MANHATTAN, NY—For Today, a metalcore band formed in 2005 in Sioux City, Iowa, are known for playing heavy music with a Christian message. When Mattie Montgomery, a native of Mobile, Alabama, joined For Today in 2007, he insisted that the band have a Bible study together every day and that he be allowed to minister to the audience. Montgomery has released two solo albums and a book, and preaches as a traveling evangelist when not recording or on tour.
For Today found itself in controversy a year ago when former guitarist Mike Reynolds published comments on Twitter such as “homosexuality is a sin” and “there was no such thing as a homosexual Christian.” The immediate backlash prompted Montgomery to post an apologetic counter-response on YouTube directed to everyone offended by Reynolds’ comments. In the video, Montgomery gave his phone number and offered his heart and time to anyone who wanted to talk. Reynolds and For Today parted ways the next day.
For Today are currently comprised of Montgomery, lead guitarist Ryan Leitru, rhythm guitarist Sam Penner, bassist Brandon Leitru and drummer David Puckett. Their fifth album, Fight The Silence, was released Feb. 4 and intends to raise awareness about human trafficking. Proceeds from the album and the band’s current tour will be donated to the A21 Campaign to stop human trafficking.
At the Gramercy Theatre tonight, For Today established why the group appeals to a new generation of metalheads. From the moment the band hit the stage, it was a ferocious beast in search of a prey. Just a few minutes into the set, Montgomery jumped from the stage to a narrow audience barrier and sang intensely from his gut while the fans below balanced him. The ambitious high-energy performance was relentless thereon, as the impact never diminished for long. The quintet embraced exceptional technicality and musical aggression, combining melodic sweeps with massive breakdowns over heavy, bombastic instrumentation.
Near the end of the one-hour set, Montgomery encouraged the audience to become the revolution that the world needs, a revolution that can only be rooted through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. He recalled that people saw him as a hopeless addict until he embraced Christ, and that Christ was bigger than anyone’s personal obstacle. Cheers arose from the audience and the band returned to slamming breakdowns and scratch-your-face-off metalcore.
Visit For Today at fortodayband.com.