This Is The End

Headbangers ball

“This is the end!” This is the emphatic, anthemic line in the God Forbid opening track from the album IV: Constitution of Treason, which was released during the peak of our powers in 2005. In fact, it wasn’t the end. The end came much later. At the time, it felt like we were invincible, destined for heavy metal immortality. And we were in the lower tier of the NWOAHM (or Metalcore or whatever you want to call it) in all metrics for determining the success or popularity of bands. If you look at album, ticket, and merchandise sales, Myspace friends, Youtube views, Facebook “likes”, or the ever mystical buzz on the street, God Forbid was probably never half as big as any of the rest of the Big 4 of Quitters (I should trade mark this) including Bleeding Through, Shadows Fall, and now Chimaira. Knowing that, even we felt invincible. That’s how intoxicating achieving any discernible success with your art can be. Shadows Fall and Chimaira hanging it up in the last couple weeks have brought an outpouring of sadness, shock and disappointment from fans. It seems like the end of an era, and maybe it is.

Hearing that these great bands are moving on makes me sad and disappointed, but not shocked. The truth is that amongst peers a good majority of our conversations have to do with figuring out how to stay relevant by finding new audiences, getting great tours, signing with the right label, writing the next game changing album, and more. Teetering on the edge of existence has been much of our collective realities for half of our careers. As the O.G. quitter, I’m here to explain why this is happening and why you shouldn’t be surprised.

1.) It is supposed to happen

Everything goes in cycles. Rock-n-roll is the province on the young. Here’s how it goes:

Group of teenagers start a band around high school as their hormones are raging, and the reality sets in that pretty soon they will be handcuffed to a desk and strangled by a tie for the rest of the lives. Sex + rage = Rock-n-roll. In reality, most bands hit their stride around ages 20-25, putting out their most potent and seminal records and touring throughout their 20′s, if they have any success. Whatever style you came up with begins to phase out and become passé right around the time you hit your 30′s. That’s usually coincides with you thinking it might be kind of cool to start a family or move out of your parents house or own more than one pair of jeans.

For example, watch the C-level Hair Metal bands on VH1′s Metal Mania at 3am, and you’ll witness a swath of has-beens who fell by the wayside. Look at the lineups for Ozzfest in 2000-2003 and it’s a mass graveyard of Nu-Metal bands you probably don’t ever remember like Twisted Method, Endo, Pulse Ultra, and No One. I could go on. Even Thrash Metal of the 80′s, which NWOAHM is compared to the most, saw its downturn, where many of the smaller acts disbanded due to the turning of the tide with the emergence of grunge in the 90′s. Speaking of grunge and alternative of the 90′s, even the big bands like Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkin, Weezer, Faith No More and Rage Against The Machine broke up (for a time), just because they were over it. Hell, even Nirvana and Alice In Chains broke up because their singers died. Pussies.

2.) The world changed

The world always changes around any musical or cultural movement, but unlike Punk killing Disco or Grunge killing Glam Metal, our group of bands came up in a completely anomalous era. In that we existed right on the fulcrum of the pre and post internet ages. This fact had mostly downsides. Because we didn’t exist in a world without internet downloading, which completely shrunk the size of the overall music economy, in turn we missed out on the million dollar record deals metal bands signing to major labels, gold and platinum sales benchmarks being commonplace. Hence, we missed the runoff from the river being bigger, which led to better tour support, artist development, more well produced albums and videos, etc. This also led to a bigger band peak. The bigger a band’s peak is, the easier it is to survive when you hit a valley. This is why Anthrax, Testament, Megaeth, and Overkill probably still exist.

But on the other side of the shit sandwich, we also didn’t grow up in a completely digital world. We had to learn on the fly how to run a Myspace page, or promote via social networking, or record demos or albums out of our bedrooms with no budget. Bands like Suicide Silence, Job For A Cowboy, and In This Moment got record deals from blowing up on Myspace. A band like Periphery has rewritten the book on how to promote your band, and capitalize on other revenue streams like online and on-tour lessons which subsidize your band business. Bigger bands had management and label people to help with the transition, but smaller bands had to figure it out on their own, with varying degrees of success. This was as Darwinian, sink or swim, a moment as we have had in recent history, comparable to subsisting during the transition into the electric age or horses to cars or radio to television. There is always collateral damage in evolution.

