Omega Wave

Another much anticipated reunion and comeback album. Forbidden didn’t exactly exit on a good note with the lackluster Distortion and horrible Green, but their first two will always be bonafide thrash classics. With that said, I was extremely curious to see where they would go after a 13 year recording hiatus.

I’m happy to say that the Bay Area boys skipped the “suck” and went for “awesome and thrashing”. This time out, their sound is perhaps a bit more refined, the songwriting seems tighter than before and the guitar work is as vicious and cutting as ever, with the solos being particularly fantastic, as expected. The first thing fans will most likely notice though is just how much Russ Anderson’s vocals have changed over the years. His general tone is much deeper these days, though he’s still capable of hitting some quite high notes when needed. Overall, his vocals are diverse, ranging from a gritty standard approach to soaring melodic chorus’ or the high-end, ear splitting falsetto’s. The biggest surprise though, and quite a pleasant one I must add, is this somber tone he occasionally applies that strongly echoes Nevermore‘s Warrel Dane – at one point, I was scouring the net for info on a guest appearance, but it is indeed Mr. Anderson as far as I can tell. It’s most noticeable on “Swine” and “Inhuman Race”, so it’s used sparingly to great effect. Whether this was done intentionally, unknowingly or maybe as just a subconscious influence is for Russ to know and the rest of us to keep guessing. Either way, I think it’s pretty cool and adds another element to the material.

On to the songs! Omega Wave gets fully underway proper after “Alpha Century”, a two minute intro piece with a building, march like quality, with “Forsaken at the Gates”, a real bruising and barn storming number that should put any all doubts of this reunion to rest. This sort of relentless thrash n burn is repeated throughout the album (“Adapt or Die”, the back half of “Swine”, “Hopenosis”, “Omega Wave”), but they also mix it up quite a bit, whether it be the chunkerific groove of “Overthrow”, the slow and eerie first half of “Swine”, all over the place “Dragging My Casket”, or mid paced romp and stomp of “Immortal Wounds” or “Inhuman Race” – lots of diversity, and always well done.

To sum it up, Forbidden is back, and they’re back in a big way. While Omega Wave certainly recalls much from their Forbidden Evil and Twisted Into Form days, this is far from a simple rehash. No, there’s a new found confidence in this material that shows a band brimming with new ideas, though has certainly not forgotten where they came from.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
November 5th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Jason

    I saw Forbidden many times in the Twisted into form days, living in San Jose. This album takes off from Twisted but adds many new elements. As the Teeth mention above , solo are insane from both Smyth and Lecicero. russ’s vocals are very creative and go beyond what he has done in the past.

    I can not stop listening to this record. I have not had to listen to a record everyday since… well I can’t remember. Songs are great. There are many layers. They get deep, heavy, they expand and go into new territory but still stay where the ideas make sense and flow cohesively. I am a musician and all I got to say is that they are great songs and have all the ear candy a metalhead would ever want. The drumming is seriously spectacluar (I am a drummer). I think it goes beyond what Bostaph would be doing these days. The more I listen to it the more catch even more detail. I heard an interview with Craig. He said this is the record they actually could get all the sounds, visions and concepts right because they had the support they needed.

    This album fucking kicks ass! In my opinoin the more you listen the more it will take hold.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    good writeup Larry. You called out everything I was thinking while listening to this though, especially Russ’ vocals. wish there were more songs like Forsaken at the Gates and less midtempo stuff but this was a really solid return to form.

  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Heathen, Overkill and now Forbidden have come up with some beyootiful thrashy gems. Some of the best material of their careers. \m/

  4. Commented by: Staylow

    Agreed! But you forgot to mention Exodus in there too. I much prefer their newer material, and think Exhibit B is the best one yet. Death Angel also got a good one in there this year too.

  5. Commented by: Wharwulf

    Lackluster Distortion and horrible Green? Your ears are broken, sir.

  6. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Nuxodus sux. Fuck Rob Dukes that stupid fat racist bitch.

    The new Forbidden is pretty good, but the new Death Angel hands it its ass.

  7. Commented by: Mark

    i remember as a teenager buyin twisted into form and loving that album, can’t wait to hear this one

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