It’s amazing to think that two years have passed since Employed To Serve released their brilliant sophomore release The Warmth Of A Dying Sun. A ferocious slab of deep rooted loathing and animosity toward modern life, the record thrust the metallic hardcore collective into the spot light of the national heavy scene.
Considering the time that has passed since the release of this aforementioned record, one might be curious if the anger, bitterness and frustration the group once harboured has waned over the years. However, those familiar with this act will undoubtedly know the answer to such a ridiculous question. Enteral Forward Motion, the group’s third full length, only doubles down on such frantic agnosticism and stands as their most staggering and accomplished work thus far.
It immediately becomes transparent that Employed To Serve have not lost any momentum since the release of The Warmth Of A Dying Sun, with the opening title track introducing the album with frenzied malice. With the track flowing between melodic brutality and what essentially sounds like the group caught in a perpetual battle with their own respective instruments, it’s relentless introduction to a record that never relents nor loosens it’s grip.
With the record lyrically exploring themes of hopelessness, self-hatred and social entrapment, Employed To Serve once again animate such themes with vivid and fervent intent. Eternal Forward Motion clenches you with a vice grip and pulls you haplessly into a nullifying undertow, resonating and mirroring the inescapable modern entrapment many young individuals feel subjected to in modern life. Whilst the same could be stated for their sophomore record, Eternal Forward Motion resonates levels of holistic urgency and defeating bleakness in a fashion that’s beyond compare to their peers. If The Warmth Of A Dying Sun and their debut Greyer Than You Remember initially introduced the masses to the group’s mindset and ideology, this record screams it’s message from the rooftop. It’s a painful message, one that documents that no matter hard how we try to escape the brutal regime that is modern life through escapism, we will never truly be free.
‘Dull Ache Beyond The Eyes’ potentially stands as the group’s most vicious and seething track to date, with it’s full throttle, seizing riffs suddenly crashing into a prolonged breakdown that’s utterly annihilating on a level that’s all encompassing. However, there’s also melancholic and bleak melody prominent within this release. The fatigued, pensive strings of ‘Sore Tooth Twin’ and the distressed and mentally afflicted ‘We Forgot You’ demonstrates the group’s understanding and ability to harness sonic juxtaposition to terrific and striking effect, with these tracks underlining anguish only amplifying the contemporary brutality within their sound.
Whereas The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’s title crack served as the record’s corner stone, the centre piece within this record is undoubtedly ‘Reality Filter’. Frank and uncomfortable, the track cohesively resonating not only the record’s attitude and message, but the mindset that the group collectively harbour. With it’s bludgeoning groove, wailing effects, hallowed melancholia and Justine Jones’s confrontational barks, it’s a testament to the futility of life, an acknowledgement of the boundless, suffocating suffering that binds us as a society. For some, it may be a source of comfort; a source of confirmation that they’re not in anguish alone. For others, it serve as the catalyst that forces them to acknowledge the callous mundanity of life.
As the maddening fretwork of the suffocating and anxiety inducing ‘Owed Zero’ leads into the clarity of the closer that is the colossal ‘Bare Bones On A Blue Sky’, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed by this release. Not only have Employed To Serve forge a masterful follow up to their incredible sophomore record, they’ve raised the bar for the entire metallic hardcore genre. This is a cold and bitterly callous release, one that’s intensified by the group’s aptitude for animating musical enmity through their technical prowess and ability to interweave bleakness with frenzied musical punishment. A towering achievement born from pain that is bound to resonate with thousands within this day and age.
Eternal Forward Motion is released May 10th via Spinefarm Records