Artist: For All Eternity
Many things can cause a person to change—and some are more effective than others. Parental scolding and punishment can only really go so far—and the effect of a person’s own will to change is only as strong as their will is in the first place. For some people, that’s enough. Personal motivation is all they need to accomplish their goals, be it as superficial as weight loss or quitting smoking, or as deep-seated as a personality shift; a maturation from evil and sinful ways to positive and socially benevolent living. For others, however, change must come from an outside source: meditation, reflection or faith in an outside power or being. This method of change is referred as Metanoia, and as such, is a perfectly fitting name for the latest full-length release from For All Eternity. It should come as no surprise that these Australian aggressors excel in catchy, creative metalcore with breakdowns bold enough to effect change in even the most headstrong listeners, and warm, soothing moments of melody that could soften even the stoniest hearts.
Metanoia is an immense album with a sprawling soundscape that captures everything from crushing heaviness to captivating calm. Tracks like “Unharness” and “Break of Dawn” showcase percussionist Michael Buckley pummeling the listener with fleet footwork and flashy fills, reigning over For All Eternity with dominating drum lines. Here, Buckley’s kit is bolstered by the thick, forceful grooves of bassist Scott Dibley. Dibley plunks and plods away during every breakdown to add extra girth and grit to each pounding smack of Buckley’s bass drum, brilliantly contrasting Buckley’s bright snare drum and flashy cymbals in the process. This dynamic makes the heavier moments of the album bright and energetic, even as they weigh oppressively on the listener’s shoulders. However, more placid and peaceful moments of Metanoia showcase Buckley’s subtlety, and serve as an excellent framing mechanism for guitarists Jeremy Mosiejczuk and Nicholas Page. “Stitched the Same” and the drifting, dreamy chorus to “Further From Hate” showcase Mosiejczuk and Page’s penchant for clean tones and catchy melodies, adding a soothing and serene aspect to balance out the album’s abrasive, angry breakdowns. Make no mistake, however—Mosiejczuk and Page can still riff with the best of them, aligning themselves with the likes of Northlane during “Unharness,” roaming from riff-heavy verses to eviscerating, skull-crushing breakdowns at the drop of a hat.
An immense soundscape would only seal the deal if For All Eternity were an instrumental band. After all, too often metalcore is plagued by vocalists who either lack talent or lack variety in their talent, giving even the most inventive instrumentation a dull edge. Fortunately for Metanoia, frontman Shane Carroll is no let down. Aided by drummer Buckley, Carroll is just as talented at a shriek (seen especially strong towards the album’s closing) as he is with a gritty mid-range belt and a grisly low growl. Furthermore, his clean voice is far from a drawback—as For All Eternity provide a series of tasteful, catchy and creative clean choruses and bridges that add a soft, gooey core to the wrecking ball that is Metanoia’s heavy majority. “Unharness,” as well as “Metanoia” are both immense testaments to Carroll’s skill—in fact, even his performance on the subtle but scathing introduction, “Remove the Pulse,” is incredible. While some tracks on Metanoia see Carroll operating on a figurative “autopilot” and failing to deliver anything immensely innovative, his performances here are still strong, even if they aren’t otherwise ear-catching.
At its worst moments, Metanoia is a generic, sturdy metalcore offering. At its best, it soars above the competition, showcasing For All Eternity as masters of all the major criteria a heavy band should be proficient in. “Break of Dawn,” as well as the aforementioned “Metanoia” and “Unharness” are excellent examples. On these tracks, the instrumentation is detailed, fluid and ferocious, with beefy percussion, beefier still bass and guitar riffs with fangs enough for a whole wolf pack. Vocally, Carroll and Buckley provide just as full a compliment, hitting highs, mids, lows and cleans without missing a beat. Although Metanoia won’t gain many points for originality or uniqueness, it earns extra credit in being intelligently written, incredibly strong and well-rounded—giving it a head and shoulders up against its competition.
For All Eternity have crafted an album strong enough to inspire change in the hearts of the downtrodden and despairing. Is there really a greater goal they could have accomplished with album named Metanoia? With heaviness and catchiness to stay caught rattling in the listener’s head for days, For All Eternity’s latest release will give the listener plenty to reflect upon.
For Fans Of: For Today, Northlane, Parkway Drive, Bless The Fall
By: Connor Welsh