When I had first heard GOD FORBID, I would have said that they would be done by now. The Metalcore wave that has now receded would have swept them away with all of the other bands that came with the trend. But alas, GOD FORBID are not so easily shoved to the peripherals like a side dish you didn’t really want with your steak dinner. The band moved forward with their music and rose above their humble roots as ‘one of those Metalcore bands’ and they have persevered. And their latest slab of Metal, entitled “Earthsblood” is a beast of an album and the best of their career.
Moving further and further away from their Metalcore foundations, “Earthsblood” is more Progressive then anything else with its tenacious shifts of song structure and technical song writing. There are some of those Metalcore elements in the music still, just listen to “Rain” a few times and you will hear those staccato riffs and Metalcore barking vocals, but GOD FORBID now uses this side of their music simply as a part of the larger whole; a larger whole that includes layers upon layers of different atmospheres and styles.
The band’s previous album showed us some tendencies that are now in full use on “Earthsblood”. Thrashier riffs intermix the staccato ‘chugging’ that the band has already perfected, more intense and well thought through melodies compliment the heavier sides like the easily memorized and sing-a-long chorus of “War Of Attrition”, and the band’s reluctance to follow the pattern of your everyday Metal song show GOD FORBID as a mature and impressive band that I would never have guessed from their debut.
The vocals in particular impressed me massively. The vocals were produced by Christian Olde Wolbers (believe it or not the current guitarist of FEAR FACTORY) and his tight and layered use of two of the band members (Byron Davis provides us with his barking roar and Dallas Coyle with this singing) makes this album a little more unique. The singing has taken a bigger role, but Dallas pulls it off wonderfully. In the song “The New Clear” for example, it begins with Dallas giving us those melancholic croons and by half way through it erupts into a roar from Byron and then combines the two in a layered way to finish it off. Nice.
“Earthsblood” shows a band that is just better now. Using variation of style, the band moves through an epic tale of life that shows all the listeners out there that GOD FORBID were not to be written off. The album ends with epic proportions on the two final tracks, but the entire thing feels like a tension building movement. It’s mature, technical, progressive, and just overly impressive. “Earthsblood” is definitely going to show a few haters what GOD FORBID is all about.
Songs to check out: “Bat The Angels”, “Empire Of The Gun”, “The New Clear”.
(Online March 14, 2009)