God Forbid
Earthsblood

I’ve never been a huge God Forbid fan. I’ve given their albums cursory listens, but essentially lumped them in with the likes of All That Remains, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and such as far as they ply chorus driven American Metal that has one foot in the mainstream and one foot in the underground, and that mainstream foot was a lot heavier planted for IV: Constitution of Treason.

While the backbone of the band’s sound has remained for Earthsblood, essentially still driven by the Coyle bros. guitar work and the more varied vocal arrangements, there’s something about this album that’s different and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe may lack of complete familiarity with the bands prior work is partially responsible or maybe it’s the 4 year wait, but on Earthsblood, God Forbid while certainly plying a familiar tone, seem darker, broodier and more epic and developed than anything I remember. There’s still reliance on verse chorus structures and soaring solos, but where All That Remains Overcome wandered into sugary realms, God Forbid just seem a bit ….off – in a good way. It’s like they forgot to take their meds they’ve been on for 10 years and there’s a sense of mental and emotional release or something

After the almost Dimmu Borgir like orchestral intro, “The Rain” perfectly displays this new found state of mind as the track is almost two separate tracks, Davis is introspective and the mid song break is a pretty startling. And more epic, rangier tracks like that seem to litter the more standard, if still tightly rendered and high octane American metal fare of say “Enemy of the Gun”, the commercial trot of “Walk Alone” (which will be the album’s most polarizing track- I think its the albums weakest track by far) and “Shallow” and such. “War of Attrition”, “The New Clear” and most notably the excellent closing duo of “Earthsblood” (the solo around 6-minutes in is stunning) and monstrously menacing “Gaia (The Vultures)”, which between them make up almost 20 minutes of the albums 53 minute run time. These two tracks, especially with their epic length and surprising, tangible Opeth influence amid the American metal musical melting pot, show that God Forbid have got some ambition this far into their career and seem set on at least trying to break away from the pack.

Granted, I’m still not a huge fan of the band and their discography, and to be honest Earthsblood and other albums still may not get too much more airplay beyond this review. However, I did enjoy this album, and I can at least appreciate the fact that when their peers seem to be resting on their laurels, God Forbid has challenged themselves to improve and develop their tried and true sound.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 26th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    Nice review. I’m a HUGE God Forbid fan. When I first heard this, I was disappointed. But as a stubborn fanboy, I kept playing it until finally, it started to click. I’m not ready to call this their best (that will most likely always remain Gone Forever), but it’s definitely a great progression. They seem hell bent on not making the same album twice, and yet again they’ve succeeded.


  2. Commented by: LongDeadGod

    Excellent review, i think this is a pretty killer album, much better than IV constitution. if these guys could just get away from the more mainstream parts i think they could be great.


  3. Commented by: David

    God Forbid has been one of my favorite bands for a number of years. While I applaud their attempt at expanding their sound, I can’t help but feel something is missing here. It seems to me as if some of the riffs have been lost to focus more on vocal melodies, which they really can’t deliver all the time.


  4. Commented by: bast

    My little brother is a huge fan, I enjoye it too, either way we are buying this.


  5. Commented by: AARONIUS

    I still just don’t get this band. The clean vocals are average, and the guitar work isn’t amazing by any stretch of the imagination.

    I don’t hate this band, but they don’t offer anything that I’m interested in.


  6. Commented by: theorifice

    One of the things that get me about this band is the rhythm section (bass and drums). It’s really really damn tight and they never hesitate to throw some ‘off’ flourishes. The guitar is pretty sweet by itself, but together with that rhythm section my neck just breaks.


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