3.) NWOAHM has a youth dilemma

Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed once told me that your audience recycles every 3 years. What he meant was, you have to constantly replenish your fanbase or the band will die on the vine. People move on, have kids, become too busy to go to shows all the time, change tastes, etc. Young blood feeds the heavy music beast. God Forbid had this problem pretty early on when we decided to move away from the hardcore scene musically and alter the type of bands we toured with. I knew it would happen. Ever since around 2005, our audience stopped attracting younger fans it seemed. I think this problem plagued several of the bands in the genre, but not the more successful bands. All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, and Trivium had tons of young fans. Shadows Fall and Chimaira had a problem of attracting youth as well. Deathcore bands like Whitechapel and Scene bands like Asking Alexandria seem to have majority teenage fans. There is clearly a generational gap on several fronts that our bands could not figure out how to breach.

4.) It’s possible we just weren’t good enough

In the 2012 Olympics 100m Dash, the difference between being the gold medal winning, fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, and going home with nothing was .17 of a second. This is how I explain not being good enough, regardless of what you’re involved in. Not being good enough to be the winner, does not mean you aren’t really, really good at your particular craft. John Boeklin from Devildriver and I came to this conclusion during a long bro-hang, music listening session on a European tour bus in 2007, when we were trying to figure out why our bands weren’t as big as Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage. “Maybe they are just better”, he said. I couldn’t argue with him.

Fans of God Forbid or Devildriver or Chimaira don’t want to hear this because it is 100% subjective. There is no definitive metric for what is “better” in terms of art. And, there is no justice that just because something is “better”, it should be more popular. I do believe that music has become more of a meritocracy. The cream will rise to the top, and if you are on to something special, people will connect to it, share it, and it will spread organically. But you still need to have a good live show, run a solid business, and a have a few other stars align for it to work out. Nothing is given and there is no entitlement. To paraphrase the wise music industry writer Bob Lefsetz, there are only a few winners in today’s world. There is only one Google, one Amazon, one Walmart. People just don’t have time in the day to spend on the 8th best Metalcore band.

5.) It may have truly been the best thing

Being in a band, touring the world, playing music every day, living your dream can be one of the best possible life experiences. But it can also bring a multitude of poor quality-of-life elements that frankly get old with age. Working a “regular” job can be a bummer, but the peace of mind of knowing your rent is paid and food is in the fridge can be priceless. Poverty is mentally and emotionally damaging, and that fact is not acknowledged enough. Being home and being able to spend time with your loved ones can be priceless. Moving on to the next phase of their lives may have been the best choice they could have made for their well being. Even if that just means moving on to another band or musical situation. There is also a big chance many of these bands will return with time as history has shown.

In conclusion, I write this as I struggle to give professional music another go. And that’s it: you have to be crazy to want to live as an artist or performer. Guilty as charged. I’ve risked my youth, financial well being, relationships, and any sense of normalcy. I can’t explain the compulsion, but everyone isn’t built like me. If it doesn’t work out soon enough, I guess I’ll have to face reality as well.

Become an “Average nobody. Get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”

Edited by Len Carmichael

46 thoughts on “This Is The End

  1. no your not a schnook. its because of people like yourself who helped me personally in my endeavors to live “my part of the dream” and that is priceless. doc, you have no clue how many people you personally touched and i am sure without a shadow of a doubt you do not even remember helping me but you did at Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte. thanks for that. this was YEARS ago but yeah what you have done you may NEVER see the other side of. thanks to guys like you!

  2. I really can’t figure out why God Forbid wasn’t more successful, and I fear that it’s a result of racism. You guys and Lamb of God were easily the 2 best NWOAHM bands in my opinion. I thought you guys were a step above the likes of KSE, Trivium, A7X, All That Remains, AILD, Shadows Fall, I could go on and on. Your songwriting was just a notch better than all those bands and you fucking brought it on stage. You got play on Head Banger’s Ball, Uranium, and the Sirius and XM metal stations, yet you never blew up like any of those bands and I never could understand it, and it frustrates me to this day. After 2004 Ozzfest I said Lamb of God and God Forbid were going to be huge bands in the underground metal scene. Obviously Lamb of God took off, and you were just kind of stuck there at that same spot for a reason I’m still trying to figure out.

