IV: The Constitution Of Treason, the fourth full-length album from New Jersey metallers God Forbid, was a concept album warning of mankind’s predilection for never learning from its own mistakes….and how prescient is that in today’s current political/social/environmental climate!
Rewind to 2005 and God Forbid found themselves lumped in with the metalcore crowd but, in fact, they were operating on another level entirely and IV: The Constitution Of Treason was the album to solidify their burgeoning reputation and fully harness the power and precision honed on 1999’s Reject The Sickness, 2001’s Determination, 2003’s Better Days (EP) and 2004’s incredibly well received Gone Forever.
By 2005, God Forbid were well entrenched in the scene and so comfortable in their own skin that IV: The Constitution Of Treason found the band ready to take on the world and attempt to change it! Via a concept album that was futuristic (and fictional) in intention but defiantly rooted in reality, God Forbid found their voice and were ready to use it and while apocalyptic premonition may be nothing new in metal, God Forbid delivered their dystopian vision with clarity and clinical precision, backed by classic thrash riffs and the kind of epic songwriting that rivalled the likes of Machine Head. In fact, while Machine Head were riding high after the release of Through the Ashes Of Empires, God Forbid were seriously challenging them in the songwriting stakes and “Chains Of Humanity”, “To The Fallen Hero” and “Crucify Your Beliefs” were epic heavy metal masterpieces. Subsequently, reviews for IV:The Constitution were universally strong and God Forbid should have seen their career follow a similar pattern to Machine Head.
History tells us that events took a different turn but with the Coyle brothers delivering crushing, caustic riffs to rival Flynn/Demmel’s MH output, God Forbid were setting themselves up to be metal saviours, and everything from concept to execution on IV:The Constitution was perfectly realised and delivered with unbridled aggression and melodic nous. Here was a band who could perfectly meld melodic passages (which explains the ‘metalcore’ tag) with clinically violent thrash and the alternating clean/screamed vocals of Byron Davis only added to the sheer diversity of their sound.
Much more than ‘just’ a metalcore band, in the mid 00’s God Forbid were a metal powerhouse and IV: Constitution Of Treason remains an absolute monster of an album, an intelligent and provocative collection of tracks that should have seen the band rise to dominating prominence. As is often the way, the next level for God Forbid proved to be out of reach (despite 2009’s Earthsblood being of equal merit) and they sadly split in 2013.
Fortunately, in the formidable shape of Gone Forever, Earthsblood and their piece de resistance, IV: The Constitution, we still have a trio of incredible albums to devour.
Other albums covered in our Unleashed From The Vaults Series: