Nuclear Blast USA
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Hailing from Sioux City, Iowa, For Today have been making waves since their inception. Taking cues from forerunners like Norma Jean and Killswitch Engage, For Today have consistently and relentlessly delivered their own brand of metalcore to the masses and it has connected with the extreme music community in a big way. Wake is their Nuclear Blast Records debut and they go for it all but end up with mixed results.
I really dug the band’s last two albums a lot. To say I was looking forward to this would be an understatement. Although enjoyable, I was surprised that nothing reached out and forced me to pay attention until “Deserter,” four tracks into Wake.
“Deserter” is an instant classic and right up there with the band’s best work with its soaring vocals and destructive breakdowns. “Hopeless Ambition” has many of the same qualities. “Wasteland” is another highlight with punishing guitar work and an anthemic feel that remind me of everything I love about these guys. They do brutal and beautiful very well, relying heavily on the guitars to bring the melody between sung choruses.
For every spectacular song though, there are two mediocre ones. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, but they don’t really sound any different than any other metalcore band out there either. In some ways they become faceless, representing a sound/style rather than For Today.
20 years ago For Today would have been the premier act in the explosive Christian Hardcore scene that Tooth and Nail and Rescue Records spawned. We live in 2015 though and For Today have a much more expansive peer group to compete with. For the most part they rise above them with aggressive and emotive music but the production often strangles it, allowing it to get lost in a sea of solid but not particularly memorable metalcore.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher