Forbidden started their career on a good note. Their debut; “Forbidden Evil” was a hit and their follow up; “Twisted into Form” was well received. “Green” and “Distortion” however, showed a change in the band’s style, and the band lost popularity. Also, lack of a strong label support led to the band’s break up. After about a 20 year hiatus, Russ Anderson (vocalist) and Craig Locicero (guitarist) got back together and released their newest album, Omega Wave. The lineup for the band consists of the previously mentioned Russ Anderson and Craig Locicero, Steve Smyth (guitarist), Matt Camacho (bass guitar), and Mark Hernandez (Drummer). And their new lineup is a very formidable to say the least.
Russ Anderson is one of my favorite vocalists and his work here isn’t too bad. He goes between a deep growl and a lighter melodic voice throughout the album. However his singing isn’t exactly my favorite in this album, it still fits, and it does suite it very well. Mark Hernandez does a very good job behind the drum set. I’m not sure about the complexity (although it does sound extremely technical), his drum work does seem to add a level of aggression to the songs, especially in tracks like, “Forsaken at the Gates”. The bassist is barely, if at all audible so I don’t really have much of an opinion on Matt Camacho. Sorry. But, Craig Locicero and Steve Smyth are absolutely phenomenal. Aside from their blazing, crushing riffs, they do explore around a lot of melodic riffs like in, “Overthrow”, “Hopenosis”, and “Behind the Mask”. Their lead work is also terrific. Smyth does well to lay down complicated solos, incorporating things sweeping, tremolo picking, and many other legato phrases. Craig Lucicero also does well to keep up, and their trade-off soloing adds a nice touch to each and every track.
Now onto the Album Itself, “Omega Wave”, was different to me and at first, I didn’t like the album too much. After a while, I decided to look over the album again, and I don’t regret making that decision. Their work here is, again, very different and while it does contain some stuff that came from their original roots, it mostly consists of a very different approach and sound. It can be best described as a kind of a melodic, technical thrash metal, where half of the songs are completely all out thrash and others fit more of the former. And while it is very different, it isn’t anywhere near bad. Although some of the tracks seem kind of tired and weird. With songs like “Inhuman Race” and “Swine”, a lot of the riffing is much slower and a little drab if you ask me. However what saves “Inhuman Race” is the solo; it contains the most complex and intricate sounding solo off the album. Other songs have a more melodic tone to them. In “Dragging my Casket”, they try to go between heavy and melodic, in ways that doesn’t feel right and a bit awkward. Also it involves weird tempo changes between verses. Although they do go between melodic and heavy very well in other cases, “Behind the Mask” and “Hopenosis” are perfect examples of this, where the change in verses isn’t as sudden and flows into each other more naturally. Although the riffing in, “Hopenosis”, sounds a little strange at times. On the other end, songs like “Forsaken at the Gates”, “Immortal Wounds”, “Omega Wave”, and “Adapt or Die” are just completely thrash. All of them are fast, heavy and intense, and they all probably include some of their best song work, challenging even some of their earlier stuff.
All in all, “Omega Wave” ended up becoming a respectable release, while it may not be as great as “Forbidden Evil” or “Twisted into Form”, it’s still worth picking up this album and I certainly would recommend this to a more diehard fan of metal.
-Forsaken at the Gates
-Behind the Mask