Review by Krys on May 16, 2001.
In God Forbid’s four-year career, "Determination" marks their first album on Century Media and second overall after the "Reject The Sickness" which was released on the small label 9 Volt Records. On the promo package vocalist Byron Davis says "We want to set a standard for the state of New Jersey for being heavy and metal", well let’s see what those standards are...
God Forbid falls in line with a lot of angry new metal outfits that unfortunately won’t stand out from the crowd simply because there is too many of them playing a very similar style of music. Playing a combination of technical and melodic yet harsh and extreme metal, their style reminds me the most of Shadows Fall.
As far as the music goes, I think the skills are there but they need someone with good composing talent. There are a lot of good riffs but also a lot of moments that sound more like fillers rather than thought out compositions. Either I’m too picky or "Determination" sounds more like a collection of raw single pieces rather than a complete unit.
Also by mixing too many styles (thrash, death and black among others) they might have a hard time finding loyal fans which most of the time hold to either one of them rather than just a combination of these. I’m not saying that mixing different styles is bad I just got this feeling that God Forbid is still in the process of finding the right path in what they want to do and at the current stage too many influences make their music confusing and hard to grasp. By going many times in the same song from extreme beats to almost melancholy parts, it feels like being held under water than pulled out for a few seconds just to be drowned again. That sort of switch-off keeps coming up again and again throughout the whole album. You can’t say their music is not aggressive or well executed but compositions simply lack the enthusiasm. These critiques are all from the recorded standpoint because God Forbid is one of those bands that is actually much better on the stage than in the studio where energy and intensity is simply radiating from their performance.
Bottom Line: Solid release but nothing extraordinary or you haven’t heard before. I would recommend to anyone first listen to a few samples before buying this CD.
Rating: 5 out of 10