God Forbid - _Gone Forever_
(Century Media, 2004)
by: Aaron McKay (
Pushing forth from the broadening expanse of the metal realm, off a small label known as 9 Volt Records, God Forbid stands as a formidable ally to us all on the scene today -- especially now with their newest offering _Gone Forever_. As a well-timed tease, the band spit forth a five track EP entitled _Better Days_ to prepare the way for the full offensive that _Gone Forever_ unleashes. Century Media has captured, but not contained, this band from their debut on this label, _Determination_, and now _Better Days_ continues the truculent crusade. Arguably God Forbid may be using the recent album titles to signal a profound change in metal by their hands alone -- "better days" are just an album away and "gone forever" are the unchallenging concepts sometimes found scattered throughout the metal/hardcore genres. Thickly enriched with solid grooves and high doses of rhythm, this band drives home their style on each of the nine tracks making up _Gone Forever_. This five piece outfit has arranged their newest offering with incredible riffs and absolutely stunning leads to invoke images of old Anthrax meets Corrosion of Conformity, but with a flavor too hard to cite with any kind of decisive accuracy. Byron Davis' vocals have a harsh, biting, unsympathetic technique, while Doc and Dallas Coyle's twin guitar method punches through _Gone Forever_'s track listing like a pneumatic air hammer. For evidence of this, check out track four, "Precious Lie", right about the 4:06 mark -- astonishing. Often operating unassumingly in the background, the rhythm facet of God Forbid has taken this notion and categorically dismissed it: Jon Outcalt on bass and Corey Pierce on the drums further develop the forcefully tight union of hardcore and thrash. No better place can this be witnessed than on "Living Nightmare", track six, for the majority of the song's nearly four minute and twenty seconds. For the money, it'd certainly be worth it to pick up _Better Days_ along with the full length to supplement the entire God Forbid experience. I pride myself as a reviewer on fighting against the temptation to issue a pass to a band simply based on previous work and recorded material of the past. That said, God Forbid made matters delightfully easy in this regard as they have reinvented themselves on _Gone Forever_.
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