GOD FORBID – Gone Forever

GOD FORBID - Gone Forever


Century Media
Release date: February 24, 2004

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When you hear of a Metal band that has 5 members and 4 of them are African American, you immediately think of Rap Metal. Nothing could be farther from the truth for Century Media’s God Forbid. Gone Forever marks the second full-length release by the label for the band, and chances are this will not be the last. The offering is a strong mix of Thrash and Hardcore Metal with a little Melodic Death Metal thrown in. If you are expecting any busting rhymes, you better look elsewhere; you will not find it here. For anyone familiar with the band, this CD is a slight departure from 2001’s Determination, as there are no instrumentals and stronger songwriting shows that the band is growing.

God Forbid is a 5-piece Metalcore outfit from New Jersey. The members are: Byron Davis on vocals, Dallas Coyle and Doc Coyle on guitars, John Outcalt on bass, and Corey Pierce on drums. The band was formed in the late ’90s and has three prior full-length and one EP release to their credit. The members are techheads and are always listening to the music around them.

The highlight of this disc has to be the track “Better Days.” Most of the band’s strongest points are featured in this song. The drums and guitars mix so well together; the guitars grind and Pierce does an excellent job with fills. Davis uses varied vocal styles on this track, ranging from a hardcore style to a melodic style on the chorus, ala many European Melodic Death bands.

Unlike many hardcore bands, God Forbid is more guitar-driven. They use a dueling guitar approach made popular by the likes of Judas Priest and Slayer. This is never more evident than on the opening track “Force-Fed.” This song also features a great deal of double bass, which will be more and more apparent as the CD progresses. God Forbid also has a great sense for changing pace during their songs. In general, they pull this off effortlessly.

“Precious Lie” shows the diversity of the band, especially vocally. Davis effectively changes his vocal style from growling to singing, much like newer bands like Killswitch Engage. When he does choose to sing, his voice is clean and the lyrics are understandable. “Washed Out World” is also very similar in style vocally. These 2 songs are the most melodic songs on the disc. This is not to mean that the songs are for pussies, there is no doubt that they still kick some major ass.

The track “Living Nightmare” begins as a stereotypical thrash song with quick drums and guitars, which change to a grind. The song is a major contrast to the previous two tracks as the vocals make you believe that Davis is actually having a nightmare.

“Soul Engraved” is Pantera-like, both instrumentally and vocally. This song also demonstrates that God Forbid does not produce their songs based on a blue print, as the fade-out is a fast paced guitar solo.

The title track is marked with a strong beginning containing a blood-chilling yell. This song takes an “in your face” approach from start to finish. One thing that becomes obvious in this track is that when Davis is singing he wants you to be paying attention.

The lead in to “Judge The Blood” is a piano, and you know that it is going to be a strong climax to the disc. The song just makes you want to bang your head. And if there was ever a proper ending for a CD, this disc has it. The song ushers out the whole collection with the guitar grind fading its way out.

The mixing for the disc gives a feeling that this is the sound Metallica was aiming for with its release St. Anger. High praise should be given to Eric Rachel and Colin Richardson, who really know how to produce and mix a Thrash Metal album.

If OzzFest is any indication that a band is making it, then God Forbid is indeed making it. They will be coming soon to a second stage near you along with the likes of Slipknot, Hatebreed, Lamb Of God, and label mates Lacuna Coil. This new exposure could catapult this powerful quintet to new heights.

For more information on God Forbid, be sure to check out their website. And for a good Metal listening experience, check out this disc.

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