With most bands, the urge at the beginning of their career is to fulfill their genre criteria. Thrash hard, solo fast, drink more, and so on. After this honeymoon period is over, however, many find themselves in the awkward situation of wanting to break free of those rules, laws or criteria and expand their sound. This can turn out well (Refused) or backfire horribly (Machine Head), leading to band crises, break ups, public feuds or a loss of the fanbase. This is very much true for the 1997 release from Forbidden Green
, which saw a detraction from the thrashing nature of their debut and sophomore effort, moving more towards the groove nature played with on 1994's Distortion
, traveling down a sound which has links to Black Sabbath's middle works, or Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power
. Unfortunately, most of the music is simply not interesting, or all that attention, leading to series of mediocore songs with nothing hugely worth listening.
It is not to say that the music isn't bad, for it is not truly terrible, because by no long stretch is it, even pushing it as hard as possible, the music is not good enough for a band who had put out strong records before, with much more diverse tracks, in terms of thrash. The vocals displayed an fantastic range, with clear, strong guitar parts, bass and electric alike, with powerful drum work. Almost everything on Green
is a step down, the guitar work is less engaging, in many parts the bass has almost been completely negated, though on the tracks it appears on, it can be complimented for it's strong tone. The drum work is straight to the point, not breaking the mold or trying to expand it's borders. The vocals for the most do not break the mid-range, sticking to a reasonable tone as to be expected by so many groove metal bands, which rings true for the guitars, with their typical groove-band sound, and almost lethargic riffs in many places.
There is a saving grace here. The lyrics on several tracks are almost poetic, in their movement and motion, contrasting the other macho posing on songs such as Phat
or Face Down Heroes
. As shown in the opening track, the lyrics can be well structured:
Did you notice the sun had turned orange for the last time"
The last time...
Did you notice the moon on the seventh day"
The last time...
did you see the people gathering for the last time"
A past time...
And did you notice the rose, it has bloomed for the last time"
The last time...
Who truly understand the meaning of the symbols we're given"
It's a given
This is where the album is in it's element, with the melancholic, near spoken word segments that temporarily break the mediocre patterns found throughout the record.
As mentioned previously, none of the music is outright bad, rather, boring. Once each song passes, you are left with the feeling that nothing has really been achieved, nor are you satisfied. This album truly would have been a polarising one for fans at the time, even though they were aware of the band's transitioning between their thrash metal roots and their later groove work. In short, this album is not necessarily critical unless following the progress of the band to their breakup, then reunion for the much improved Omega Wave