    The last time I saw you live was on the Trespass America tour, and it literally depressed me seeing your spot on the lineup, seeing you get absolutely no reaction from the crowd and seeing some of the complete dogshit bands that played after you. I’ve still never felt older or less hip than I did that day. I tried buying your merch, getting your autographs and telling you how big of a fan I was with the desperate and selfish hope that it might somehow motivate you to keep going, but it was pretty obvious at that point that the writing was on the wall and the breakup of one of my favorite bands ever was inevitable. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for the incredible music you put out there, but I’m still trying to move on from the fact that it didn’t work out for you. And if I feel that way, then I can’t even possibly imagine how you feel.


    “Hell, even Nirvana and Alice In Chains broke up because their singers died. Pussies.”

    You’re fucking awesome dear!! I miss you oodles! <3

  4. It is tough to read this because it evokes those similar urges and emotions out of me and my band never had any serious success. Just gaining a minor sense of accomplishment and fans who I felt really enjoyed our music is something I can’t put a price on either. My second/restructured band never caught that same momentum or success even though we had the same core group intact with a slightly tweaked sound.

    I want to say I feel like such a has-been but I don’t if that’s even appropriate since we didn’t accomplish much on the music scene. I guess it’s better to be a has-been than a never-been though… Either way, I can still look back with some pride and good feelings though.

  5. “racism”? Get the fuck out of here with that simpleton excuse. God Forbid just did not stand out in a sea of “NWOAHM”. God Forbid were just another “metalcore” band who jumped on the In Flames bandwagon like everyone else and it got stale quick. Were they talented? Sure. Anything special? Nope.

    • dude not to be an asshole but too many intelligent musicians not only love but respect the music that god forbid put together so this is completely unbiased. ill put it blunt racism did put g(f) in a hole because they were the “black” metal band. be real dude, your friends said it, i’m sure they heard it. man racism does exist and i bet if you trade out shadows fall with these guys, they blow up. not as big as kse but big enough to score a deal on video games etc. because then they would be “acceptable” to mass media. do you not understand how much big business is even on the independent end? dude this comment is just unfounded. its like i bet your friends also say, man he raps good for a “white dude”. stop ignoring the situation. ignorance kills me.

      • I agree Justin. I think God Forbid DID stick out among the NMOAHM bands, along with LOG. All those other bands I pretty much “called it” for when I first heard them. Especially A7X and Trivium, but also KSE, All That Remains, AILD and plenty of others. When I first heard those bands I said “they’re going to be huge”. I thought the same for God Forbid, but thought they were even on a level above all of them. Yet they’re the only one I was wrong about. Just seems a little suspicious. I admit I have no proof of racism, but that’s the only theory I have now. And like I said I hope it’s not a correct theory, but I fear that it is. I mean think about it; even if they were “just another metalcore band”, then why weren’t they as successful as those other metalcore bands that blew up bigger than GF did?

        Also, while I agree that the whole NWOAHM was inspired by the Swedish melodic death wave, if you look at the timeline of things GF was kind of ahead of most of the NWOAHM bands in developing the metalcore sound. I certainly wouldn’t call them “bandwagoners”. If they were then they’d have been far more successful I would imagine.

        • I think it’s unfair to blame race. It helped as much as hurt them. Lamb of God and Shadows Fall both felt more accessible to me. Although I think both of the bands are talented, they had less grit and more mainstream metal appeal than God Forbid.

          God Forbid had a bit more chaos, thrash and noise in their music-while Lamb of God felt polished, clean and precise.

          • Fair points Richard, and I can’t argue with your opinion. I’m not necessarily blaming their lack of success on racism; it’s just a theory that I hope is not true. At the same time though I will say that I thought LOG used to be pretty raw back when they started gaining success. Each album of theirs is more and more polished and precise than the previous (which I can’t stand for the record), but up through Palaces they sounded pretty dang raw.

  6. Well said. I completely failed at making any sort of music career in my 20’s, got a regular “schnook” job to pay the bills and sat back, watching life slowly “get in the way.” Well, reading a few of your pieces and realizing we are about the same age, I don’t feel so bad about it anymore. You sound like you have a great level-headed approach to all this. In fact, life has recently handed me the opportunity to hit the reset button (not involving music, sadly, but in another way). Though it will be hard going for a bit, I think reading what you had to say just helped steel my reserve to really go for it, and to challenge myself (even being in my 30’s) rather than just coasting along with a comfortable and adequate life.

