Being the peers of such heavy hitters as Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God, God Forbid, whilst remaining consistently solid, have never looked throughout their career capable of delivering anything as genre defining as the classic ‘Alive Or Just Breathing’ or ‘Sacrament’. Sadly, ‘Equilibrium’ does little to counter this impression.
This isn’t to say that the album is not occasionally engaging or enjoyable, but unfortunately many of the tracks here just come across as merely metalcore by numbers. ‘My Rebirth’, for all its sugary lead work, suffers from some recycled riffs and an undeniably weak chorus, and the title-track, despite featuring some briefly energizing guitars, is largely plodding and unmemorable.
The glimpses of quality in ‘Equilibrium’ however, although rather few and far between, display a band at their best when at their most aggressive. The full throttle ‘Cornered’ opens with a fantastic guitar solo and launches into some venomous riffing, whilst opener ‘Don’t Tell Me What To Dream’, with its lurching, Meshuggah-esque grooves, features a welcome amount of stomp and bounce.
Ultimately, what God Forbid are fatally lacking here is hooks. The melodies present are just too languid and dreary to leave any lasting impression, and whilst there are some frequently impressive instrumental sections, the songs simply do not stick. With an injection of imagination and invention, the band may have a stellar release in them, yet regrettably with ‘Equilibrium’, they remain the established, regulation God Forbid.
Written by Tony Bliss