Iowa’s For Today have returned with their new record Fight The Silence. Their fifth effort introduces listeners to new guitarist Sam Penner, and drummer David Puckett, just as their popularity is on the rise, building from the momentum of the band’s previous release Immortal. Though a strong release, Fight The Silence sees the band falling into the traps of a stagnant evolution.
From the opener “Molotov,” there is a strong indication of what to expect from the record, as the song serves a blueprint for what is to follow, with little deviation from the path. The constant chugging of the rhythmic ups and downs pushes this record back and forth, leaving breaks for the melodic hook, which is a common theme throughout the record.
Melody is never a bad thing, especially in metal. Yet the predictability of repetition is what hampers this record. Essentially, the “insert song name” into the hook is Fight The Silence’s blueprint. Songs like “Break The Cycle,” “Fatherless” and “Hated By The World” all fall right into this trap.
The record even features two tension releasing moments: “Resonate” and the aptly titled “Reflections.” Both feature clean vocals tucked away in the background under the layers of clean guitar tracks, almost exactly what you would expect from a record in this genre.
If there is a highlight from this record, it is found in vocalist Mattie Montgomery’s performance, which would have to be strong if this sound were to be pulled off to its intent. Lyrically, the band tackles issues that many are not, such as the tragedy of sex trafficking in the song “Fight The Silence,” a bold and courageous track, which focuses on the issue the band has taken up as a charitable cause as well.
The band’s positive message is true to their Christian roots as well, one thing their fans will surely appreciate, but musically, this record is just too predictable.
(released February 4, 2014 on Razor & Tie)