God Forbid - Constitution of Treason - 2005 - Century Media
1. The End of the World 2. Chains of Humanity 3. Into the Wasteland 4. The Lonely Dead 5. Divinity 6. Under This Flag 7. To The Fallen Hero 8. Welcome To The Apocalypse (preamble) 9. Constitution Of Treason 10. Crucify Your Beliefs
The genre known as “metalcore” arose in the late nineties, and in the last few years has become a dominant force over the American heavy metal scene. Mixing elements of hardcore music with thrash and death metal, its immense popularity has led to hordes of metal heads to shun it. This was no regular close-minded shunning, however. Rather, it was a direct result of the bastardization of heavy metal by the likes of trendy Bleeding Through and Atreyu, or the recycled, boring Trivium. Fortunately, a few bands remain who have been around longer than these young upstarts and strive to put quality ahead of popularity. New Jersey’s God Forbid are, and hopefully forever be one of those few.
“Constitution of Treason” is without a doubt one of the best metalcore albums that has ever been released, and that ever will be released. No one else playing in a metalcore band possesses Byron Davis’ punishing voice, Corey Pierce’s speed with the drumsticks, or the writing and playing ability of the Coyle brothers. Doc and Dallas are by far the main reason God Forbid are so damn good. Solos, like the one that rips through the album’s opening track, “The End of the World,” would rival any solo from a pure thrash band. In addition, both handle the clean vocals sections in the songs, with Dallas taking the lead and Doc occasionally backing him up. On “Crucify Your Beliefs,” Dallas has at least half of the song to himself and does a wonderful job. His mid-range is perfect – he obviously doesn’t go high like your typical power metal singer, but he also doesn’t have that whiny, pathetic sounding voice that most metalcore bands use during clean sections.
Other highlights on the album include “Divinity,” which contains some standout riffing from the Coyles and a passionate performance from Davis. During the song’s chorus he echoes Dallas’ singing with some perfectly harmonized screaming. “Chains of Humanity” contains a great dual-solo intro as well as a breakdown sometime in the middle. Overuse of breakdowns will often destroy any credibility a metalcore may be attempting to establish, but God Forbid are clearly more creative than that. This particular breakdown is creative, well-placed, and breaks up the song nicely. Instead of replacing the song’s solo, it follows it, providing an excellent change of pace.
For all the readers who are close minded to anything with the suffix –core attached at the end, I don’t blame you. I was once exactly that way myself, and I still don’t bear any benevolent feelings towards most of the bands in the genre. God Forbid, however, are a glaring exception to the trend of inferior metalcore bands. If there ever was a band to get the style right, it’s them, with this album. Trust me on this one and check the album out, you won’t regret it.
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