Review: “Eternal Forward Motion” by Employed To Serve
It’s been a long road since 2012 for Woking Surrey Nasty Hardcore crew Employed To Serve. Frontwoman Justine Jones, Bassist Jamie Venning, Drummer Robbie Back and guitarist duo Richard Jacobs and Sammy Urwin (Decrepit Womb, Oblivionized, Regurgitate Life, Renounced) have worked their collective fingers to the bone and that work has landed them a deal with Spinefarm Records, an imprint label of The Universal Music Group for their third album “Eternal Forward Motion”. It’s the follow up to 2017’s critically acclaimed “The Warmth of a Dying Sun”, an album that brought an appearance at UK Tech-Fest 2018 and a support slot on Stick To Your Guns headlining tour with Counterparts.
Starting with the album title track “Eternal Forward Motion” had Justine Jones in fine banshee whaling form, her punishing uncleans leaving other vocalists in their wake. As you would expect, the rest of the band provide a juggernaut sized battering ram of Metallic Hardcore riffage and pummelling kit work. As with the opening track “Beneath It All” is introduced by a spoken word that sets the tone. Lyrically about back stabbing snakes in the grass, the tune combines those Nasty Hardcore riffs with a lead overlay in fine style to create a solid concrete wall of noise. This cut tempo shifts seamlessly with influences in the late 90s hardcore Scene apparent. That’s all underpinned by a twisted bassline from Jamie Venning that gives the impression of twisting the knife in! “Dull Ache Behind My Eyes” drastically steps up the pace for a ripper of a tune with a relentless energy that will no doubt be circle pit fodder at the bands brutal live shows. The vocals are vicious and as with those live shows, the other band members chip in with words and lines to beef up the already huge sound. Slowing it down for an almost downtempo noise part to close gives a breather before things step up again.
Justine Jones screams the opening verse over bare kit work before things kick in full force for “Harsh Truth”. The drop out of the guitars for the brutal vocals across the bare bass and drums allows the lyrics more space to hit home as Sammy Urwin gets a spoken word verse. Perhaps a song about the collapse of society it’s a banger that steps away from the bands mould and comfort zone to give you something more. Rather than the usual punch in the face, it’s the Chinese burn followed by a slap in the face! An aching atmospheric guitar start brings a slow build to instrumental “Sore Tooth Twin” that serves as an into to “Force Fed”. Justine Jones harnesses her inner Candice Kucsulain for a track surprisingly remanicent of Walls of Jericho in places. It’s a full on attack about being force fed someone else’s point of view. Those vocals are balanced off by Sammy Urwin clean signing a couple of passages and of you can’t imagine Jones hammering someone’s mouth shut so no one has to listen to them again, then this is lost on you! “We Forgot You” has some Metalcore leanings with a few hints at some classical Metal guitar work and a surprise melodic passage mid song that breaks up the flow nicely. A couple of tapping parts and perhaps even some Killswitch Engage influence add some insanity to the mix.
A battering ram of a song “Suspended In Emptiness” has a punchy chug to it that crushes heavy with the lead parts adding a brighter atmospheric. A song about the black depths of depression it’s lyrically as hard hitting as it is musically. The third spoke word intro of the album is on “Reality Filter” and warns of nothing changing in the World. It warns against selling yourself short with bouncy stuccato riffs cutting with some atmospheric lead work. The tune has a distinct art Metal vibe that makes way for a crushing downtempo breakdown for the final verse to end the track in style. Impressive lead guitar work cuts through the slab of dense rhythm riffage on “Owed Zero” a tune that focuses on a simple message. Don’t behave like the World owes you something. You make your own way in this life. An eerie off kilter haunting lead part adds a menacing touch as the quality on show refuses to let up. The surprise Foo Fighters esq opening to “Bare Bones On A Blue Sky” may have you doing a double take and checking if you’ve been zapped into something else. That is until Jones unmistakable vocals kick in for the second verse. At the 2 and a half minute mark, things change dramatically as the band return to their core sound for the third verse and frankly the opening passage could be another song entirety. To have such an Art Metal tune on an album that has a core of Nasty Hardcore is refreshing and it almost makes sense that having beat you up and pushed you around, they should drop something with a bit more of a melodic undercurrent of Post Hardcore to bring things home.
Employed To Serve have released an album that not only lives up to the hype and media spotlight but they’ve done it their own way. They’ve smashed down anything and everything in their collective path and delivered a fine album that is more that deserving of the attention it’s going to get. If this was baseball, then with “Eternal Forward Motion”, they have hit the ball out of the park! [8.5/10]
- “Eternal Forward Motion”
- “Beneath It All”
- “Dull Ache Behind My Eyes”
- “Harsh Truth”
- “Sore Tooth Twin”
- “Force Fed”
- “We Forgot You”
- “Suspended In Emptiness”
- “Reality Filter”
- “Owed Zero”
- “Bare Bones On A Blue Sky”
“Eternal Forward Motion” by Employed To Serve is out now via Spinefarm Records