Review: Employed To Serve – Eternal Forward Motion

Employed To Serve go harder. You know that. I know that. They know that. So it’s no surprise that album number three totally slams.

Eternal Forward Motion is the product of a band that understands its sound, itself, its audience and the scene it now spearheads. There have already been loads of good albums in 2019 by bands that sound like some part of ETS. This one puts them in the shadows.

Taking inspiration from their own love of the riff has worked wonders for a band that now has several strings to its bow. Eternal Forward Motion is a record for headbangers – riff after riff, groove after groove, it’s so assured you can smell the swagger.

It’s also packed with vocal parts destined to be screamed back into the faces of Justine Jones and Sammy Urwin for the rest of their career. Indeed, the all-round vocal performance takes this album to another level.

It might not be as expansive as The Warmth Of A Dying Sun but Eternal Forward Motion goes to just as many places.

The infectious, frantic ‘Beneath It All’ dissolves into a nasty breakdown before tearing back into an unstoppable groove. Sandwich it between the bleak stomp of the title track and the well-received ‘Dull Ache Behind My Eyes’, and you’ve got a tasty opening that gives way to the album’s second single.

‘Harsh Truth’ got tongues wagging and it’s certainly a departure from the typical Employed To Serve style, both in their heavier heartlands and in their second album’s sense of adventure.

I think it’s fantastic – minimal, industrial, circumspect, stripped back hardcore, combined with a razor-sharp nu-metal edge and yelped vocals to die for.

The first single was the colossal ‘Force Fed’ – complete with clean vocal bursts that are just perfect – which ushers in the second half of this superb record.

‘We Forgot You’ is constructed on a foundation of itchy patience, pricked by a rash of activity and then returned. Where Warmth had experimentation, Eternal Forward Motion has smarts and craft.

The penultimate song, ‘Owed Zero’, is final confirmation that power is the name of the game before ‘Bare Bones On A Blue Sky’ rounds out the album with yet more new territory explored.

The riffs, vocals and production are masterful, but a word for the rhythm section: these guys sound fucking huge. The drums in particular are thick and fat and immensely satisfying.

Eternal Forward Motion is Employed To Serve’s third album, and their third different album. This is a truly special band and we’re lucky to have them. This record could be mega.

I don’t see this as an album to compare against The Warmth Of A Dying Sun but as a companion, as the second part of an electrifying tale of what Employed To Serve are and will be. There’s no higher compliment.

Eternal Forward Motion is out now on Spinefarm Records.

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Chris Nee