God Forbid – Equilibrium (Victory Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

A bit odd not seeing the Century Media name associated with God Forbid. The two parties were rather synonymous with each other for most of the 00’s thanks to the label’s emphasis on new wave American metal bands, something that God Forbid were the utter definition of. After their split with CM, Victory Records has scooped up the band for the release of their sixth album,Equilibrium, an affair that gets down to business much better than its scattershot predecessor, 2009’s Earthsblood.

When God Forbid is driving home their melodic undertones (see: 2004’s Gone Forever is perhaps the best example of this), they’re hard to top. They do it with exacting precision here, especially on the one-two punch of opener “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream” and the freewheeling “My Rebirth,” a song that is a sure-fire winner. The extreme slant spewed forth on “A Few Good Men” is held up nicely by a chugging verse section, while the melodic angles of “This Is Who I Am” benefit from new guitarist Matt Wicklund’s airy leads.

Guitarist Doc Coyle has picked up the clean vocal slack and is a dominant force on songs such as “Scraping the Walls,” the title track, and the aforementioned “This Is Who I Am.” Doc suitably fills the role left by his brother Dallas, and is more effective, less whiny, probably because he’s utilized better. Per the usual, main vocalist Byron Davis barks in a one-dimensional manner, remaining one of the few weak spots for the band.

The time to strike has unfortunately passed for God Forbid and fellow New Wave of American Metal pals Shadows Fall and Darkest Hour. Yet the band has done themselves quite the favor with Equilibrium, which is a searing return-to-form. It certainly takes one back to a time when all of these bands threatened to take over the metal universe. A shame these guys never reached Lamb of God-like status…

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(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)