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Employed To Serve - Eternal Forward Motion Award winner

Employed To Serve
Eternal Forward Motion
by Jon Conant at 08 July 2019, 3:06 AM

I was thinking to myself, man I really don’t know what genre to describe EMPLOYED TO SERVE as. There’s beatdown, hardcore, plenty of punk, a little bit of thrash, even a soft djent or two…but what do you really describe them as?

Then, while writing this review and searching for an official members list on their Facebook page, I discovered they have labeled themselves as “nasty hardcore,” and I am here for it. That description absolutely nails it, that’s exactly what they are. I never did find that band member list though, so I still can’t tell you exactly who they are, other than goddamn do they slay and if you’re into hardcore music you’re definitely going to want to check it out.

“Eternal Forward Motion” is their 3rd full length record, and I’d say the biggest difference between their previous work is it overall has a less dark and deeply heavy approach, and while the last album “The Warm of a Dying Sun” had some legit djent moments, “Eternal Forward Motion” doesn’t really. It instead takes a more beatdown, groovy, and marketable approach. But that could be because it’s their first record out on their new deal with Spinefarm (maybe not, I don't know). But congratulations, by the way! I think that is fantastic, I like to see metal bands grow. And they’re doing so in a way that while yes the overall sound is a bit different, it’s a healthy and good evolution. And don’t be mistaken, it’s still heavy as balls, with TONS of breakdown and beatdown moments, and tons of groove & chunk which is my personal favorite. The vocals are even better than before, and this effort also sees some tracks with a bit more interesting and progressive lead guitar work (especially songs like “Suspended In Emptiness”, “Owed Zero”, and “Bare Bones On A Blue Sky”).

My favorites include the title & opener “Eternal Forward Motion”, which brings a little bit of everything and overall complete feeling. Excellent and logical choice for a music video, which was also epic, told an incredible story, and that dude who acted in it did a fantastic job. Incredible overall use of narrative (across the entire album, too). It also had maybe my favorite outro on the album (the closer probably has it beat), with the djentiest vibe you’ll hear (other than maybe kinda “Forced Fed”). I also loved “Beneath It All” which had a super groovy feel and just a phenomenal breakdown, “Forced Fed”, which was another music video, and “Harsh Truth” which was a brutally aggressive and melodic, more chunky/beatdown track with absolutely nasty vocals.

The closer “Bare Bones On A Blue” sky could be my favorite, with how it builds its song structure over 3 sections, providing on overall different feel than any other song on the album. And not just the structure, the sound of it as well. It builds from a more melodic drawn out section with an absolutely brilliant lead guitar melody that was a top highlight of the album, to a chunky and heavy middle section, finally closing on a melodic chunky outro that feels like a breakdown, but different and more emotionally melodic. It really wraps everything up nicely, and perfectly accentuates the emotional but epic mood created in the beginning of the song by that killer lead guitar work. They did an amazing job anchoring the album between two incredible tracks, with raw & specific emotion in the story they’re trying to tell. Musically, they do a great job with their purposes of opening everything up, and then closing it all down. I think that's so important for an album, especially when it's nailed.

The track ordering of this album was truly exceptional, and I think that’s something that is crucial, and yet so underrated. A bad track ordering is yikes, but when a band really knocks the order out of the park, it just elevates the work to a whole new level of mastery, and that’s what we get here. The ordering of these songs and overall structure of the album also speaks to their use of emotion and narrative across the album. They are telling fairly specific, intense stories about the human condition and existentialism that we can all relate to, whether we realize it or not. The brilliance of how it’s all laid out, and the song styles used from track to track, and where they’re placed, is impeccable and really builds the emotion and tension. I like to call this ebb and flow, and if an album has killer ebb and flow it is so effortless and enjoyable to listen to, especially when every song is basically a banger. Really the only one that isn’t a banger is the interlude “Sore Tooth Twin”, but it’s not supposed to be a banger because it’s an interlude. Also, a really fantastic use of one. So many bands screw it up, but EMPLOYED TO SERVE absolutely did not. It built appropriate tension at the early-mid point of the album, didn’t overstay it’s welcome at 1:39, and really helps set up the carnage that follows, the album truly climaxes over the course of the 11 songs.

EMPLOYED TO SERVE basically did everything right and nothing wrong. It’s such an easy slam dunk no brainer 10/10. It’s a 100/100, 1,000/1,000, there’s nothing that makes me want to deduct points. If you’re into metal, which clearly you are, you need to hear this album. And frankly their entire discography, but I do think this album is particularly excellent and marks a real step forward in their evolution as a band. I think they’re ready for a bigger break, and it’s cool to see them poised for that on the back of a new Spinefarm deal. Horns up for EMPLOYED TO SERVE for succeeding in such an epic and complete way, this one’s on repeat for me.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production : 10

5 Star Rating

1. Eternal Forward Motion
2. Beneath It All
3. Dull Ache Behind My Eyes
4. Harsh Truth
5. Sore Tooth Twin
6. Force Fed
7. We Forgot You
8. Suspended In Emptiness
9. Reality Filter
10. Owed Zero
11. Bare Bones On A Blue Sky
Record Label: Spinefarm


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Edited 16 October 2019

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