"Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression"

(Century Media)

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RATING: 7/10

You've got to hand it to GOD FORBID. They have scratched and clawed their way from a little-known Jersey act to one of the better modern metal bands out there today, and they did it without a revolving door of members and by touring their asses off. It's hard to believe that the act's fourth full-length, "IV: Constitution of Treason" is already three years old, which his why it was a joy to hear songs from that album and breakout disc "Gone Forever" captured live at a hometown show on this DVD. Much like UNEARTH's "Alive from the Apocalypse", the Jersey show, which comprises Disc 1 of the two-disc set, had me digging out both of the aforementioned albums. "Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression" is a pretty good DVD that includes a fierce live performance and a ton of documentary footage and member profiles, but it is not without its problems.

The "Live in Jersey" centerpiece recorded at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville in 2007 is pretty much flawless as far as musical execution, stage presence, and sound are concerned. GOD FORBID is a well oiled machine and, save for an occasional harmony vocal from the Coyle brothers (guitarists Doc and Dallas) that isn't quite pitch perfect, the songs you heard on the CDs are reproduced on stage in precision form. If the playing of Doc and Dallas on this DVD does not convince you that the Coyles are the real deal, then I'm not sure what will. Totally in sync and busting out some fantastic twin leads, the duo shreds up a storm. As always, vocalist Byron Davis is the big, bad commander of the mayhem, his barking style and general presence makes you pay strict attention. No complaints on the song selection either, as numerous titles from "IV: Constitution of Treason" and "Gone Forever" are performed.

The problem is that the camera work is too artsy for its own good. I'm all for innovative, multi-angle shots, but the filming of this one is too damn choppy and jumps around far too much. Sometimes you just want to see the band perform on stage without a million zoom-ins, zoom-outs, and cut-away shots cluttering things up. The lighting is too dark as well.

Disc 2 contains the lengthy "The Documentary: Rated R for Real", which provides the viewer with everything he or she would want to know about GOD FORBID, as told by the members, associates, parents, etc. The story is an interesting one, especially the early days of the band and how the tight-knit group came together. And no, they weren't anywhere near as tight back then as they are now. It is a story about hard work and determination; no question about it. I could do without the reenactment spoofs though; for every one that is amusing, there are three others that border on annoying. Lots of member profile stuff, many stories from the road, band shenanigans, and all the usual stuff that one gets from a band documentary section of a DVD are here. Strangely enough though, there is no discussion of "IV: Constitution of Treason".

Some additional member interviews are included where the other four members give insight into the individual being profiled. There is also a rather interesting and totally unexpected piece on a GOD FORBID "side project" called "Black Metal". You've got to see it to believe it. A piece on two of the members' (Beeker and Byron) interests in motorcycles is included, as are the requisite selection of music videos (which are actually included on Disc 1, even though they are listed as being on Disc 2).

"Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression" should do the trick for GOD FORBID fans and is generally a well done DVD. Unfortunately, the issues noted above keep me from putting it in league with the latest DVDs from UNEARTH and LAMB OF GOD.


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