Release date: March 26, 2012
There are many bands who have etched out a niche for themselves in a variety of genres of music. However, it is rare to see a band not just fulfill that niche but keep branching out and gaining more fans based on their collective output. This brings us to a metal band that always seems to be on the cusp of breaking through that subterranean ceiling and into the world of mainstream conversation. 2012 may very well be the year of God Forbid.
Equilibrium. marks a couple of firsts for the quintet. After years with Century Media, this album is the debut for new label, Victory Records. With 2009’s departure of guitarist Dallas Coyle, Equilibrium is also the first to feature Matt Wicklund on guitar. Wicklund brings a mighty hefty pair of chops from his time spent in Himsa and being an axeman for Warrel Dane’s solo record, Praises to the War Machine. With a new label and new guitarist on board, God Forbid have quickly hit the ground running with this record.
God Forbid grew with each album under the sound development of the Coyle brothers, Doc and Dallas. With Dallas’ departure they definitely secured a talented player in Wicklund, and you can hear the re-energized bite he brings into the fold. Right from the album opener, “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream”, this album begins forthright, powerful, and vital: 100% God Forbid!
Vocalist Byron Davis meets us like an old friend, with a well-timed scream and musical accompaniment. With one of the most identifiable voices in metal, he reaches out into his audience with every breath. He is being propelled further along by the deep digging rhythms laid down by guitarists, Doc Coyle and Wickland, and anchored by the thunderous groove of bassist John “Beeker” Outcalt. But there is no God Forbid without the drumming prowess and presence of Corey Pierce. Pierce keeps a low profile in certain sections of tracks for emphasis, but those signature pounding drum beats he has been known for are in no short supply on Equilibrium.
One of the appealing pieces of this album is how varied the songs can be. There are bands that blast through a certain sound for 10 or 12 songs and after a while you lose track what songs are what. God Forbid definitely does not fit that mold. They explore the space of the sound they created and have put an honest groove into metal where there is a penchant to attack ears in a rigidness without that sense of fullness. There are songs that feature some real heart like “Scraping The Walls” and “Conquer”. Both of these tracks engage a hefty dose of groove in parts that would make fans of Revocation smile.
God Forbid has crafted some really memorable songs that are heavy on riffs and groove all around with a few of the heavy hitters being “A Few Good Men”, “This Is Who I Am”, and the opening track, “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream”. That said, these boys can jam some real tasty soloing work, too. There are tracks galore on this album to get some wonderful earfuls, but do not miss “Overcome”, “Move On”, and the title track, “Equilibrium”.
It’s always a great sensation when bands visibly grow before your ears, and this was a terrific leap for God Forbid to take their sound to a new level on Equilibrium. They have definitely hit a strong stride with this release.