As the once-invigorating genre of metalcore creates a more commercial position for itself, with underground acts like Unearth and As I Lay Dying being some of the first of the movement to perform in arenas (opening for Slipknot) and numerous others becoming "breakthrough" artists due to their labels' well-known funding of recent Ozzfest slots (paying upwards of $70,000 per band), the inevitable saturation of the genre has led to metalcore acts and their fans, old and new, coming under fire for well, simply enjoying metalcore. Now, picky young elitists unhappy with the increasing appeal of a genre they once considered dear to them have turned their backs on it, and headed for the newest hot underground movement: tech metal and grindcore. To remain a cutting-edge hybrid of metal and hardcore, groups must either become more easily digestible and chorus-based as Killswitch Engage have done to great success, or dig deeper into the back catalogues of eighties thrash for structural inspiration rather than merely scratching its surface for riffs, as the majority of metalcore bands have been doing in recent years. Wisely, both for the sake of their artistic growth and continuing appeal, God Forbid have gone the latter route on their fourth full-length IV: Constitution of Treason. Possibly the album's strongest point is the multi-faceted sense of structure underlying most tracks. Unlike the more unsophisticated and, unsurprisingly, commercially-lukewarm Gone Forever, IV: Constitution comes across immediately as their most mature and musically-intricate record to date. The aforementioned emphasis on vintage thrash song structuring, with their increased focus on extensive intros and solos, has provided the band with a solid enough foundation to finally succeed with integrating dual vocal harmonies into their once-inflexible sound. Examples of this synthesis of melody and riff are heard in slowed-down Testament tribute "Chains of Humanity," Metallica tribute "The Lonely Dead" (with intro/outro riff curiously coming straight from Load), title track "Constitution of Treason," and the wartime epic "To The Fallen Hero," in ways that they were formerly unsuccessful in accomplishing. The defining ingredient of eighties thrash was the breakneck pace at which guitar picking was delivered. The defining ingredient of progressive metalcore, as God Forbid is now performing (just listen to "Crucify Your Beliefs"), is a slowed down tempo, often in half-time, with which classic riffs are re-packaged and re-presented to young generations. "Into The Wasteland," "Under This Flag," "Crucify Your Beliefs," and the closest they come to Killswitch Engage-territory, "To The Fallen Hero," all contain riffs illustrative of this point. There will never be another Kirk Hammet, nor another Alex Skolnick. Nor will any modern guitarist even come close to changing how the world sees metal the way those two men did. But the Coyle brothers respectfully pay homage to their music, playing their hearts out in the process, thus making IV: Constitution an album even old schoolers could potentially get into. Bottom Line: It's no secret that the band nearly broke up towards the end of their touring cycle for Determination due to heated discussions regarding what direction the band should take in order to ensure future survival in the increasingly-cutthroat metalcore genre. Stemming from these discussions came some modifications to their sound, evident on the album they wrote after deciding to continue, which was Gone Forever; a departure for the band which saw them write instantly graspable songs and courageously insert largely hit-or-miss melodic vocal passages. Because that formula was more middle-of-the-road than anything, and met with a fitting commercial response, they sharpened their knives and carved an album with IV: Constitution that would hold up over the coming years and help them re-establish prominence which they somewhat lost on with the last album. This is the first time God Forbid have sounded as hungry as they did on their buzz-generating debut Reject The Sickness, and with intriguing song structures, memorable riffs, and melodic passages that actually work, they are finally ready to make a very visible ascent to the top of the modern metal movement.