Artist: To Fight For
Release date: 8/22/2022
Reviewed by: John Wesley
After releasing a single back in May, To Fight For graces us with a new 6 song EP called Glorify released independently. This band wishes to keep their identity on the down-low because they want this project to only give glory to God. All production credits belong to xRevelationStudiosx. To Fight For consists of two guys who are doing their part to keep the alternative/metal-core worship style marching forward. This “preach-core” sub-genre was pioneered by great acts such as For Today and Sleeping Giant of whom I would speculate are the main influences for this project. Musically, there isn’t too much of a sense of innovation with the project but nevertheless you won’t be able to listen to To Fight For without picking up on the relentless passion, purpose and mission behind the music. If you are looking for passionate, worshipful, catchy metal-core then you definitely shouldn’t sleep on this one.
Going track by track, the EP opens up with the intro track Chasten which starts off with a sermon clip fading in with an airy, clean guitar progression. Very soon after, the sermon clips keep going but now the beat kicks up and we get the taste of what to expect with the rest of the EP. At the 0:45 mark, we get a guitar solo with a breakdown pattern accompanying underneath the driving force of the guitar leads. Dynamically, we cool off a little bit giving a sense of anticipation of what the next track will be like. You can clearly understand the heart of the message these guys with to portray with the ending sermon clip saying how the things we do in this life that are apart from God will not matter when we stand before Him one day.
With this heavy thought, we are propelled right into the highly energetic and captivating lead single Brightly. After a pummeling intro and first verse we are approached with the wonderfully catchy and anthemic chorus which sports the life-cry: “to forsake the world and let Your light shine brightly.” The chorus is nice because we get it handed to us 3 times before the 3-minute mark and shortly after we get a nice face-melter of a solo with the same fast punk beat leading the way. Afterwards, the chorus comes back for a 4th appearance. Some may think this is a little monotonous but I don’t mind at all because it’s such a powerful chorus. At the 4 minute mark, the song ends with a massive breakdown with the lyric “we’re drowning in the world’s lies.” Brightly is a dang solid single and I’m glad they decided to release this one first because the rest of the EP echoes the structure and themes found in this track. Really good song!
Track 3 is called Clarity and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. The track picks up right away with fast aggression and convicting lyrics. The chorus’ clean vocals utilize some pop elements with the way it flows and fluctuates. The tempo change at 2:55 sets up a slower breakdown with some diminished guitar arpeggiation and a personal declaration that ends with the lyric: “I have a new name/Set apart to call His children to repentance.” Thematically, this can be considered the title track because the title Glorify is mentioned in the chorus. Really good song with a somewhat challenging yet still accessible form structure.
Holy Ground is the next track and it starts with a drama scene setting up the theme of the song. This song is about making the most of life and not settling into apathy. Similar energy as the previous 2 tracks but something about it doesn’t seem to hit as hard. This isn’t a bad thing at all as it gives a little bit of a dynamic breather. Excellent chorus as usual. The choruses are seriously the strong suit of the song-writing. It’s so catchy and memorable. A stand out lyric for this track: “This world is Yours/And I will bow/Let my pride fall/I need You now/Blood for love/ You paid the price for me/Lord I need you now/And When I can see the tide surround/Jesus you’re my Holy ground.” This stanza roars over what may be my favorite breakdown on this EP. It hits hard yet it’s driven by melody.
Woke is the next track which is an instrumental transition track that serves to connect the previous song to the last song. The song starts off notably interesting with a pretty soundscape glittered with accompanying lead guitar parts. As expected, it goes into a breakdown but the tempo gradually becomes slower bringing this 58 second song to somewhat of an abrupt halt.
The concluding track of this EP titled Lightbearers starts with the chorus which serves as a nice change-up to what we were accustomed to with the other songs. The energy picks up for the verse and the clean vocals come back for a second chorus that acts like a pre-chorus that didn’t end up going where you would expect. Structurally, this song is a little misleading but we do get thrown back to the chorus that we were introduced to at the beginning. Afterward, a short guitar solo over a breakdown happens which then gets interrupted by a couple measures of keyboard. A brief silence comes and then the ending breakdown comes which is driven by keyboards. All the tricks get thrown into this breakdown as both clean and harsh vocals lead the way. I will say, I’m not completely sold on this song. I want to like it because the clean vocals are really nice but the structure of this song doesn’t serve it well in my opinion. That is not to say this track drops the ball in the lyric realm because there are some great moments going on such as: “All creatures on this earth, in heaven, and below/Join the cherubim in worship round the throne,” and “Break through their hearts of stone and/Show them the love that they have longed to know.” I absolutely love the boldness and passion in their writing.
Overall the Glorify EP is a solid first step. Great guitar riffs, memorable choruses and solid song structures throughout. I would’ve expanded Woke into a full song but I felt like everything else was written very purposefully and intentionally. The guys behind To Fight For have displayed a clear mission with their music and anyone who comes across listening to them will identify the timeless trait of pure drive that propels their heart for the Gospel forward. Stream these guys wherever you can find it and as always, support independent music!
Overall rating: 7/10
Favorite song: Clarity
For fans of Gwen Stacy, The Ghost Inside, Haste the Day