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Forbidden - 'Omega Wave'

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Forbidden - Omega Wave

Forbidden - Omega Wave

Nuclear Blast Records

The Bottom Line

Bay Area thrashers stage triumphant comeback.

Pros

  • Russ Anderson's distinctive vocals.
  • Lots of hypnotic guitar melodies.
  • Tight musicianship.

Cons

  • None.

Description

  • Released October 26, 2010 on Nuclear Blast Records.
  • The band's fifth full-length release.
  • First album in almost 14 years.

Guide Review - Forbidden - 'Omega Wave'

Forbidden, at one point, were teamed up in the class of the second wave of Bay Area thrash led by Testament, Death Angel, Heathen, Defiance, and Vio-lence. The band’s melodic and hypnotic guitar leads, crushing riffs and distinct vocals set them apart from their peers. However, they were kind of considered a poor man’s Testament that never reached the status of their Bay Area brethren.

If you remember the band’s earlier work on their phenomenal debut Forbidden Evil (1988), followed by Twisted into Form (1990), then you will agree, on Omega Wave, their fifth release, they have found their place again among thrash’s finest.

Forbidden has been out of the spotlight for almost 14 years. But with this new release, and their new partnership with Nuclear Blast, the time is right for people to discover and/or rediscover what these thrashers have to offer.

The core of the band, consisting of guitarist and founder Craig Locicero, vocalist Russ Anderson and bassist Matt Camacho, is still intact. On Omega Wave, they introduce Steve Smyth (Nevermore, Testament, Dragonlord) and drummer Mark Hernandez (Vio-lence, Defiance, Heathen, Demonica) into the fold.

Anderson is one of the most powerful thrash vocalists in the game today. His gruff vocals are mixed with aggression and melody. What he brings on Omega Wave is a crushing familiarity of intelligent lyrics delivered with forceful bellows. This, along with the distinct and mesmerizing guitar harmonies, was Forbidden’s forté back in the day. Smyth and Locicero’s riffs and leads carry on the familiar Forbidden formula.

After the intro, “Alpha Century,” the sweeping guitar arpeggios of the first proper song, “Forsaken at the Gates,” tells you Forbidden is back to doing what they do best. The dual-layered vocals, the trade-off guitar solos and the full-force melodies remind me of how they sounded in their early days.

The whole album sounds like it could have been the follow up to Twisted into Form. “Swine,” one of my personal favorites, shows Anderson’s vocal range well, as he changes his gruff growls to falsettos and other variations. Other songs of note are, “Hopenosis,” “Inhuman Race,” “Dragging My Casket” and the title track.

Omega Wave’s varied tempos, well-thought out song structures and menacing vocals will convince you that Forbidden are back, and in a big way.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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