Album Review :
For Today - Portraits

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Artist: For Today
Album: Portraits<
Label: Facedown
Release Date: 6/9/2009
Reviewed By: Stephen M

Tracklisting:

1. Immanuel (The Challenger)
2. Saul of Tarsus (The Messenger)
3. Nicodemus (The Seeker)
4. Joel (The Watchman)
5. Immanuel (The Redeemer)
6. Elijah (The Forerunner)
7. Benedictus (Song of Zechariah)
8. Ezekiel (The Visionary)
9. Isaiah (The Willing)
10. Talmidim (The Servants)

First off, I’m letting you all know that I did this review completely different then any of my other reviews. I apologize to those in advance who won’t enjoy reading all this but I think it is nice to have a different spin on reviews once in a while.

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of For Today’s new album Portraits about two weeks ago. I listened to their previous album at least 100 times since it released and have fallen in love with them. I have already listened to the new one one at least 30 times. Portraits is brutal, honest, full of catchy riffs, compiled with tons of brain-bashing breakdowns, and most importantly it is scriptural.

Personally, this is the most lyrically powerful and moving CD. Every song is named according to someone from the Bible or an event from the Bible. The lyrics just make me melt and convict me in a way nothing else can. The last song is titled “Talmidim” (The Servants). This song left me with chills going through my body and actually brought me to tears. This is the one song I mainly want to share with you and it starts off with: “Lord of Glory make us worthy to possess your name” and then someone starts talking as they continue to sing that. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be here to keep my laws, you will live in the land I give to your forefathers, you will be my people and I will be your God.” There is break between talking and you continue to hear in the background them singing “Lord of Glory make us worthy to possess your name” and then they start talking again and say this: “and through all of this there is nothing, absolutely nothing, no fear, no insecurity, no doubt, no hesitation that will ever ever stop us because we are the Sons of the Living God because we are the Children of the Almighty, because we are the residents of the Kingdom of Heaven and we are soldiers in an army of people and when we speak life – life happens, and when we speak healing – healing happens and when we speak truth – truth happens and when we go take what we have found to a dead world we’ll see it come to life again. When we take what we have found to a hopeless world we’ll see hope come back, we’ll see the heart of our world start beating again and we’ll see the color come back into peoples faces and absolutely nothing will ever stop.” The song finishes with him saying “oceans will part before us and the dead will be raised before us and the world will know that our God is a God that heals and our God is a God that lives and our God is a God that loves and unlike anything that was built before because we are fearless because we are his hands and we are his feet forever and ever.”

It is clear that For Today is a band who’s sole purpose is to bring glory to our God. This album is going to be an incredible ministry tool for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can see that, as this band tours and as kids listen and read the lyrics, hearts will be changed. That was only ONE song! This CD challenges us to live the life that God wants us to live. It is encouraging and pushes you to be more like Jesus.

Musically it is heavier and more brutal then anything you have heard from For Today before. If you are a huge fan of breakdowns, like I am, you will be in love with this CD instantly. There are very catchy guitar riffs throughout these songs and after listening to them a couple times you will find yourself humming along with them. I would call this album For Today’s magnum opus (thus far). This is a brutally epic piece of work with sweeping melodies, honest and heartfelt lyrics, and a compelling sound.

If you enjoy metal, brutal breakdowns and GOD. I deeply encourage you to buy For Today Portraits June 9th.

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