God Forbid Perform at the Amplifier in Perth, Australia
Band Photo: God Forbid (?)
"We're American, but we don't act like Americans," announced frontman Byron Davis in a pause between songs midway through God Forbid's set – summing up the political bent of much of the material played to a small but enthusiastic Tuesday evening crowd at the Amplifier on the 20th of March.
The New Jersey five-piece, comprised of brothers Dallas and Doc Coyle on guitars and backup vocals, John Outcalt on bass, and Corey Pierce on drums in addition to Davis on vocals, played songs from throughout their 9-year, 4-album career, with focus on songs from 2005's critically acclaimed release IV: Constitution of Treason.
The power melodies and intense, multi-layered vocals apparent on their last two releases have seen God Forbid classified as metalcore – grouping them with bands such as Killswitch Engage and Trivium. Metalcore intensity was apparent during much of the set: thrash-inspired guitar breaks gave the punters a chance to mosh while Davis swung his dreadlocks around, contrasting with precise guitar solos which seemed effortless in the hands of the brothers Coyle. Dallas took on the bulk of the melodic singing role, leaving frontman Doyle to growl, scream and incite the crowd, a task he took to with relish.
Despite the thin turnout, the band seemed appreciative of the support with Davis chatting extensively between songs. During his serious introduction for "To the Fallen Hero," dedicated to the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan "fighting for an idiot", the frontman was distracted by a He-Man cartoon running in the back of the room, admitting that he "hadn't seen it in years" before launching into the song. Later, he dispensed a mysterious brown liquid in a water bottle to front row headbangers, then attempted to get a circle pit going, a difficult feat in the tiny Amplifier Bar and one that met with limited success.
"This Is The End," the opening track from "Treason," was a highlight, although not the finishing song – that honour was reserved for the crowd favourite "Crucify Your Beliefs."
Kay Smoljak is an Aussie photographer, geek, metalhead and goat aficioado who is currently hiding out in Berlin. She blogs sometimes at enter the goatlady.
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