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God Forbid - Equilibrium Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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God Forbid - Equilibrium

God Forbid - Equilibrium

Victory Records
It was always going to be undeniable that the 2009 departure of guitarist/songwriter/founding member Dallas Coyle was going to an impact on God Forbid in one way or another. While his brother, lead guitarist Doc Coyle, has picked up some of the slack, the band’s new blood Matt Wicklund (formerly of Himsa) has added some of his own elements to the boiling pot. All that being said though, Equilibrium is still very much a God Forbid album.

First off, the djent accusations levelled at opening track “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream” are utterly ridiculous. Just because a band uses a seven-string guitar doesn’t automatically paint them into the sub-genre. Anyway, it’s a decent way to open up the LP; not the most impressive song in their arsenal, but solid nonetheless. “Scraping The Walls,” is one of the best numbers on the album, with the clean verses slightly more sinister sounding than expected, and the big lung-busting chorus surely has Victory Records eyeing of the track for a future single release.

The guitar work is certainly one of the best elements to Equilibrium, with Coyle and Wicklund’s playing aggressive and relentless for the heavy rhythms, while the solos are wrought with emotion and hark back to the classic shred-friendly days of the '80s. It’s not all a bed of roses though, with too many tracks merely falling into the category of just being “okay,” and by track 7 Equilibrium starts to drag along. Fortunately things pick up on “Cornered,” and despite dipping again not long after, the album ends really strongly on “Where We Come From” – a track that really should have been bumped way up the track listing, as it’s probably the album’s strongest.

The songs on this record are more concise and to the point then on their previous releases. Only two tracks on the band’s new album just cross the five-minute mark, where their previous record Earthsblood featured half a dozen tunes that pushed well past the point. They also seem to being relying more on clean choruses as well. Whether this was an attempt to connect with the younger market of metal fans is yet to been seen, but the repetitive nature of many of the tunes' formula makes it feel like the listener is being subjected to the same song over and over again at times.

Maybe it is because of Dallas Coyle’s departure, or perhaps because of the strength of Earthsblood and 2005’s IV: Constitution of Treason, but Equilibrium just doesn’t quite pack the same level of quality as the aforementioned albums. That’s not saying that it’s a poor album, far from it, but it’s an example of when a great band only makes an ok record. It’s still better than what a lot of their peers are doing, but God Forbid’s latest just doesn’t quite meet their lofty standards.

(released March 27, 2012 on Victory Records)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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