For Today is one of the fastest rising bands in metalcore for a reason. They churn (chug?) out records like no other. This is their 4th LP in just about as many years. Immortal is their first release on Razor and Tie records, following a trio of releases on California’s Facedown Records. After landing spots on several high profile tours (including a well publicized stint with We Came As Romans last year) they moved from the very, very Christian Facedown to the more mainstream Razor and Tie, which seems to serve as a hub for artists on their way up (or down). So, how does Immortal reflect this change?
One thing that doesn’t change about For Today is the bold lyrics. These guys are unabashedly Christian. Mattie Montgomery has made a name for himself beyond rock stardom as a charismatic speaker and voice of a generation wanting to embrace their faith in a radical way. This transfers to shows, and is undoubtedly the strongest force in the record. Chants of “WE WILL NOT! WE WILL NOT! WE WILL NOT BE AFRAID!” in lead single “Fearless” exemplify this ideology.
How does the music stack up? Take every metalcore cliche, chuck them in a blender, and this is the smoothie that results. But, it is a very tasty smoothie. It’s like buying your favorite flavor of smoothie – you’ve had it a thousand times before, but you love it just the same and are pretty much just as excited to be getting it again as you were the second (or first) time. In short, these guys don’t bring a whole lot of new stuff to the table, but they milk what they got to their utmost. There are breakdowns. A lot of them. Perhaps leaning a bit too much on the liberal side but they are fun! They don’t have quite the mastery of buildup leading up to them that say, August Burns Red does but they are fun nonetheless. Haste the Day would probably be the closest comparison in this category. Clean vocals are used sparingly – notably in “Fearless” in gang style and in “The Only Name” which feature Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D.
Probably the most notable thing about the record other than the lyrical content are the well-picked guest appearances. They include the aforementioned Sonny Sandoval, along with Jake Luhrs (August Burns Red) and Tommy Green (Sleeping Giant). The Jake Luhrs track “Set Apart” probably has the most ABR-like riff on the record, while Tommy Green appears on one of the more call-to-arms-ish songs on the record (“Under God”). Neither of these are surprises but they are enjoyable and done well. In short, if you’re looking for innovation avoid this record, but if you enjoy some good ol’ American metalcore every now and then this record is a must buy.