God Forbid seem to be very excited about the fact that four-fifths of the band are black. You'd never know from listening to them, though, because they sound just like any number of sub-Slayer thrash metal bands. Granted, they are saved from complete anonymity by some nice bass work, and Byron Davis' tendency to veer between Phil Anselmo and Dani Filth, particuarly on Nothing, which sounds like early Sepultura, before they discovered themselves. Other than that... God Forbid like to shout a lot, and play their guitars very quickly. Seemingly limitless solos are shoehorned in at every opportunity, interrupting the flow of otherwise fairly decent songs.
Determination has its moments, though. The two-part title track offers the first really melodic moments on the album, nicely counterpointing the otherwise incessant breakneck pace. There's a distinct prog rock influence in there too, which gives a sense of originality lacking in the other tracks. Unfortunately, it ends long before its time, and is followed by further attempts to sound as loud as possible. I think I just adivsed the band to make their next album a two-track prog rock epic, but what the hell... that would be more interesting.
Of the one-dimensional thrashes, Wicked seems to get the mixture right, never letting up for a second, but still managing to stay interesting. God's Last Gift starts with lovely layered guitars, but unfortunately finishes with them four minutes later, having gone precisely nowhere. A Reflection of the Past is an interesting aside, utilising Iron Maiden riffs in a way that doesn't make them sound like Papa Roach, and combining them with what seems to be either Metallica's The Unforgiven or Mike Oldfield's Moonlight Shadow.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album is a big lump of turgid thrash. Exactly half of the tracks are interesting in some way, and the other half just kind of blend together into an uninteresting mess. Not bad, just far too bland. Determination is promising, but it needs more focus, more confidence, and more prog rock.
7Nick Lancaster.'s Score