God Forbid is one of the most recognized names in American metal music. There’s never much negative criticism towards them, and with good reason; they’ve always been nothing short of awesome. But the only problem bands like God Forbid run into is their new releases come with high standards to meet with fans. And since they have such a positive reputation in the metal world, the standard may be at it’s highest with Equilibrium.
The first track, “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream”, was released to YouTube and was met with some mixed reaction with the fans, mostly getting into the muck of “djent” which isn’t worth discussing, but the song is actually one of the strongest opening tracks I have ever heard in a metal album. In just one song, it perfectly summarizes what we’re going to hear in the rest of the album. Extremely powerful riffs you can’t help but bang your head to, and catchy and creative melodic passages are all present in Equilibrium. Without a doubt, we are listening to the greatness and particular sound of God Forbid. It might not be exactly the same as it was in the beginning of their career, but bands inevitably change a little bit over the years. Fans of God Forbid are going to know that this is the band they know and love.
What I like about Equilibrium is its unwillingness to stay stagnant. At one point, it’s focusing on melodies with the clean vocals of Doc Coyle in songs like “Overcome”, and then immediately we’re getting pounded with the incredibly energetic “Cornered.” It never sticks to the same formula from song to song which keeps your attention up. My favorite song on the album, “Conquer”, combines both of those elements masterfully. In some ways, Equilibrium reminds me of the melodic nature from Earthsblood, their previous release, but again, the fact that I can still feel the personal touch from God Forbid just shows musical growth and progression from the band. But as much as I like those melodic songs, there was a part of me that would’ve liked to hear more of the simple and heavy side of God Forbid, which might be something for fans to consider. It certainly wasn’t a huge issue though, since God Forbid succeeds at both the heavy and the melodic.
I absolutely have to mention that the production value of this album is completely through the roof. Anytime Mark Lewis or Jason Suecof, or BOTH are involved in an album’s production, there’s no question that it’s going to be perfection. Those two just know how to make any metal band of any subgenre have this absolute clarity while still retaining the hard edge that metal necessitates. Every instrument is balanced perfectly, every lyric clearly heard, and every drum hits you right in the chest. Even if you don’t like God Forbid, it’s hard not to agree that the album just sounds great.
Overall, Equilibrium was an awesome album, and a great addition to the God Forbid library. It’s an album I believe can turn people’s heads toward the band, as well as keeping the fans satisfied and happy. It’s probably my favorite metal release in 2012 so far. Equilibrium should be a must for anyone who even slightly liked God Forbid in the past and simply for anyone who likes good metal.
Favorite Songs: “Don’t Tell Me What To Dream”, “Conquer”, “Cornered”, “Where We Come From”