t inherently religious in its lyricism, making its message resonate a bit more through less specific wordings. “Foundation” also dips into For Today’s bag of occasionally used relentless lead licks – also see the spiced up passages of “Open Eyes” – to drive the track while not simply relying on entirely open chord breakdowns to change up the track’s tendency to rely on slowdowns before reviving it with an energetic, yet slightly flat chorus.

To touch back though, it is the multi-layered musicianship of the band’s breakdowns and songwriting that truly make these songs refreshing at times where other bands rely on simply making melodies and straightforward structuring to get their point across. “Stand Defiant” is one of those tracks. Channeling a bit of the sludgy sound bands like The Acacia Strain are known for, the rhythmic pulsing of the verses is accentuated by both limiting their use of the super low chording and separating it all with a bright, uplifting chorus that while slow at first capitalizes on the song’s everchanging foundation to bring us strong melodies and a proper backing for Montgomery’s vocals. Finding the balance between variety and outright confusion is a difficult one when it comes to songwriting, but for the most part Immortal finds itself able to control its quirks and spurts of melody with ease.

Montgomery's lyricism is what will be the sticking point for many people on this band. It is difficult to describe his words as anything outside of 'inspirational', as the bulk of Immortal's content draws upon the sharing of the message behind the band's faith. There are certainly a number of angles the band takes in the process, whether it be staying steadfast in one's faith or proclaiming the struggles of oneself in today's world. It might get a little preachy at times, something any message-based music is sure to draw from someone regardless of what is backing it. It's certainly nice to hear some passages open up to interpretation by the listener regardless of any spiritual influence, but I would have no dispute in believing the passion with which For Today shares the message they have through many a song as well as the band's live performances.

Sounding like a modern sermon for those with a leniency to metal and hardcore, For Today’s Immortal is a testament to the band’s growth and continuation down their path of musicianship. While not quite as technical as August Burns Red or as memorable at times as As I Lay Dying, Immortal should be a catalyst for the future of the band – impressing even those who might disagree with their faith-backed intentions.

Recommended If You LikeAugust Burns Red, As I Lay Dying
This review is a user submitted review from Jason Gardner. You can see all of Jason Gardner's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27
11:38 PM on 05/20/12
Brap Brap
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Interesting. I've always been a little bored by this band, but then I've only really heard Ekklesia and Portraits. I couldn't really put my finger on what it was about those records that would put me to sleep (seriously, if I put on Ekklesia I'm liable to fall asleep within 10 minutes) but I didn't actively dislike them either. I'll give this a shot. Good review, stoked about the lyrics.
05:54 AM on 05/21/12
Go Ahead and Pass Me by, Parade
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UphillBothWays's Avatar
I've liked a couple songs by these guys, but never got into them. The songs they have released off this album haven't left a memorable impression either. Great review, maybe I can give this a try sometime.
07:18 AM on 05/21/12
Spencer Control
i am orange and i can grow wings
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Spencer Control's Avatar
I've always been on the fringes of liking these guys, so the good reviews this is getting make me hopeful that this will turn the tide completely.
07:51 AM on 05/21/12
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PaperLantern's Avatar
I hope this album is more technical than their last one. We saw flashes of brilliance when it came to guitar work on their last album, but they didn't show up often enough.
08:30 AM on 05/21/12
always hungry.
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dtomczak's Avatar
As a big fan of this band (and a fan who disliked the single "Fearless"), this is good news. I had bad feelings about this album since the singles were so chock full of boring, overused breakdowns. Really looking forward to this.
10:42 AM on 05/21/12
The Starship Renegade
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guitarguy211's Avatar
These guys are on my watch list. Not normally a metalcore fan, but I think these guys could grow on me.
10:57 AM on 05/21/12
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Acad08's Avatar
Yes! Can't wait to hear this, I loved Breaker.
02:00 PM on 05/21/12
Jason Gardner
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Jason Gardner's Avatar
As a big fan of this band (and a fan who disliked the single "Fearless"), this is good news. I had bad feelings about this album since the singles were so chock full of boring, overused breakdowns. Really looking forward to this.
"Fearless" is a good single as far as that goes, but it's lower on the list of how I'd probably rank these songs for sure.
07:30 PM on 05/21/12
Inside of your heart always
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johnnyferris's Avatar
I really like this band, but after seeing them live my opinion kind of changed with them. They're amazing live, but Mattie's preaching was really off putting to me. Almost 20 minutes of the set was dedicated to him shoving down his faith down people's throats. I'm even Christian and I thought it was way too much. I definitely understand their message and I totally respect them for it. I just don't think I'll see them again.
09:14 PM on 05/21/12
Captain Blood
kicking names, taking ass
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Captain Blood's Avatar
Recommended If You Like: August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying

hahaha whoa! don't give em too much credit. more like sleeping giant & whatever solid state/tooth & nail band is out there
11:15 PM on 05/21/12
"Look mom, no hands!"
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Miketheunicycle's Avatar
Recommended If You Like: August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying

hahaha whoa! don't give em too much credit. more like sleeping giant & whatever solid state/tooth & nail band is out there
i agree those riyl are giving way too much credit to this

feel they're a boring band, with a few good tracks. saw them live, really solid sound. good performance. dude just needs to chill out and realize you can't bring people to god, they have to find that relationship for themselves. his slap mouth preachy live ramble was something for sunday, not metal kids paying 20 bucks to rock out. I HOPE HE SOMEHOW READS THIS, YOUR LYRICS ARE PREACHY ENOUGH AS IS, MAN!
11:18 AM on 05/22/12
It Only Gets Better
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ramomcferno's Avatar
Solid album. I need to listen to it more but I liked it.
12:14 PM on 05/22/12
it's just the gravity I keep around
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cococrisp20's Avatar
The album is average at best, "Fearless" and "Stand Defiant" are the only tracks I really enjoy, and "The Only Name" and "My Confession" are decent. On the whole though, it's 9 songs with essentially the same monotonous chugging and slow breakdowns broken up with boring two steps. I do like Mattie's vocals and they add something a bit unique, but this album is by far their worst release. Portraits and Breaker are miles ahead of what this record is, definitely a regression for a band that is awesome live.
12:30 PM on 05/22/12
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mybreakingpoint's Avatar
Mattie's such a good guy.

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