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God Forbid: Earthsblood

It's been great to watch the maturation of a couple of the 'New Wave of American Heavy Metal' bands over the years, namely Lamb of God and God Forbid. LoG have catapulted themselves to the top of the heap with recent releases Sacrament and Wrath, the band not only proving to be a huge concert attraction but also now seeing their CD's debut in the Billboard Top 10, which is a great accomplishment for such an extreme band. With God Forbid, it's been a few years since IV-Constitution of Treason, which in intself was a leap forward creatively speaking, and now they have unleashed the classy Earthsblood, an album that sees them moving away from their past 'metalcore' tag into realms of thrash, progressive metal, and symphonic rock.

Though there's plenty of brutal aggression on Earthsblood, you can also expect a fair amount of orchestral keyboards (performed by Doc & Dallas Coyle, Christian Olde Wolbers from Fear Factory, and Symphony X's Michael Pinella) and clean vocal passages from Byron Davis, Dallas and Doc Coyle. As such, the music here has taken on a much more sophisticated and complex feel, as the band has traded their past metalcore leanings for arrangements that are much more adventurous. Tunes such as "The Rain", "Empire of the Gun", and "The New Clear" could easily pass for progressive metal, thanks to the intricate guitar textures courtesy of the Coyle brothers and layers of keyboards, and the alternating between clean and growled vocals also helps matters greatly. Thrashy death metal can be heard on "Shallow" and "War of Attrition", drummer Corey Pierce flailing away at his kit like an octopus, while the final three mini epics that close out the CD, "Bat the Angels", the title track, and "Gaia (The Vultures)" offer up some highly enjoyable atmospheric and progressive death metal.

The CD also comes with a bonus disc of a live performance at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey, which unfortunately we weren't sent for this review. All accounts are that it is a hot set, so you might want to check whether the live disc is available for download through your normal channels or only with the physical CD purchase.

Earthsblood is just really solid all around, from the packaging (cool artwork by the way) to the intelligent music contained within. With this one, God Forbid have finally grown up and are ready for the big leagues.

Track Listing
1. The Discovery 1:42
2. The Rain 5:20
3. Empire Of The Gun 4:44
4. War Of Attrition 4:26
5. The New Clear 6:35
6. Shallow 3:30
7. Walk Alone 6:13
8. Bat The Angels 6:05
9. Earthsblood 9:03
10. Gaia (The Vultures) 7:17

Added: March 15th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1643
Language: english

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