  7. Great article! Really good look into the entertainment business.

    I remember meeting God Forbid, good group of guys. I still have your albums and yes I still pop them in and listen to them when the mood strikes.

    And No One was an awesome band!

  8. This post while reasonable is very sad. If you quantify success in money terms I can see why you would want to quit. As an artist you have to be true to yourself and your art. If you are constantly trying or expecting to be a multibillionaire traveling the world that really should not be an artists mindset. Sure the fortune you could attain is a possibility but talking about maintaing an audience and social media presence should honestly not be your main focus. You seem to be overly concerned on how your art is perceived as opposed to focusing on creating art. Being a musician/artist is not about fame and fortune its about creating art thats true to your vision. If your music affects one person positively or even just yourself that should be satisfaction enough. That should be success enough to continue. If its not enough than that needing others approval is a big issue to look at. Will anything ever be enough?

    If music is really meant to be your life and priority these external things such as family etc.. should understand your dedication to your art and vision. If they do not appreciate your art and vision you need to decide if you live for yourself or for others.

    Yes most people are not artists and they do not understand the work or dedication involved. Society as a whole completely discredits any artistic endeavor as completely foolish until it makes billions. As an artist it is a lonely road. Friends family etc will never understand and honestly they cant. They are not artists.

    Focus on art and music make yourself happy cuz at the end of the day its your life and no one elses.

    • I get the point of view that the creation and the self-fulfillment should be enough, and I suspect that most people here do. But for some, it just works differently. There can be an urge to perform, entertain, or be an aesthetic ambassador, maybe even around the world. Sometimes it’s about being a part of history, if just a footnote, and sometimes it’s about guiding history. There’s art to all of that, beyond just the notes laid down on paper. What makes it all art is that your muse calls you to do it, and if you’re doing art, then you know what that means.

    • Nina,
      You mention should a lot in your response. Not once did my brother mention money as the reason why he quit the band in the first place. It’s annoying as fuck to read people’s wishes about things as opposed to what is actually happening in front of them. I won’t assume anything about your POV that makes you believe that artists should be happy to touch or affect one person and shut up. But I will say shut up about things you know nothing about and stop creating noise to get attention.

      To be completely misogynistic and barbaric I will tell you that every time I get a blow job bitches should swallow my semen — but they fucking don’t … but guess what I don’t suck dick or have any inclination to do so maybe I should be a fucking faggot.

      No. Stop. Nina, you’re being a slope.


      *the use of the word faggot refers to everything but homosexuals. You don’t have to be gay to act like or say shit like faggots.

    • This is absurd. Let me guess; you are a teenager or early twenties? You are still idealistic about life and art. While you shouldn’t focus on the financial aspect of art while creating it, the reality is that Verizion and State Farm don’t care about that “one person you touched”…. they want money. Everything he talks about is what EVERY BANDS management, label, etc talks about. The artist creates art, a business sells it. Plain and simple, every time. In a perfect world, an artist would just focus on art and be satisfied when one person loved them. But artist are just people who have bills to pay and other financial obligations. If the art doesn’t make enough to cover those obligations, a decision must be made. Do what you love and live on the street, or find something else that will pay for food and rent.

      You say on one paragraph that family should understand your passion and dedication, then in the next paragraph say that they will never understand. Make up your mind.

      This is the MUSIC BUSINESS. The two things exist TOGETHER, no matter how fundamentally wrong it seems. You would have never heard GF is a business didn’t release their album. And that business needs fresh blood to grease it’s wheels. You are an adult now, it’s time to let go of the idealistic fantasies of youth.

  9. This is a good read. My field of art isn’t even music (it’s videogames), but there’s relevant wisdom here nonetheless that I think I can understand and apply based on having watched this musical movement rise and falter. Thanks for laying it all out, Doc.

  10. GOD FORBID has, will, and forever will be an anomaly, yes, in an anomalous era, where the clientele and fans “most likely” were not the same. I despise using myself as an example, yet I will…..

