Review Summary: Nothing special by any means but Equilibrium is lead by some solid musicianship and some rather anthem like lyrical phrases.Equilibrium
is far from being anything out of the ordinary for God Forbid. The band’s previous albums (IV: Constitution of Treason
) were written in roughly the same vein, however differences emerge in the stylistic features that largely come from new guitarist Matt Wicklund. Matt’s rhythmic styles are largely the same as previous albums but the lead work and underlying melodic patterns are more prominent than ever before. The tones are more dissonant and this suits the album most fittingly. The solos have less of a focus on shred but include a higher amount of expressive technique (i.e. the use of bends, vibrato, squeals etc.) This is intelligent display of talent and maturity in Wicklund’s inclusion in the band. God Forbid has learnt to breathe through it’s guitarists.
Groove has always been a bigger aspect of God Forbid’s music. Equilibrium
is no different. There are countless riffs, numerous breakdowns and always a solid beat to keep the listener’s head bobbing up and down. Since the band’s formation in New Jersey in 1996 this has been the standard recipe for almost every track God Forbid has ever produced. Throw in some hoarse vocals and the occasional clean vocal phrases (which unfortunately could have had a bigger impact if they were a little more melodic) and God Forbid’s 2012 full length should appease many fans of the metal genre. Yes, the description that was just provided could be true to many metalcore acts of today and would create a gaping yawn for many familiar with the genre but there is something in God Forbid’s makeup that keeps them interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.
Helping to ensure a positive listen there is an acceptable amount of contrast throughout the albums entity. There is the high gain riffage, coupled with some elegant clean tones, harsh yet distinguishable vocals used intelligently with crooning melodic phrases and even the changes in tempo help maintain an interest for the listener. As for the album’s highlights there is plenty to look for; whether that be the emotive lyrics that are found in ‘Don't Tell Me What to Dream’ or ‘This Is Who I Am’ or the busier tracks like ‘Overcome’ or final track ‘Where We Come From’ where the thrash influences displayed by the band is a little more in the fore front of the track. Adding another level to ‘Where We Come From’ is the sinister atmosphere that hovers over the top of the track adding positively to the listening experience and an excellent way to close the album.
This album may not trump either Earthsblood
or IV: Constitution Of Treason
in sheer quality, but Equilibrium
makes for a solid listen, but that doesn’t take away from this album being successful in its own right. This is a definite pick up album for long time fans and anybody else looking for some straight forward, no frills American metal.