God Forbid – IV: Constitution of Treason

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God Forbid’s fourth full-length album IV: Constitution of Treason was released on September 20, 2005 by Century Media and peaked at #118 on the Billboard 200 music chart. Three music videos were made to support the album and many fans still point to this album as being their favorite within the GF discography. In 2008, a DVD titled Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression was released that featured a live concert filmed in their home state of New Jersey full of songs from the Constitution album cycle as well as a documentary chronicling the history of the band to that point. The vinyl release for this album was a German/European limited edition picture disc released by Bastardized Recordings.

Personally, I love this album. It isn’t my favorite album the band released (Earthsblood holds that slot) but it is definitely up there with the best they have to offer. Filled to the brim with “classic” metalcore sounds and riffs, this album holds it’s own with any of the more established releases from that time period. It’s a concept album that doesn’t sound like a concept album and the story is about a future society that destroys itself, builds back up again, and then destroys itself again because it couldn’t learn from it’s own history. Written during the Bush political era, perhaps this album could be more relevant now than when it was released.

I, like many other vinyl nerds, am not a huge fan of picture discs. I’ll buy it if that’s the only version of an album that’s available but most of the time I pass right by them without a second look. This album I may have bought regardless, that’s how much I like the artwork.

Travis Smith once again completed the illustrations (and he created the GF logo) for the album and they are spectacular. The imagery on the front is bright, bold and very detailed. It really makes for a striking image when it’s first dropped onto the platter. The logo is crisp, the image of the cracked and broken Statue of Liberty is well done and the faded bits of the United States Constitution add a subtle layering to the background.

The B-side of Constitution has a band photo along with the track listing and liner notes. Pretty standard fare for a picture disc of a heavy metal release. The songs are broken up into three “Articles” according to the overarching storyline and the slanted baseline they line upon is a nice nod to the chaotic nature of the story within.

A first for me, this picture disc also came with an insert. I’ve never had any picture discs come with any extra artwork and this was a nice surprise. The insert features the basic storyline for the album, the lyrics, liner notes and photos of the band. The inclusion of this piece truly helps to complete the album and make it a total package. The American flag illustration featured on the insert was also created by Travis Smith. The art direction, design and layout for the album was handled by Tom Bejgrowicz.

IV: Constitution of Treason is a fantastic piece of mid-2000s heavy metal music. The songs are well written, the riffing is tight and the band was perhaps at it’s highest point. I never felt like this band got the credit they deserved but they always pushed forward and created songs that should go down as some of the best of their particular subgenre. They were persistent in always giving a great show, being kind to their fans and trying to achieve greater success with each release. Give them a listen below and decide for yourself where they stand in your heavy metal pantheon.

3 Songs to Rock Out To in the Wasteland

To The Fallen Hero
Chains of Humanity
Crucify Your Beliefs

God Forbid on Facebook
IV: Constitution of Treason on Wikipedia
IV: Constitution of Treason on Discogs

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