Forbidden is just another of the litany of 1980's thrash metal bands that have recently reformed and released a new album. Due mostly to the retro-thrash trend, many old school bands have decided to give it another shot, regardless of their success the first time around. Forbidden was always relegated to second or third tier status in the Bay Area thrash metal scene. Though they had a fantastic vocalist, their music was not received as well as other groups, so they languished with the likes of Laaz Rockit, Vio-Lence, and Death Angel.
This is the band's first album since 1997 and features a return of most of the members who made up the band's core during their best years. The only real exception is behind the drum kit where Mark Hernandez, who played with Vio-Lence, Defiance, and Heathen, among others takes over instead of Paul Bostaph.
This album is a fairly impressive return to form for the band. The album does feature the same sort of high octane thrash that the band was known for on their earlier albums. It also includes the same melodic sensibility that Forbidden always had. Forbidden has always been more of a melodic thrash metal band than some of their more famous brethren, and this fact is borne out on this reunion album. The band does slow down at times and produce more of a mid-paced or even slower track. This ability to change pace keeps the album interesting.
Russ Anderson still possesses a powerful voice, but he does not hit the same high notes that he once did and he does not hold them for quite as long either. Despite this, the vocals still remain a strength for the band and a defining characteristic separating them from other Bay Area bands.
The only real complaint that I have about this album is its length. The album is over an hour long. It does tend to drag at times. If it could have been tightened up and shortened a little bit, it would be a much more enjoyable listening experience.
Despite the issue with the length of this album, this is a very good reunion album. A lot of reunion albums fall flat and are either too different from the band's original sound or not different enough. This album falls into a happy medium, proving that the band did progress, but did not lose their original sound.