Monday, August 19, 2013

RIP God Forbid

A few months ago, I wrote about Frank Mullen of Suffocation having to take a step back from touring full-time with the band because of grown up responsibilities, and how I respected him for making the decision and how I was glad that at least he's still actively recording music.  Killer music I might add.  Today, reading Metalsucks, I stumbled upon further evidence of band falling by the wayside because someone...well...grew up.

I never really gave a shit that God Forbid was part of the metalcore movement that sprung up at the turn of the century; I always admired how hard the guys in that band worked jumping on every tour regardless of whether or not it made sense (opening for Opeth in 2001?  Really?) and putting on devastating live shows (particularly when they were touring for "Determination".)  While they were never one of my favorite bands, I always found some substance worth enjoying from each of their releases, save "Earthsblood", which I admittedly never gave a serious chance too; I've been willing to give the band a pass for being metalcore but not from relying on the harsh singing verse/clean sung chorus dynamic that other metalcore bands used.  

Apparently reality has set in for the band.  Doc Coyle, one of the creative forces behind the band, made the announcement via Metalsucks that he was quitting God Forbid and the rest of the band was going their separate ways as a result.  He noted that the band had basically peaked, and were on a downward descent in terms of the business side of things if not the creative side (I liked the final album "Equilibrium" for the most part.)  Metalcore declined as a trend, supplanted by "nu-thrash" and later other subgenres that haven't really taken hold for very long or with the same dominance that metalcore held over the genre from 2001-2008 or so (i.e. "deathcore", "occult rock", "djent", etc.)  God Forbid accordingly declined in relevance, when in difficult times for record labels attention and resources have to be devoted to artists who are going to produce a return on investment.  In essence, God Forbid's "window" had closed.

Its probably for the best.  Breaking up now ensures they don't evolve into a pathetic hanger-on that would be accused of following some new trend every time they try to freshen up their music with a new element.  They leave behind a solid legacy; alongside Shadow's Fall and Lamb of God they helped spearhead a movement that in the commercial sense eradicated much of the first wave of Walmart-core/nu-metal and paved the way for later bands to progress back to thrash, death, and genres I actually am passionately interested in.  Their live show never became an uninspired and dull husk of what it was at their peak.

One of modern metal's most underrated frontmen.

Metal is a young man's game, ultimately.  And the game is changing rapidly; long nationwide treks in a shitty tour bus with 4 other bands are going to be obsolete.  Record labels are becoming increasingly outdated; 360 deals ensure the bands that rely on the old structure get even less money at the end of the day, while Kickstarter and self-funding has shown promise to bands willing to embrace the new reality.  God Forbid had their time, but they're not young men anymore.  Frank Mullen accepted this and made a decision that I think is the best for both him and his band.  The members of God Forbid, whether or not they ever record music together again, will remain active in music.  And if it goes back to being a hobby rather than a career, then I'd imagine the quality of what they produce artistically will benefit, even if working a 9-5 job most of the time means it takes longer to record and distribute it.

I guess I'd just like to take a moment to thank God Forbid for helping kill nu-metal as a popular trend, and for fighting the proverbial good fight.  RIP


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