For Today: Prevailer EP

Although the EP itself came out about a month ago, the DVD for this new release from these christian metal titans came out earlier this week, so I thought I’d give my two cents on the EP since I’ve already heard it.

The Prevailer EP contains 5 new songs including an acoustic version of “Fearless”, which I’ll talk about in a minute. It opens up with the track “From Zion”, which opens up with Mattie chanting “Every living thing! Will bow down at his feet! and Every Enemy! Will suffer the defeat!” by the time the first breakdown hits, you’re already thirsty for more and then all hell breaks loose. The chorus also features more clean vocals, which I like because it’s something the band experimented with on the last album and I think they really pulled it off and opened themselves up to more possibilities musically.

Next up is “Crown of Thorns.” The songs builds with a lone bell ringing and a slow guitar build to increase suspense. The breakdown then kicks off the song, which I think is one of their faster ones. For Today aren’t a really fast band, but they do speed up in some cases including this one. Again, there’s more clean vocals and always plenty of breakdowns to satisfy any eager listener. This is probably my least favorite song on the EP, but I don’t think it’s a bad song at all. I just know that the band can do better. Which brings me to “Flesh and Blood.” If I were to label any of these songs as a single, this would be it. It’s got an anthemic intro similar to “Fearless” and keeps the intensity throughout. The lyrics themselves are arguably the most inspiring on this particular release, dealing with most of the same internal struggles many of us face, all leading up to the epic conclusion of “the blind will see “Flesh and Blood!!”

“Open Heaven” is the last new song on the EP and also my favorite. The breakdowns on it are the best on the entire EP in my opinion and I love the chorus on this too. The band also included some cool synth backdrops in some spots to make the song more symphonic, which I don’t think has ever appeared before in a For Today song that I can recall off the top of my head.

Now, on to what might be most controversial song of For Today’s. I have mixed feelings about their acoustic version of “Fearless.” First off, Mattie isn’t singing on it all, which makes me think he really isn’t capable of “signing.” I don’t mean for that to sound harsh, but when I hear heavier bands go acoustic on a song, I enjoy because it’s proof that the singer can sing and carry a tune as well as scream and get rowdy. If Mattie, the face of this band, isn’t appearing on this track, what exactly is he doing? i don’t mind the vocals on this though, I thought it was really brilliant how they took the lyrics from Seraphim (“Take your Flame/Ignite the World”) and added to the final chorus section of the song. All in all, I thought it was a healthy experiment that they could get away with on an EP like this, but I wouldn’t supplement the album version for this version, but that’s just my opinion. I applaud them for taking that risk though, so good for them.

If you haven’t the EP yet, please do so because there are a lot of high points on it. If you’re also interested in seeing the DVD, the DVD will feature a documentary of the band’s history from their humble beginnings up to this point and will also feature music videos and concert footage from this past summer’s Warped Tour and Fight the Silence tour. Check it out!

Luke Helker

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