Forbidden Omega Wave

Nuclear Blast Records

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It took about thirteen years, but it was worth the wait! It’s been that long since Forbidden has released a new album. Not much of a surprise, since the band quit after releasing their last record which was entitled ‘Green”. It wasn’t until 2007 that the band reunited to do some touring and basically just have a bit of fun together. Forbidden started out with Gene Hoglan on drums and Glen Avelais on guitars, but in 2009 these guys were replaced by Mark Hernandez (Voi-lence, Heather, Defiance) and Steve Smyth (Testament, Nevermore, Vicious Rumors). With this line-up, the band did more extensive touring in Europe among others, and with a fresh take on life they started writing a new album.


With “Alpha Century”, the album kicks off with a bombastic, guitar-laden intro larded with drumbeats that lead us to believe that we are actually marching into the Forbidden century. All this is followed by the real new Forbidden material in the shape of  “Forsaken At The Gates”. Raging riffs, pumping drim riffs and Russ Anderson remind us of what it was that Forbidden used to do. This is a catchy, energetic song which will hardly allow for time to breath during live renditions. The only downside is that we do hear a number of effects which have been layered over Russ’ voice. We wonder if this has been done in order to masque the fact that his voice isn’t what it used to be, or maybe the band just decided that it sounded good? Guess we’ll never know. What we do know, is that this album contains some serious, old-fashioned solo violence. Must say we expected nothing less from the guitair combination Craig Locicero / Steve Smyth. “Overthrow” is a more groove-based song, but no less enjoyable. The track “Adapt Or Die” was placed on myspace some time ago and has therefore become quite well-known by now. It is definitely one of the best songs on the album and that’s not just because of the impressive high-pitched scream by Russ at the beginning of the song. The man can still do it! The song is downright wicked with a number of interesting solo’s. It doesn’t get more nostalgic than this. “Swine” has a little less thrah to it and leans more towards the dark side, but it does have a thrashy bridge which is followed by a more melodic part. “Chatter” is an instrumental intermezzo, if we can call it that at all. We hear people talking on this track, with a simple riff and some guitar feedback. “Dragging The Casket” hits you like a ton of bricks, starting out with a bunch of blastbeats and rolling on into a rare thrashfest. Near the end of the song, Forbidden eases into a lower tempo and we hear Russ’ lower singing voice. Doesn’t sound bad at all! “Hopenosis” has also been available on myspace for a while, it’s a much slower song than “Adapt Or Die” but it’s definitely not a bad thing. Especially the solo’s on this track are worth your time.


“Immortal Wounds” is another song that illustrates the feisty, groovy side of Forbidden. “Behind The Mask” is more groovy than it is thrashy, it even has a heavy metal kind of feel to it. “Inhuman Race” is a melting pot of many different styles: freaky drumfills, dragging riffs, almost Gregorian-sounding choir vocals. This song has a lot to offer, so don’t be discouraged by the previous sentence. The last song on the album is the title track, a worthy gate-closer: this song kicks your ass. The album was recorded in the Sonic Room/Audio Voyage studios in California, it was produced by Craig Locicero and Tim Narducci. The mixing duties were taken care of by Sean Beavan (Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails) and the artwork was once again created by Kent Mathieu. Not to be disrespectful, but the artwork for ‘Omega Wave’ is certainly not the best we’ve seen on a Forbidden album.


‘Omega Wave’ is a solid Forbidden album. Although it’s not up there with ‘Forbidden Evil’, it’s a true thrash metal record with a modern twist and an occasional wink at various other styles. Great job!  (Thomas van Golen)

01. Alpha Century
02. Forsaken at the Gates
03. Overthrow
04. Adapt or Die
05. Swine
06. Chatter
07. Dragging my Casket
08. Hopenosis
09. Immortal Wounds
10. Behind the Mask
11. Inhuman Race
12. Omega Wave

Russ Anderson – Vocals
Craig Locicero – Guitar
Steve Smyth – Guitar
Matt Camacho – Bass
Mark Hernandez – Drums