Sydney’s For All Eternity have returned with their third album The Will To Rebuild. With huge vocals, anthemic guitars and hooks that will keep headbangers engaged for months, The Will To Rebuild represents a huge step forward for not just the band but for those who get entrapped in the music as well.
Third albums are always tricky, especially when the second album was a breakthrough that introduced an artist to a whole new array of listeners. For All Eternity‘s debut album Through The Gates established them in Australia, Metanoia placed them on the map worldwide and received critical acclaim in the process. Where does that leave The Will To Rebuild?
Right from the outset of the album, you know you’re in for something different. Shadow provides a deceptive introduction. A lonely few keys on the piano tantalise the ears as you hear a few drops of rain in the distance and violins weep in across the track before taking a sharp turn into a few heavy chords. Shane Carroll and Michael Buckley’s vocals channel a Mike Shinoda/Jonathon Davis level of intrigue until the 2:09 mark when the song seems to disintegrate into a cacaphony of riffs and metalcore vocals. If you find yourself confused at this point, then don’t be. Fallout sets you straight with some huge riffs and powerful vocals. They are the subtle taste that bring you in, as Buckley’s sung chorus gets you hooked. At this point you’ll become aware of your addiction to this album, and there is no escape. Fallout quickly becomes a quintessential track – the type that defines the entire album.
The mood of the album becomes somewhat darker at this point – Nightmare takes the theme of Fallout to a new level. The almost schizophrenic shifts in guitar riffs and changes in Carroll’s vocals only serve to emphasise the depth of the lyrics and the dark places that have clearly influenced the theme of the album. The Will is a welcome interlude, with screamed vocals, and the same lonely piano and violin that commenced the album. The Will seamlessly moves into September, a track that has an opening reminiscent of Linkin Park. It has a significantly more ‘poppier’ feel than the rest of the album at this point. It feels like the top of a mountain, with screams of ‘do seven long years mean nothing to you?’ resonating across the horizon as the riffs and beats strike across the valleys.
The Vacated maintains the pop, but it is toned down significantly compared to September. The short-sharp riffs leading into Buckley’s powerful sung chorus help make this track a standout in what is an already powerful album. Deep Down is another interlude, this time without any vocals. As shown already with The Will, you know this means something huge is next and Ascendant doesn’t disappoint. The beats will keep your head bouncing through the track, with the riffs making your foot tap. It brings to mind some of the earlier work of the likes of Fallstar and The Ongoing Concept, with elements of Project 86 and War Of Ages thown in for good measure. Ascendant is diverse and powerful.
Vivid is a softer journey, with sung vocals throughout. A well-crafted melody supported by piano and the occasional vocal distortion will give your ears another well-deserved break. Synthesised violins and some well-programmed drums mean you’ll be caught off-guarded by the power anthem that is Derailed. We’ve already shared our thoughts on this one here, but the TL;DR version is this – the song is heavy, the heaviest on the album. It is equal parts intense, powerful and crushing. Be careful of the ending, the descent into madness that comes out through the lyrics is contagious and can be caught aurally as you find yourself headbanging and screaming the lyrics out aloud.
Rounding out the album is Clearer. Opening with sung vocals, it gives the album a positive, powerful finish. The hope that has been glimmering lyrically throughout the album comes out in full force. The pain that inspired Carroll to develop the album lyrically has clearly had an inspirational impact.
The Will to Rebuild lurches from pain to hope to despair to motivation. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that you are inspired to follow through the powerful vocals, riffs and beats. This is the sign of a whole new chapter in the journey that For All Eternity are on, and it is one that has redefined the metalcore genre in the process.