God Forbid


Written by: SC on 28/10/2012 23:01:02

Groove, thrash and metalcore are some of the main ingredients characterizing the latest roar from the American heavy metal band from New Jersey’s God Forbid. The band of sixteen-years is still going strong with their approach of embracing countless heavy metal subgenres, which causes the record to be a bit schizophrenic. You will get a two-piece (one cd) record with a lot of potential but with a lack of focus.

The opening “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream” grabs you by the neck while the groovy track is pumping into your ears. The paranoid and yet determined roaring from frontman Byron Davis creates a perfect dark atmosphere of loss of control. “Scraping The Walls” and “A Few Good Men” contributes with some well-performed metalcore, with screaming like their first record “Reject The Sickness”(1999) where the more grind-like vocal was in focus. The tracks “Conquer “, “Overcome” and “Cornered” combine some good old thrash with a very tight, thick and quirky sound which can be compared to Gojira’s brutal progressive playing style. These tracks along with the opening track make you yearn for the mosh-pit while the double-pedals continue rumbling onwards like a pack of bison fleeing from a hunter. This first half of the record concerns frustration caused by depression and lack of understanding from the surrounding world, which creates a dark and brutal yet desperate sound. The musical approach is very close to their excellent record “IV (Constitution Of Treason)” (2005).

But then the second half of the record turns its focus to the state of post-depression, which oddly enough causes the pace to drop. Doc Coyle’s increasing amount of singing combines with a slower more riff-based musical approach. This creates a more fragile atmosphere, though the lyrics point toward confidence. This twist of melodic death metal taking over is unfortunately draining the last part of the record for energy. It is a bit like deflating an inflatable Killer-croc, and it eventually gets a bit boring to listen to. Not to criticize the high level of musicianship because the technical aspect is really good with pretty fine song writing. But if God Forbid had made two separate records this last part possibly could have been a great record on its own.

The overall verdict is that “Equilibrium” is a pretty good record if you press the stop-button after the first nine tracks and then listen to the rest as a theme of its own later on. This schizophrenic sound-change makes the album a divided thing which maybe ought to have been made into two separate records. Despite this the record is really worth a shot because of the technical skills and the constant combination of genres.

Download: Don’t Tell Me What To Dream, A Few Good Men, Overcome, This Is Who I Am
For The Fans Of: DevilDriver, All That Remains, Testament
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 26.03.2012
Victory Records

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