Originally written by Tim Pigeon
While I appreciate the gesture made by the boys of God Forbid and the label brass at Century Media, I’d much prefer to just have the new full-length, and not a hold-you-over EP. Anyhow, this little EP, Better Days, has five tracks of God Forbid goodness, and from my understanding, it’s dirt-cheap, which makes it more worthwhile. Two are brand-spanking-new songs, and one from each of their previous three releases. The production on the new tracks is pretty average, unlike the amazingly scathing mix on Determination.
The EP kicks off with the new track “Better Days”. Now while you can hear typical GF remnants in this song, it seems that the band is taking a more straightforward approach to their songwriting. There are some slight NYHC influences, but there are also some new tricks, like clean singing! Now I hate to criticize one of my favorite bands, but did they really need to add these? The Coyle brothers’ voices are perfectly fine, but I can get clean/harsh tradeoffs from a bunch of other bands. Even less expected were the choruses, which remind me of Jerry Cantrell’s work. The other new track, “Allegiance”, is a bit harder, and is more typical of GF’s brand of melody-infused metalcore.
Off of Determination, a demo version of “Wicked” has been contributed, and it’s basically the same song with less lethal production. In fact, it’s as if they took this song and gave it the production found on the Reject the Sickness album. That leads into the next song…”Reject the Sickness”. This is just killer metalcore and a crowd favorite at their shows. The pure core madness at 1:20 is certain to get the headbanging and the windmills flying. Last up is “Mind Eraser”, off of the Out of Misery album. By far this is one of the weirdest GF songs I’ve ever heard. I can hear snippets that are undeniably from the band but on the whole, it’s more of a screamy death-core song. There’s a nice riff to be found, but at barely two minutes in length, it just doesn’t come together for me.
Well there it is, a thorough run-down of a short little album. For those unfamiliar with God Forbid, imagine a more spastic version of Shadows Fall with a deeper appreciation for their hardcore roots. God Forbid seems to be changing course with these new songs, and while the new sound is still welcomed, it’s currently being covered by quite a few other bands. All that means is that GF will have to work that much harder to get noticed, whereas before, they had carved out their own little musical niche. Can they pull it off? Tune in this Spring…