God Forbid - IV: Constitution Of Treason
Century Media
Melodic Thrashy Metalcore
10 songs (50.23)
Release year: 2005
God Forbid, Century Media
Reviewed by Aleksie
Album of the year
Ive been talking a lot about Albums Of The Year in the recent months, with good personal reason and stance. Now I think I may have hit jackpot enough to really stamp the skeleton on to the sucker. God Forbid owns my senses big time. Gone Forever was a modern masterwork in its own right and with their fifth release, the New Jersey moshpatrol return stronger and better than ever.

Constitution Of Treason is an advancement in all fields for the band. All heavy parts are cranked heavier several notches. All mellow moments are emphasized to maximum emotion. The riffs and songwriting are more complex and thought-out than on the previous records. The rhythm section is more pulverizing than ever. Solos are plentiful and biting. The gruff shouting is angrier and the clean singalongs are more melodic. I have become a huge fan of Byron Davis´ hardcorish death-voice. In even the most distorted convulsions of anger the articulation is very clear and the lyrics are clear. Suberb, I say. The metal is pushed more metal and the hardcore more hardcore. I get the feeling that everything was being thrusted towards their respective extremes and the results are marvellous.

The album also runs through a unifying story, which appeals to me strongly as I am a huge fan of concept albums. Put in short, the theme revolves around our world, after a nuclear holocaust that has annihilated most of humankind. Out of the remaining survivors rises a faction of leaders who, concluding that the destruction was a punishment from God, set up a fascistic rule that follows strict deictic laws and structures of society. Out of this oppression rises a Hero that opposes the newly induced laws and sparks an uprising. His rise and fall and the aftermath of the following centuries round up the album. Combine the themes and lyrics with the cover art and liner pics and one can pretty clearly see that there is definite symbolism to our times beyond mere sci-fi/horror -scoping.

The songs are divided into three sections or more accurately, "Articles". Article 1. The Twilight Of Civilisation starts off with End Of The World, as the haunting echoed thumping and jangling guitars swirl about before blasting off into a mid-paced groove that speeds further into Pantera-land with jagging double-bass and searing solos. Chains Of Humanity rams down the floodgates with an awesome Priestesque lead harmony that quickly morph into grindind speed riffing and rapid battery assault. Right on the first listen I was duly impressed with not only impressed with Corey Pierces uncanny skinsmanship, but also the drum sounds on the record, which absolutely slaughter! Finally, a bass drum that actually sounds tight and like a sledgehammer instead of a pancake being splatted against wall! The acoustic interlude before a crushing jam may not be the most innovative dynamic tool in metal, but Damn, how it works here. The shouts of "Strenght Beyond Strength" isnt the only thing in the tune that again resurrects Pantera. And as some hobo surely knows, I love Pantera, so the merciless groove is something I cherish - and mosh. Into The Wasteland keeps the pace brutally quick with a unashamed thrash metal beat and frantic harmonizing riffing, before changing the rhythm into more typically hardcoresque breakdowns during the splendid, fingerlicking lead work.

Article 2. In The Darkened Hour, There Was One is the second section of tunes, which keep the pace heavy, but mixes more mellow moments and traditional metal leanings into the savagery. The Lonely Dead has a very rocking vibe to it with the dualing riffs and virtuosic axemanship. The clean vocals of the Coyle brothers are implemented to a greater extent than on God Forbids earlier work and I´d say its about damn time! The contrasts of the cleans and Davis´ shouts are marvellous. I can see that older fans might shudder after hearing more clean "radio-wannabe-mainstrem-bullscheit" -elements, but I embrace them when they are as high quality as on this album. The outro with only soft piano tingling about is a very touching audial moment and really creates the atmoshpere of a hopeless situation like a world after nuclear annihilation would most likely be. Divinity displays something I have repeated and will repeat still during this review - God DAMN these riffs are good. Hooks flying all around the place grafting themselves onto my skin and senses. My air guitars havent received this much abuse since the latest Edguy album and Ive only had this album for a couple of weeks. The excellence of the vocal interplay again strikes my joy. The cleans might not be the most technically brilliant or shiniest examples of an inhuman range, but they appeal to me immensly. Under The Flag takes mostly a very slow approach while throwing eerie guitar chords with half-whispered vocals, that serve the vibes of ominous themes very well. They lead off into the stand out brilliance that is To The Fallen Hero, my favourite track here and definitely one of the best songs Ive heard all year. The intro riff is murderous and the emotion in delivery is extatic. The chorus is something to the sense of "superglue times flypapers squared" in catchiness. I absolutely cannot or want to get the thing out of my head. The solos and clean dynamics kill again and the coreish breakdowns give the moshmuscles a nice run. A huge track, by Thor and Buddha!

Article 3. Devolution begins with the balladesque Welcome To The Apocalypse (Preamble), which is sung beautifully by Dallas Coyle and goes on all clean guitars. The ending with the threatening voice reading patriotic messages and fading into simple whispers of "treason" magnificently set up the charge for the title track that again employs mid-paced grooving that nearly snaps my neck. Ive said it once and it all over again, my musical senses are all about groove at the bottom line. If it grooves, I dont care about the genre, its tasty like a mid-summer BBQ with cold brews to spare. The album closer has a daunting task when everything preceding has been this awesome, but Crucify Your Beliefs does the job flawlessly. The oriental acoustics pave the way for some militaristic drum squads and bombarding riff-artillery. Double-bass madness ensues and the halfway-twist into pure speed metal insanity is something that is guaranteed to desecrate mosh pits around the world. The very ending is however not laced with brutality, gentle keyboards and piano, proving the bands knack for moods and dynamic solutions. GF is really forming their own sound here, and its very interesting to see where they go from here. Especially when thinking if this can be topped.

The production on the whole record is stellar, with not only the drums being top-notch, but the whole damn concotion. Everything in excellent balance and destructive. IV: Constitution Of Treason is definitely God Forbids best work to date and is an unbelievable display of craftsmanship, especially in songwriting, atmosphere and playing. So many things click and get it right on the album. Especially the riffs. The riffs, dammit I need an air guitar, pronto! Being a predominantly old school music fan in about any given genre, I had much hesitations about stamping something this "modern" an Album Of The Year. Veteran masters like Kreator and Gamma Ray among many have churned out superb stuff this year. But truthfully feeling, nothing has grabbed me quite like this one. Bands like God Forbid are very vital in todays music scene, to prove to stubborn souls like myself that modern metal is far from dull nonsense. I still think the end of the year awards will produce a bloody mind bout of Nevermore vs. God Forbid for me, but for now in this Iron Man match, the Jersey shores are up by one fall after a most brutal top rope-piledriver named IV: Constitution Of Treason.

Killing Songs :
All Of Em, with To The Fallen Hero slaying at the forefront
Aleksie quoted 96 / 100
Other albums by God Forbid that we have reviewed:
God Forbid - Earthsblood reviewed by Khelek and quoted 65 / 100
God Forbid - Gone Forever reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 88 / 100
God Forbid - Better Days (EP) reviewed by Crims and quoted No Quote
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