God Forbid – Earthsblood (Century Media Records)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

To be frank, Earthsblood rubbed this scribe the wrong way right off the bat. Not by sheer annoyance or anything (we’ll reserve that for any band with “core” in their description), it’s just that GF has been on the precipice of breaking out ever since 2004’s killer Gone Forever and they just can’t grab it. In reality, God Forbid’s staccato, rhythm-infested brand of modern metal is heavier, more vibrant than anyone else’s in the same bracket, but I don’t know… they’re still halfway up the mountain with Earthsblood.

Some may argue this point, but this album is not nearly as melodic as advertised. In fact, it’s quite brutish and brash in spots, with the Coyle brothers tuning-down for a more gritty low-end, as evidenced by “The Rain” a less than-impressive opener with a quirky chorus. The band quickly redeems itself with the pounding, mosh-ready “Empire of the Gun,” which might be the best song of the bunch, especially when a lovely little guitar melody is layered into the chorus.

More heavy grooves are dolled out during “War of Attrition,” highlight bysinger Byron Davis’ shouts of “Bring it On!” which are sorta cool, while “Shallow” emerges as the heaviest cut on the album, with some chunky triplets to round things off.

In terms of melody, GF doesn’t go for broke on Earthsblood. Instead, we’re greeted with mildly anthemic choruses (see: “The New Clear” and “Walk Alone”). “Bat the Angels” is incredibly infectious and it puts Dallas Coyle’s clean vocals to good use, something that needs to happen more if the next plateau is to be reached.

God Forbid’s timing is a bit off, what with Lamb of God’s Wrath coming out the same day and we’re now four years removed from IV: The Constitution of Treason. We’ll give it some time, but Earthsblood’s staying power is going to come into question once we’re hit with the wave of Euro metal releases that typically prove to be more memorable and better yet, meet lofty expectations.

www.myspace.com/godforbid

 (This content was originally posted on Blistering.com)