    I still think GOD FORBID, Chimaira and Shadows Fall are “more” than worth listening to. But being a nobody that has only Facebook “Likes”, YouTube hits, and the social etcetera to offer, to the bands, guilt certainly is poignant. I too, want to try and be something to listen to.

    Money for gear and such, is ridiculously expensive, as we all know. I have no idea of what touring is. I might never! Quitting? As for the music of GOD FORBID, or anyone that quits is there to stay!

    But, why a common placeholder for charts, or a chart that displays the categories as united and within radio possibility doesn’t exist is foolish. Music is art, biasing is stupid. It also may not be about the 8th position metalcore band, it can be the band next door whom will never get anywhere they want to, due to happenstance eras, generation misundertandings and these eras ending.

    There is a need for metal music and there will always be!

    d\m/ for those who will, do and have tried the somnanbulistic road to metal recognition. Please visit my website.

  11. dude not to be an asshole but too many intelligent musicians not only love but respect the music that god forbid put together so this is completely unbiased. ill put it blunt racism did put g(f) in a hole because they were the “black” metal band. be real dude, your friends said it, i’m sure they heard it. man racism does exist and i bet if you trade out shadows fall with these guys, they blow up. not as big as kse but big enough to score a deal on video games etc. because then they would be “acceptable” to mass media. do you not understand how much big business is even on the independent end? dude this comment is just unfounded. its like i bet your friends also say, man he raps good for a “white dude”. stop ignoring the situation. ignorance kills me.

  12. Look at all the tours God Forbid was on. They played with big bands on big tours. Now look at the rest of us that bands never worked out. Count your blessings. Doc is extremely talented musician. Everything happens for a reason. You have to eventually move to radio friendly music to survive. Look at All That Remains or Five Finger Death Punch. They both totally sold out. Props to GF for keeping it real tho. But loyalty doesn’t get you royalty checks. Deuces

    • Wrong. Just ask Slayer, Death,Cannibal Corpse, and many others. Loyalty and an unrelenting passion to remain heavy and not suck the corporate dick of American radio play has absolutely worked out. You just have to be bullish in pushing forward. Remember when Metallica told their fans they would never sell out and then did? I do. Remember when Slayer and Cannibal Corpse became radio darlings for money? I sure as fuck don’t.

  13. This is the best article I’ve read in a while about the state of live music. Gene Simmons doesn’t know anything about modern music. This article is definitely close to home for me and my musician friends in the heavy genres.

  14. Firstly, huge respect from a fan in India. Gone Forever was one of the albums I listened to the most during my undergrad years. Absolutely loved God Forbid.
    Secondly, this is a surprisingly insightful and intelligent article. I’m from the Ozzfest-era and remember listening to Endo, Twisted Method etc. Forget those bands, the festival died. Nu Metal, NWOAHM, Metalcore, Mathcore all sort of started fading away. I guess its the natural order of things. I wonder how many people will remember Djent, Tech-death etc. in a decade.

    Thanks for all the great music, Doc. It was great while it lasted.

  15. Doc I have to say I agree with so very much!!! I am an Audio Engineer that started and raised from nothing back in the 1985 and had amazing successes mixing and recording artist here in New York.
    Everything you said is so true! So much so it applies to all facets of the music industry. I font know anyone that has not been affected by what you said. Reading your article saddens me so much because it is making face my own career mortality. I have done everything I can to adjust to the economics of the down seizing of the industry. But little by little its not enough. I am having to make tougher decisions as to what to do. Add to the fact that there are all these substandard audio schools pumping out hundreds of these horrible wannabe protools techs that think they are engineers but don’t even know how to place mics on a drum kit or amp. People always say to me how warm and full my mixes are compared to what they are used to hearing. And they wonder how I do it. Its simple , I listen and I listen as a fan of music. I mix everything from rap to metal. And I do one thing every time. I strive to take what I hear in its rawest form and bring it to what I believe what the artist want. And that was always the key to me. Listen to the artist. Simple. You would think, but that isn’t enough anymore. At least from my perspective. And as you said this is younger persons industry increasingly. And only because they come so cheaply. But with low cost comes low quality in the craft of engineering. But that doesn’t seem to matter cause everyone listens low quality 128 mp3’s through crappy earplugs or worse beats by dre. You should hear me try to explain the advantages of listening to a Wave file as opposed to a compressed mp3 file as a mix ref. Its practically a running gag at this point. Anyway I just want to say thanks for writing such an amazing essay , and letting the masses know our struggles to bring them music.

