Released: 2004, Century Media
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Let me go on record with this now…2004 will be God Forbid’s big year. Where their 2001 major-label debut, DETERMINATION, sent waves through the metal scene, their new CD, GONE FOREVER, is without a doubt one of the most stunning albums I have heard in a while. The New Jersey-based five-piece combines thrash, hardcore and traditional metal into one neck-breaking package. Producer Eric Rachel, who has twiddled knobs on several Symphony X CDs, has created a thumping wall of sound that got handed over to Colin Richardson (Carcass, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Napalm Death) for mixing. With these two guys in control of the finished product’s sound, you know what to expect. Corey Pierce’s drums are absolutely punishing throughout the CD and the dual-guitar attack of brothers Dallas and Doc Coyle pepper the songs with finely tuned riffs and sharp licks. Vocalist Byron Davis alternates between guttural grunts and growls and a harsh bark that is perfectly suited to the music.
The CD kicks off with the best track, “Force-Fed.” The song fades in and then breaks into a headbanging thrash-a-thon led by the brothers Coyle. “Better Days” and “Precious Lie” dabble with melodic choruses but without sacrificing heaviness. Davis’ harsh vocals are perfectly balanced with a surprisingly good clean vocal. Another of the stronger cuts on the CD is “Washed-Out World.” The track features more excellent clean vocals and harmonies that show there is more to God Forbid than Davis’ bellow. “Living Nightmare” has an unbelievable solo and again brings in elements of thrash metal that have been long forgotten but are openly welcomed here. Don’t miss the piano intro to “Judge The Blood” courtesy of Symphony X keyboardist Michael Pinnella, either!
I had eagerly awaited this CD and I was not disappointed. GONE FOREVER will be one of favorite CDs of 2004, no question. Along with the likes of Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God, God Forbid is proudly waving the flag of REAL American metal. Look out world because God Forbid has arrived!
KILLER KUTS: “Force-Fed,” “Antihero,” “Better Days,” “Precious Lie,” “Washed-Out World”