- God Forbid
It's hard to imagine even the most skeptical metal fans fixating on God Forbid's demographics as much as the band itself does. The predominantly black modern thrashers -- granted, there's a phrase you don't hear every day -- play a mix of old-school shred and nü-school chug like they have something to prove.
Their latest, Gone Forever -- a collection of images of hopelessness and apocalypse (there's a novel metal motif) -- is a mere nine songs, most of them close to five minutes. Closing cut "Judge the Blood" (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean) tops out at the six-minute barrier, wedding Chimairian double-kick-bass rolls to singing guitar leads of the Iron Maiden variety.
"It's intriguing," guitarist Dallas Coyle says in the band's bio. "It's almost like we're cheating. Everyone in this band knows that we're good at what we do. But like a lot of people check us out because it's like a taboo. They think, 'Oh my God! They're black.' It's like Kittie being checked out because they are girls."
The reference to Kittie is remarkably appropriate. The barely legal teen she-beasts made a splash playing punked-up, eclectic metal -- then fell into the trap of shredding out very routine double-bass-kick-growl-repeat, apparently to show that they could rock just as hard as the über dudes that dominate the genre. God Forbid stumbles there too, but it does it well.