    Liu Ortiz

  16. Great read and so true. I saw you in Germany twice, first time in 2006, second time in 2007 with Devildriver (the one story you mentioned). You and Dallas were both so friendly and gentle, but also a bit quiet. Still, you are an absolutely important part of my musical life and noone can take that away.

  17. One thing be said however, we had our day in the sun in the best times of metal-core. LATE 90’s to Early/Mid 2000’s were by far the greatest times in the Metal-Core scene. Music wasn’t watered down. It wasn’t commercial yet. I know that bands had to make money to truly survive, but back then it was still “pure”. What you and others were doing was innovative. Their was originality amongst the chug chug. Today, I find the “multi-genre-core” bands of today are rather a bore. Call me old and jaded, but God Forbid, Prayer for Cleansing, Undying, FaceDown, 7a7p, Candiria, are just a few examples of pushing the envelope and not becoming your typical band on Rise Records.

  18. Doc,
    I’m 28, so I grew up with your band. I remember going into Tower Records back in 04′ when Gone Forever came out. I was still in High School looking for new music. I worked a crappy job at a grocery store and just used my paychecks to buy new music. I saw the album cover and was like, this looks cool. They had listening stations (remember those?!?!) and I was blown away. I became an instant fan. I told my cousins, who ate up that album fast too. Then I got Reject the Sickness and Determination right after that. I was hooked on the first two albums because they were a really unique mix of hardcore and metalcore. I loved those albums. When Constitution of Treason came out, I liked that album too. God Forbid Really had great tone and production. I think you guys were ahead of the curve on that one. Its hard to figure out why God Forbid didn’t do as well, but I know a lot people were into the bigger bands that never even head of you guys. Everyone knew Lamb of God and Shadows Fall at my High School. I think its partly due to your music being a little more technical than the other bands. The first two albums had a really tech/hardcore-thing going on. That really limits your audience versus playing catchy stuff like Killswitch. People who say its race related, I think you’re wrong. Howard sang for Killswitch on their arguably biggest album, The End of Heartache. I think its just a ton of factors. Part label, part marketing, part band members (i remember a lit of people being upset about some of the things Dallas said on forums), part style of music. Tastes change too. Like, if you look at your music from Gone Forever on, it kind of has the same style. I’m not knocking it or anything, but by 2006-2007, everyone was into deathcore. By 2009 or so Djent is taking over with Periphery and Tesseract. I always saw God Forbid as this band that was changing with each album, but still holding its metalcore or whatever roots. So when you guys got into 7 strings and lower tunings, it was keeping line with other new genres of metal, but never stepping in with both feet. So, its almost like its alienating metalcore guys and djent/deathcore guys at the same time. Its a little of each but not really either. At least that was how I felt. I appreciate the music you guys put out. I don’t know if you read these at all or respond, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Crowabar and hear a lot of what sounds like Crowbar in some of your riffs. I was curious if Kirk had any influence on you?

  19. Very insightful piece, Mr. Coyle.

    I myself remember meeting you and your brother waaay-the-fuck-back at one of your early shows in Montreal, Canada (at the now defunct L’X club) when I used to cover live shows for You guys had come to support Walls of Jericho with Nora if I recall correctly and you were nice enough to have a beer and chat before the show. I had come mainly for WoJ as I had only recently discovered Nora (although I did gift the frontman with my belt when I saw his snap in half during their set), and I remember being caught completely off guard when God Forbid hit the stage and melted my face off. The set was short but absolutely phenomenal. L’X had terrible acoustics but somehow you guys filled the space and detonated a fifty megaton bomb of fuck you that still makes me smile to this day. I left a changed man.

    Gone Forever (despite your many great followup offerings) will always sit on my list of top ten metal albums, and Reject the Sickness/Determination remain some of the most blistering albums in my collection. It didn’t hurt either that you guys sampled Thulsa Doom on one of the tracks and that basically sealed the deal for me as far as being kindred spirits.

