CD: IV: Constitution of Treason
Artist: God Forbid
Release Date: 09/20/05
Label: Century Media Records
I used to listen to a lot of God Forbid. I realized that "Gone Forever" got old after a while, and I stopped listening. I didn't hear about "IV: Constitution of Treason" until a few days before it came out. I decided to check it out, because the media reviews and the customer reviews praised it heavily.
Another cool fact about this CD is that it's actually a concept album, based upon a future government scenario. Though I haven't seen how the songs are divided up yet, the three parts of the album are:
Twilight of Civilization: Countries engage in a nuclear onslaught, obliterating our way of life.
In The Darkest Hour, There Was One: During a facist rule, after the destruction of old civilization, one man begins to rebel against the ideals. He is sentenced to banishment and death in the wasteland, but returns completely unharmed. He is then burned at the stake.
Devolution: Centuries since the time of the "Hero", people now either believe one side of his legends or the other, which makes you think that though some humans already survived through one, another nuclear holocaust is possible.
Vocals: Byron Davis has changed his vocal style a little from "Gone Forever" and other previous works by God Forbid. And it has definitley changed for the better. His screams are ok, but his singing truly shows how good of a vocalist he is.
Guitars: Doc and Dallas Coyle are a duo of brothers who stepped up their playing on this album. Dallas, the rhythm guitarist, throws in more interesting and pleasing riffs than the previous ones that were nothing more than just "heavy". Doc's solos have become better as well. A track on which that is clearly evident is "Chains of Humanity".
Bass: It is hard to hear the bass-work of John Outcault, but when you can hear it, it seems to be doing its job exactly: bringing together the drums and rhythm guitar. Simple and important work.
Drums: Corey Pierce throws down simple drumming, and that's all that is needed behind the driving force of the guitars. Simple double-bass patterns most of the time is Pierce's work and he masters what he needs to do. Once again, nothing fancy, but fitting perfectly behind the music.
Ok, so now a track-by-track review of the CD...
1. THE END OF THE WORLD *4 out of 5*
The song opens up with an introduction that is almost identical to Trivium's "The End of Everything", except is played on guitar. One thing you notice is that the vocals are a great improvement over that of previous records. The solo in this song is nothing special. Overall, has an epic feel to it, good opening for this album.
2. CHAINS OF HUMANITY *5 out of 5*
All I can say is "Wow". What a change from previous records musically. The riffs on this song are amazing. Byron's vocals are amazing as well. Loving that solo as well. And there's a VERY short acoustic break in the song. Simple but fitting drumwork by Pierce. Probably my favorite track on the CD.
3. INTO THE WASTELAND *2 out of 5*
There's nothing standout about this song to me, except maybe the solo. The riffs are just like that of previous God Forbid work, and that turns me off to this song. The vocals are mostly screaming, which aren't that good. The solo spares this song from being a one.
4. THE LONELY DEAD *2 out of 5*
For the majority of the song, is slower than the rest of the stuff on the CD. Starts with screaming, but a little before midway through infuses the meldoic singing. Another good solo. Ends with a piano, which I think is the highlight of this song. Not a big fan of the song overall though.
5. DIVINITY *2 out of 5*
I love the intro to this song. The vocals are well divided up. Riffs aren't anything too special at all. Overall, nothing too special.
6. UNDER THIS FLAG *4 out of 5*
Byron's screaming on this song is the most tolerable I've ever heard it. It's very heavy until the breakdown. Simplistic with great melodic singing. Then, its bursts back into the song with pounding drums. Then, it goes back into another breakdown, and back into the heaviness of the song. Another good song.
7. TO THE FALLEN HERO *4 out of 5*
Another good intro on this song, this time with the cymbals. Heavy verse with pounding double-bass and heavy riffs. The vocals become softer on the chorus, and the guitars sound more beautiful and complex. Another good solo too. Vicious screaming in what I'd call more of a bridge part. Good song.
8. WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE (PREAMBLE) *5 out of 5*
Slower, softer song, with piano in it. The vocals on this song are AMAZING, as are the lyrics. Reading of the constitution occurs near the end of the song, with a chanting of the word "TREASON" in the background, leading into the next song...
9. CONSTITUTION OF TREASON *3 out of 5*
Heavier, and mixes in lots of melodic vocals with the screams. The riffs are a little different than normal; not bad or worse though. The drums seem to be at a weaker point in this song. It's different than the rest of the songs on this CD. Still an okay song though.
10. CRUCIFY YOUR BELIEFS *4 out of 5*
Another song with a good intro. Very melodic and light and then BOOM! The drums and distorted guitars just BURST into the song. The double-bass starts, and then Byron comes in with a melodic voice, quickly switching to a screaming voice. Overall, this screams metalcore epic, which may sound weird, but it just has the sound of an epic. Great closing to the album.
God Forbid's songwriting has certainly matured since the days of "Gone Forever" and "Determination". Byron's vocals have improved, but his screaming still isn't the best. The guitarists have much improved, and out what I could hear of the bassist, he seemed to be doing a fine job. As much as I'd love to see more complex drumming, the simple patterns are fine. The fact that this was a concept album definitley helped in my getting it and reviewing it. As much as I like this album, I don't think God Forbid will ever top this, and I think may be the only CD by them that I'll listen to. But since I can listen to this with an open mind as a reviewer it gets:
OVERALL: *3 out of 5*