ALBUM REVIEW: Employed To Serve – Eternal Forward Motion

Release Date: May 10th 2019
Label: Spinefarm Records


After their award winning sophomore release ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’, Woking’s Employed To Serve have taken their infectious and raw hardcore to new levels with their third LP, ‘Eternal Forward Motion’.

It’s a record that tackles the concept of living in a fast-paced society, and the issues surrounding it. Not only is the album strong lyrically, but it also raises the bar for the already stellar UK hardcore scene.

Opening ambitiously, the title-track takes charge immediately as blast beats and tremolo riffs descend into a chaotic verse. Vocalist Justine Jones unleashes a percussive performance that leads the evolving structure. Displaying a stronghold on dynamics, the track employs scale flourishes, unexpected roars, and driving lead guitars to deliver a white-knuckle ride that doesn’t let up.

Whilst the record is abrasive and uncompromising, there are many influences that permeate the devastating riffs and commanding vocals. ‘Beneath It All’ plays with spoken word passages and a heavy and disjointed groove, whilst ‘Dull Ache Between My Eyes’ ensures that the album is not sonically linear.

Embodying Slayer with some chromatic riffing, the latter of the two also showcases the talents of guitarists Sammy Urwin and James Jackson, and what especially makes it stand out is its bridge, with its sludge style chords trudging to fight against an experimental lead guitar to create a satisfying conclusion.

Going from strength-to-strength, ‘Harsh Truth’ exercises the impact of dynamics. A relatively simple composition, the song builds its layers to create a whirlwind of raw energy. Opening with Robbie Black‘s effective drum beat against Jones‘ feral performance, as the track reaches a circling breakdown, it’s a far cry from where it started.

‘Sore Tooth Twin’ gives insight to the melodic backbone under the devastating crunch of the quintet, whereas ‘Suspended In Emptiness’ highlights the power of Black and bassist Jamie Venning amidst towering chords and guttural growls. Refusing to be pigeonholed, the latter half of the record is just as captivating as its fevered predecessor, with ‘Owed Zero’ allowing cycling melodies to dictate the crushing track.

Even though ‘Eternal Forward Motion’ takes unexpected turns throughout, the arrival of the shoe gaze inspired ‘Bare Bones On A Blue Sky’ to bring it to a close is still a bold choice. Running through clean vocals, furious screams, and delivering boundless energy, the record concludes with Jones‘ impassioned performance.

Intense, honest, and harmonically rich, Employed To Serve have created a record that demands attention.