    Anyway I just wanted to say that I’m sorry to see you guys go (for now) and await the day you will come together again with your mates to drop another fifty megatons on a whole new crowd of unsuspecting metalheads. God Forbid had a phenomenal run and was never a “b-team” band in my book, even years after you guys took your music into a diretion that no longer suited me. I’ll alway remember a bunch of classy guys who blew me away as a young metalhead and wrote great fucking music that I’m proud to share with my young sons today.


  20. A very thoughtful and intelligent article. I was a fan of God Forbid during their most visible period, talented group without a doubt. Sorry to hear they’ve called it a day, that’s an unfortunate side effect of a wildly unpredictable business. Best of luck!

  21. dude, your band was unoriginal drivel. you stole from all the swedish bands and megadeth. you could only fool the younger kids who thought your at the gates cover was your song. plus you all had an arrogant attitude thinking the scene owed you something. your boring music was the problem. STOP making excusing for why your band didn’t make it! It is bullshit! your band wasn’t good enough to be the new carcass or at the gates. You added singing elements to blow up. obviously you were trying to sell out. being true to yourself means not jumping on trends. when you trend jump eventually you fall and then quit and then make excuses. god forbid was always corny and thought they deserved some kind of status they never earned. read dallas’s bullshit about how g4d “started a genre” or some bullshit. dude, you didn’t start shit, the swedish metal bands you ripped off had already done it by 1995. heartwork, slaughter of the soul, colony, they were already out before god forbid “changed anything”. there are a shit ton of metal bands. the ones that remain classic are those who are ripped off, not the clones. DEMISE OF THE CLONES! suffocation said it best! The best band from your era is one that is truly original, CANDIRIA!

  22. You have anger issues, dude. If you’re actually over 18 years of age and still aggro-trolling Doc Coyles’s blog as an adult then it’s time for a “HARD LOOK IN THE MIRROR”! What are you even doing here name dropping undergound bands and then professing your love for a band that is in a completely different arena as if you just proved something. Do us all a solid and fuck off back to your mom’s basement where you can keep it real and reprazent tROo mEtal or whatever. Jesus, you’re probably one of those King 108 wankers.

  23. I was at God Forbid’s last show. At a dive bar in Atlantic city for a hurricane benefit, I saw Corey pull up in his minivan and unload his whole kit. I was thinking, wow, this is awesome, unloading his shit like a local band. Fit the bill pretty well and really down to earth to show up like many of us have in the past. The place erupted when they started with Don’t Tell Me What to Dream, but it went haywire when Anti-Hero’s opening riff came on. Felt like I was back in college hearing it for the first time again, so stoked I couldn’t hold in my emotions.

    The next day the band revealed their demise. I would have danced a little harder if I knew, but very likely only five people in that room knew. And I agree with Jasta, that I went to 5 times more shows 10 years ago, and I was a huge fan who ultimately had responsibilities that came before a God Forbid show, like waking up a 4am for work, as food had to be put on my table. And there wasn’t enough appeal to draw in new listeners or get me to drag a friend to the Troc or TLA when I had work 3 hours after I’d be getting home.

    I think there are bands who make a switch for the better. I truly 100% believe KsE is who they are because of the meld that happened with Howard, clearly with ground work laid first by Jesse but with the musical prowress of Adam. They would have likely ended up like God Forbid many years ago had it not been for Howard. The End of Heartache is a landmark album that will be talked about in 20 years as a game changer in metal and don’t be surprised if you see them in the hall of fame. Not open for debate but my preference in every aspect is Howard from stage to production.

    My point being is that KsE had an out and they took it to the top and made a life changing decision to add something different to their music. They must have had a vision that far surpasses any of our musical notions. Much like God Forbid had something really special with Determination and it progressed greatly with Gone Forever, I feel afterwards they progressed in a way musically, lyrically, and a live show that the changing listeners couldn’t comprehend but a KsE live show is so fucking dominant and exciting, it’s difficult not to watch. If you were deaf and went to see KsE, you’d have a blast. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about God Forbid in the last couple of years. (Not saying at all they disnt have a great live show, but they have Star Power). And their (KsE) music can be really hardcore and crushing, yet melodic, same as God Forbid, in an entirely different way.

    To me it’s like Asking Alexandria fans not having respect for Metallica. There’s just too much in between for them to comprehend, and I bet they can’t see Sabbath’s influence either, which shows how disconnected they really are (clearly an opinion). Which is another reason God Forbid could have demised, due to a lack of disconnect not only with fans, but with members as well. I felt God Forbid didn’t get their Howard moment when replacing Dallas. It was nobody’s fault for the disconnect, just seemed like they got their peak and slowly got forgotten somehow.

