God Forbid

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Determination Review

by Patrick Kennedy

New Jersey's God Forbid, though more or less a straightforward death metal/hardcore fusion quintet, are abundantly talented musicians and play with tremendous intensity and fury. The riffs often border on the generic -- residing somewhere between Slayer, Emperor, and Meshuggah, but, again, they are played with certainty. The songs on Determination, however, are a bit more fleshed out than a lot of death metal-inspired hardcore, even if all the attendant signatures are there: venomous double kick usage, quick tom fanning, gutteral screaming, and the occasional double-picking. That is to say, God Forbid seem to realize that there is far more to being a band -- particularly a metal band -- than devising scare tactics, tuning down, sharpening one's picking skill, and shaking the hair. To that end, the band has added some of the more soaring progressions of power metal, whether consciously or not. Having recorded the album at the famous Trax East studio in New Jersey, it's no wonder that the album sounds as good as it does.

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