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God Forbid | IV Constitution of Treason | review | metal | Lollipop

God Forbid

IV: Constitution of Treason (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

God Forbid continue to make some of the best, most guitar-smoked records of the metalcore revolution. Their particular forte is scintillating but captivatingly doomy twin leads, quick-picked riffs of an almost ornate nature, executed at various points on the fretboard, and impassioned melodies at just the right time, with just the right balance. Add to that the texture-steep alchemy of myriad innovative clean vocals, countering barks (actually here, they're like anybody's), and continual percussive innovation, and you've got a band that leaves no corner of each metal sculpture unswept. Punchy yet soft production that meets me mellow at the midrange is provided by metalcore mavens Jason Suecof and Eric Rachel, who quite simply touch a wand to the heads of this often suffering New Jersey band. IV: Constitution of Treason is also the band's most political album, with artwork matching the overall, chilling post-America concept. Byron is on fire, the musical accessibility of the band's plush arrangements allowing him to finish his piece before fatigue sets in, Byron's own System and Nonpoint touchstones keeping one curious as well. And that's really the rub with God Forbid: At no point does the listener want to leave. I mean, all facets are locked down, but getting micro on it, Dallas and Doc put on such a clinic in tone and in riff-writing, their dance of death is enough to keep the fan strapped in, most of these tracks strong enough to work as instrumentals (and long instrumental passages do indeed ensue). Conversely explosive, pummeling, gauzy, psychedelic, atmospheric, and at most of those points, eerily doomy (Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Mastodon's Leviathan come to mind), Constitution of Treason is a headtrip flung at the front edge of metalcore's crowded pack. It hasn't gone so far as to rewrite any rules, as Mastodon and Dillinger have, Constitution just being, arguably, the very best, within brackets.


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