For Today ‘Fight The Silence’
Prior to giving my life to Christ I listened to just about anything with a heavy metal guitar. With tastes ranging from Eric Clapton and Pink Floyd to Metallica and Alice In Chains, the harder the rock the better. One thing I did not like was the heavy “screamo” bands (as I called them) where you could barely comprehend what they were singing about. So in 2009, a friend of mine hands me a CD and says, “Dude, you have to listen to this CD. I know you don’t like the ‘screamo’ music, but trust me, I think you’ll actually like this.” It was a newer Christian metal-core band called For Today, the album was Portraits and the song, “Immanuel (The Challenger)”. The assault of metal guitars hit me like a brick wall and then the low grumbling vocals of Mattie Montgomery screamed “Repent or perish!” I guess I could say I was hooked from there.
Enter 2014 as the Iowa-based outfit introduces their 5th studio album and newest concoction with Fight The Silence. From the opening moments of “Molotov” you know you’re in for a storm of heavy metal. I love the concept of this song, speaking of the youth not being fooled by Satan’s antics. “And a spark is all we need to see a revolution in a culture that’s living a lie/Still, this is our generation, and still, we will not watch it die.” The chorus goes onto say “There is a system designed to destroy us. We’ll send it back to hell! I’ll watch it burn to the ground. (Burn it down) I’ll watch it burn to the ground; and freedom will rise from the ashes.”
One of my favorites on the album has got to be “Pariah”. A ‘pariah’ according to the Merrium-Webster dictionary is “one that is despised or rejected” or an “outcast”. We can certainly agree that as Christians, that we are all pariahs, who follow Jesus, Himself who said not to fear because in John 15:18 He said that the world hated/despised Him first. The song is a battle-cry of the martyr and proclaims that “I will never bow down to your idols; I know who I am/You’ll have to put me in the ground, to silence me/This is my final stand/You can’t kill me, I’m already dead!/This is the martyr’s cry.” Little reference to Joshua 24:15 as well.
“Break The Cycle” I think is one that has an important message in it. We continue to be deceived by the world, thinking that what we’re doing and the worldly choices we make are okay. We’re convinced that our ‘way of life’ is the ‘new norm’ and we should be accepting of it. Not according to this song. “In a world headed for self-destruction, the answer is here; are we too blind to see it?” and goes onto nail it on the head with the solution: “Bring this broken system to it’s knees/Bring this broken system to it’s knees/Break the Cycle/Break the Cycle.” We have to break the cycle we’re in because we’re not fooling anyone but ourselves (Galatians 6:7) and we’ve depended too much on our own wickedness (Hosea 10:13).
“Call To Arms” is a song about standing up for the least of these. Proverbs 21:13 is even quoted in the song, which commands us to listen to and not shut our ears to the cries of the poor (in other words, we’re to help them) or when we need it, God will not hear us. I think the verse that says “Too afraid to be made to suffer/we stay safe in our luxury/while broken people kill each other/Desperate men do desperate things/You want to stop the violence?/Put an end to poverty!/You’ll never keep them silent./Desperate men do desperate things./They may be forgotten, but they are still not gone.” Really drives that thought home, thinking about what happens because we ignore it. Just because we choose not to acknowledge it, doesn’t mean the problems don’t exist.
Another favorite of mine is “Dead To Rights”. We’re all sinners (Romans 3:23) and are in need of a Savior. Jesus was that sacrifice for our sins. We’re dead to self, dead to rights as the song implies, until we have accepted the sacrificial atonement of cross of Christ. The chorus couldn’t be any more plain when it says “Dead to rights–He took my place and saved my life/He had me dead to rights–He took my place and saved my life/There was no way out for me/I had blood on my hands/Guilty! Guilty! Blood on my hands Guilty! Guilty!”
One thing I can say about Fight The Silence is the band has done a very good job of just bringing out the injustices of our world. That we’re not to stay silent, but to stand up and fight. We need to (as “Break The Cycle” says) “bring the machine (Satan/world) to it’s knees.” We need to stand for the least of these, be a voice to the voiceless and just stop trying to be politically correct! Musically, this album rocks. And when I mean rocks, I mean it hits you like ton of bricks. The double-bass drum rolls and the fast-paced metal guitars will have your adrenaline pumping with high octane excitement, as if to prepare you for the coming battle. And come that battle will. Look around us. The end-times are upon us. The evidence is all around us. Will you stand and fight the silence or will you step back into the vast and faceless sea of the world?
In closing, I have to say that this was one of the most exciting albums I have listened to in a long time. Despite the fact that the low-grumblings howls and occasional ‘screamo’ vocals are not what you would normally find in my iPod, you can bet your bottom dollar that this is a record that you will find me listening to again and again. I think if you give it a chance, it might just grow on you too. For Today releases another gem with Fight The Silence, an album that is sure to please the masses of crazy Christian metal-core and mainstream fans alike. Pick it up. Rock out for Jesus. And maybe get you’re hearing checked while you’re at it, because this is a tour de force of heavy metal you won’t soon forget! 4.5/5
Released: February 4, 2014 (Razor & Tie Records)
- Molotov (3:37)
- Fight The Silence (3:39)
- Pariah (3:59)
- Reflections (2:09)
- Break The Cycle (4:13)
- A Call To Arms (3:47)
- For The Fallen (5:06)
- Fatherless (3:38)
- Dead To Rights (3:30)
- One Voice (4:08)
- Resonate (1:38)
- Hated By The World (4:39)
12 Tracks, 44:03