    Not knowing Corey was unloading his kit with God Forbid for his last time was really put into perspective when I heard the news the next day. It was the end of it all for them. And what I thought was a grand entrance was surely and potentially one of the saddest moments in Corey’s musical life for many reasons, but that place was nuts with police being called in the end, so just know they were in their home state and knew where they came from. Must have been bittersweet to be with 125 die hard fans.

    I Am 110% confident, personally know, and assure you all Corey is still involved in music in a very different but big way, and you will most definitely see his name in the near future. This isn’t the end for Doc either, as his brother’s name has lived on for five years, it’s likely Doc’s will as well. I hope for his sake, it’s something huge like a graveyard super band.

  24. No offense intended either. I didn’t realize this was on Doc’s blog. Just saw it in a fb post and decided to comment after reading. Doc keep your head held high, you’re one of the few people who deserve to still look up with pride. Antihero was the hardest fucking song to learn on guitar bc nobody was able to tab it out. I didn’t see a tab for it until 2008.

  25. I was waiting for one of the Lambgoat trolls to show up. Dear Douche, you’re a douche. Try not to get so butthurt over music. It’s music. Not a plan to combat depleting fossil fuels.
    Now go to and look up “depleting”. Have a nice day!

  26. I know I’ve personally had a difficult time understanding why my own musical endeavors have fell short of my dreams and aspirations. I know some might simply chalk out up to not being any good, but I doubt thats the case with any musician who has honed their craft with a good deal of experience and persistence. Thank you for vocalizing what so many of us have been struggling to comprehend fully.

  27. Doc – I’ve been listening to Metal since before you ever slung a guitar over your shoulder. Yeah…I’m old. Let me tell you something…I think you’re over-analyzing. I get that you’re a deep thinker (and believe me, I love that) and that the music business is well…a business. I’ve listened to all the bands you mentioned in this article (excepting the hair bands and many of the bands from the first Ozzfest (yeah… i can hear a fad from miles away so never wasted my time)) and here’s the thing; none of your NWOAHM peers held a candle to what God Forbid was doing and none of them were going where you were. Killswitch (with Howard) were good. Very good. But not great. (Howard’s new gig, Devil You Know, is outstanding.) God Forbid became a great band with Gone Forever and never looked back. So, please, don’t give us that ‘we-weren’t-good-enough’ crap. You were. You were better. Popular doesn’t mean better. While it makes a difference when you’re trying to pay bills and eat, popularity doesn’t even remotely speak to quality. You already know this. I’m sure you can write up a list of bands that traded quality for popular (easy starters – Def Leppard, Metallica)

    I was very sad when I heard you guys were calling it quits. I still am. But…you have to do what you have to do, I guess. Just know this…I would have bought everything you ever did. Would have kept listening to the growth and maturation process. Would have stuck with you like I have so many other bands (i.e. Opeth…another band that started as one thing; transitioning to quite another today). I respect the growth and maturation process. I respect what it brings to the art, to the music.
    Anyway, just know this: you were better than you think and there are tons of us out here that were hooked and couldn’t wait for the next release, the next tour. We miss you and God Forbid.
    [Note: to whomever said GF didn’t get big because of racism…let me help you to understand something…the fact that YOU noticed the band was mixed race and attribute their lack of overwhelming success to race…well…THAT is racism. From the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner:” “…you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man.” The sooner we all start think of ourselves as just men, the sooner we will see that most people wielding “race” and “racism” are, in fact, the racists.]

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  29. I think it was freshman or sophomore year of High school that I went with a friend to see God Forbid live at one of the smallest pits Tallahassee had to offer. I had no idea who you guys were, and really didn’t have much to my musical repertoire at that point.
    You guys showed me what live metal was. When people ask me to list my all-time favorite bands, I get a little pissed off when they don’t know who you are. Constitution of Treason is damn close to the top of my list. As far as concept albums go, it’s right up there with Metropolis part 2 and Operation Mindcrime.
    I never got to see you guys live again after that night, but your mark was left on me. Keep the horns up and melt some faces man! God Forbid lives on!

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