When Thrash began to disappear from the scene in the early 90's or morph into Groove influences, the band FORBIDDEN seemed destined to eventually fade. Despite two initial (and very bad ass releases) they soon faded into obscurity. With everyone else from the 80's suddenly reforming and doing new albums, it was only a matter of time before we saw a new FORBIDDEN reborn to us. That is why, 13 years later, there happens to be a new album called “Omega Wave” to grace the underground once again.
If the Old School cover, which obviously references their debut, and the colored skulls isn’t any indication to the return to older style, then just take a gander at the songs included. Although there is still a definite modernity to the music, the heart of their time as a Bay Area Thrash band in the 80's has returned in full form here. Think of how TESTAMENT was able to modernize their style yet return to the form on their latest album if a comparison is needed.
Using their knack for melodies, a slight Progressive tendency, and some reminiscent carry over from their Groove era, FORBIDDEN seems to run the entire spectrum of Thrash subsidiaries on this album. Sometimes the album runs a bit too long and stomps ideas into the ground, but its catchiness and strength of playing/writing overcomes most of that. With the riffs interlaid with leads and solos, a heavy use of bass, and some sick drumming, this is a Thrash release that’s worthy of a comeback. It’s nice to hear Russ Anderson throwing in his croons and growls once again and it’s his presence that has always topped the FORBIDDEN cake. It’s wonderful to hear he hasn’t lost that.
FORBIDDEN are definitely back in the saddle with “Omega Wave." Although its still not quite the sheer force that their debut may have carried, falling prey to the Progressive tendencies and running a bit long, but it’s a nice come back and worth the listen if you are a fan of the band or genre.
Songs to check out: “Forsaken At The Gates," “Hopenosis,” and “Omega Wave.”
(Online November 20, 2010)