Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Initial Impressions: Forbidden: Twisted Into Form

When I saw a used copy of this album sitting in the cheap bins at the local bookstore/music store, I had to get it. Forbidden albums are not very easy to find all the time. Certainly not in stores. So, this was easily one of my favorite buys, still not quite my favorite (I will have a post about that one later), but certainly a very good one.

Forbidden is a thrash metal band from the San Franciso Bay Area. However, as far as popularity goes from the time, they were somewhere in the third tier, below Metallica (which occupied a tier by itself), below Exodus and Testament, and somewhere along with Heathen, Laaz Rockit, Vio-lence, and Death Angel. Nevertheless, Forbidden was (and is as they have recently reformed) an excellent band.

Musically, Forbidden is not dissimilar from the other bands in the Bay Area scene. They are probably closest to Exodus. The riffs are fast and inspired by a mix of punk and NWOBHM. Guitar leads frequently stand out from the riffs. The drumming is also fast and guitar solos are frequent. The songs are often around the five minute mark and are performed in a more progressive structure.

Where Forbidden is distinguished from other Bay Area thrash metal bands is the vocals. Russ Anderson possesses a higher singing voice, similar to power metal bands of the day. These vocals add more melody and power to the already energetic performance of the musicians. Anderson is a very underrated vocalist.

This is an underrated gem of an album. Forbidden is not an unknown band, but they certainly have not managed the same type of career as their peers in Exodus, Metallica, and Testament. However, they recently reformed, and may soon be in for the kind of success they just missed the first time around.

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