When God Forbid started writing what would become their third album, the socially and politically charged IV: Constitution of Treason, they weren't intending to make a concept album. It just sort of happened.
"The concept was written to the material, as opposed to the other way around -- having a story serve as the basis for the lyrics," said Doc Coyle, one of the New Jersey death-metal collective's guitarists. "We put the songs together in the order that we thought made sense musically, and I started to see all of these recurring themes. It started to make sense to me. So I decided to write a story that I think ties the entire album together and gives it a little more potency. Really, it gives people something to think about."
Inspired by the album title -- which, according to Coyle, was itself inspired by "apathy in this country amongst the social ranks" -- the three-chapter narrative is set in a world ravaged by nuclear war. "It's a post-apocalyptic story, similar to 'Mad Max' I guess," Coyle said. "Society's destroyed, and it's down to just a few people, and these people work to start rebuilding under this sort of religious oppressiveness. A leader emerges amongst the people to try and destroy this religious persecution and force more freedoms."
Eventually that leader's killed, crippling the wheels of change and stunting the revolution. "But life carries on as normal, society's eventually rebuilt, but it's almost worse than it is now," the axeman revealed. "It's all about learning from your mistakes."
Constitution's theme will even factor into the video for "Chains of Humanity," the first single off the album, produced by Jason Suecof (Trivium) and Eric Rachel (Atreyu, Dillinger Escape Plan). But don't expect any "Thunderdome" action. "We couldn't have a nuclear war in our video, or no one would play it," Coyle said. But the video, shot last month with director Eric Shamlin, will feature performance footage of God Forbid -- rounded it by vocalist Byron Davis; Doc's bro, guitarist Dallas Coyle; bassist John "Beeker" Outcalt; and drummer Corey Pierce -- with digitized apocalyptic elements serving as the grim backdrop.
God Forbid expect to spend the next year gigging. They'll be hitting the road this fall with Meshuggah, the Haunted and Mnemic, but would like to hop on at least one big tour in the near future.
"We'd love to go out with like a System of a Down, a Tool, just to expose ourselves to a more eclectic audience. This band touring with a band like System makes sense because they're a band we look up to, just being that they're a minority band, a politically conscious band," said Coyle, who is one of God Forbid's four black members. "We find a lot of parallels in that. If they can be successful, then so can we."
IV: Constitution of Treason, which will also be available in DualDisc form with a making-of documentary, hits stores September 20.
The rest of the week's metal news:
The Black Dahlia Murder, Between the Buried and Me, Cephalic Carnage and Into the Moat will hit the road this fall for a U.S. tour starting September 23 in Buffalo, New York. The first 18 dates of the trek have been announced and run through October 14 in Tempe, Arizona; additional dates are expected in the coming weeks. ... Norwegian black metallers Mayhem will release Ordo Ab Chao late this year or early next through Season of Mist; it will be the band's first LP featuring vocalist Attila Csihar since 1993's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. ... The Red Chord will shoot a video for Clients track "Black Santa" with director Dale Resteghini (Throwdown, Darkest Hour) sometime next month. The band's tour with Every Time I Die, High on Fire and the Chariot kicks off September 7 in Poughkeepsie, New York, and runs through October 7 in Rochester, New York. ... Corrosion of Conformity will serve as the opening act on the first leg of this fall's Jägermeister Tour, headlined by Disturbed. A rundown of dates is expected next week. ...
Oakland gorecore band Impaled have conjured a video for "Preservation of Death" from their latest album, Death After Life. The black-and-white clip, for which they allegedly unearthed footage shot in the '20s at the infamous St. Julien's Medical University, depicts the musicians as characters in an instructional silent film about inhumane medical experiments. The curious and foolhardy can experience the carnage here. ... Gothic metal band the Gathering will release the double DVD "A Sound Relief" on October 25. The package will include a concert recorded in Amsterdam last May, a documentary of the band and 3-D animated videos. ... British grindcore pioneers Napalm Death have shot a video for "The Silence is Deafening" from their latest album The Code Is Red ... Long Live the Code, which came out in April. The video was directed by Roger Johansson (Dark Tranquility, In Flames) and depicts political turmoil, cable-news screens and the band playing against a white backdrop. Check it out here. Napalm Death will tour with Obituary and Dead to Fall from September 1 in West Springfield, Virginia, through September 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. ... Dynamic underground-metal band Burst will release their next album, Origo, in early 2006. The follow up to 2003's Prey on Life was recorded at Gothenburg's Music-A-Matic Studios with producer Fredrik Reinedahl. ...
Norwegian black metalists 1349 will release their third album, Hellfire, on October 4. The disc was recorded in Hagen, Norway, and includes "I Am Abomination," "Nathicana" and "Sculptor of Flesh." ... Boston hardcore band the Unseen will launch a tour on September 7 in Buffalo, New York, with dates running through October 16 in Boston. The band's fifth album, State of Discontent, was released in May. ... Buffalo-based outfit Herod will take their new power- and thrash-metal stylings into the studio next month to record Rich Man's War with producer Doug White. The record is tentatively scheduled for release in January 2006. ... Swedish black-metal purists Dark Funeral will release their next album, Attera Totus Sanctus, on November 29. The disc was produced by Daniel Bergstrand and includes "666 Voices Inside," "King Antichrist" and "Angel Flesh Impaled." ... Parallax frontman Blake Donner was killed last week with three friends when they tried to swim to an underground chamber inside a Utah cave via an underwater passageway. Parallax had been working on the band's debut LP, which will still be released through Counterintelligence Recordings. There is no word on when the disc may surface. Donner was 24.