FORBIDDEN

Thrash Metal / Groove Metal • United States
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Forbidden was part of the second wave of thrash metal bands which arose from the bay area thrash scene (along with Testament, Death Angel, Vio-Lence, etc.), and though full of promise early on, they never broke through like many predicted.

Originally formed in 1985 as Forbidden Evil by vocalist Russ Anderson, guitarists Robb Flynn and Craig Locifero, bassist Matt Camacho, and drummer Paul Bostaph, the group slugged it out around the Bay Area club scene like hundreds of other up-and-coming garage bands inspired by thrash originators like Metallica, Slayer, and especially Exodus. Flynn wouldn't last long (going on to form Vio-Lence, then Machine Head), but with his replacement, Glen Alvelais, the band gradually built a following and eventually signed with Combat Records. Their 1988 debut, Forbidden Evil, received largely favorable reviews and they set out on the road with fellow thrashers Exodus, Death Angel, and Testament. Forbidden then recorded a live
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FORBIDDEN Discography

FORBIDDEN albums / top albums

FORBIDDEN Forbidden Evil album cover 4.41 | 24 ratings
Forbidden Evil
Thrash Metal 1988
FORBIDDEN Twisted Into Form album cover 4.46 | 22 ratings
Twisted Into Form
Thrash Metal 1990
FORBIDDEN Distortion album cover 3.61 | 10 ratings
Distortion
Thrash Metal 1994
FORBIDDEN Green album cover 3.33 | 6 ratings
Green
Groove Metal 1997
FORBIDDEN Omega Wave album cover 4.32 | 17 ratings
Omega Wave
Thrash Metal 2010

FORBIDDEN EPs & splits

FORBIDDEN Ultimate Revenge 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ultimate Revenge 2
Thrash Metal 1989

FORBIDDEN live albums

FORBIDDEN Raw Evil (Live at the Dynamo) album cover 3.65 | 6 ratings
Raw Evil (Live at the Dynamo)
Thrash Metal 1989

FORBIDDEN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

FORBIDDEN Step By Step Promo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Step By Step Promo
Thrash Metal 1990
FORBIDDEN Trapped album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Trapped
Thrash Metal 1991
FORBIDDEN Disillusions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Disillusions
Thrash Metal 1992
FORBIDDEN Distortion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Distortion
Thrash Metal 1993

FORBIDDEN re-issues & compilations

FORBIDDEN Point of No Return album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Point of No Return
Thrash Metal 1992

FORBIDDEN singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
No Reason
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dragging My Casket
Thrash Metal 2010

FORBIDDEN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ultimate Revenge 2
Thrash Metal 1989

FORBIDDEN Reviews

FORBIDDEN Distortion

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Distortion" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, California based thrash metal act Forbidden. The album was released through GUN Records in November 1994, almost five years after the release of "Twisted Into Form (1990)". A release frequency which was a bit longer than usual for the time. A couple of circumstances prevented an earlier release though. First of all drummer Paul Bostaph left Forbidden to join Slayer. He is replaced here by Steve Jacobs. Secondly the musical climate changed dramatically between the release of "Twisted Into Form (1990)" and "Distortion", and Forbidden found themselves searching for a label to release the album, and that was a longer process than anticipated. Forbidden shared the fate of many 80s thrash metal acts, who had created a solid reputation in the 80s, only to be forgotten soon in the early 90s, when other music styles "stole" their audience.

They did what they could to adapt to the new musical climate of the times, as "Distortion" is not a "straight" thrash metal release by any means. It´s heavy, dark, groove laden, and aggressive, and generally features very few fast-paced thrash metal rhythms or riffs. The musicianship is still on a very high level and sharp heavy groove metal riffs and rhythms are delivered with great conviction. Lead vocalist Russ Anderson generally sings a bit more rough and less "theatrical" than he did on the predecessors, but it´s still audible that he is a very skilled vocalist with a strong set of pipes.

"Distortion" also features a well sounding production job, so all prerequisites are there for the album to be a success. Unfortunately the songwriting isn´t that inspired and not many tracks stand out as particularly memorable (and closing the album with a pretty standard quality cover version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson, doesn´t make the album any more interesting). It´s like all the great features of the two predecessors have been left behind in search of a contemporary sound which could reach a new audience, but the material simply aren´t strong enough for that. If you meassure "Distortion" against contemporary releases by artists like Machine Head and Pantera, there´s just no competition. In that context it´s a forgettable and quite mediocre release. They should probably instead have stuck to their guns and attempted to ride out the thrash metal hostile 90s with their heads held high, because "Distortion" neither gave them critical acclaim nor commercial success. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

FORBIDDEN Forbidden Evil

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
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siLLy puPPy
While the Tampa Bay Area may have been the epicenter for American death metal emerging, the San Francisco Bay Area was ahead of its East coast counterparts when it came to the early thrash metal scene. Metallica may have started in LA but moved to the Bay Area before releasing their debut “Kill Em All” in 1983 and while with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, constituted the so called “big four,” so too did the Bay Area have a big four of its own. Of course Metallica topped this list but alongside one of metal’s most successful bands of all time were Testament, Exodus and FORBIDDEN as well as the slightly less successful acts like Death Angel, Autopsy, VioLence amongst several others. FORBIDDEN formed in 1985 as FORBIDDEN EVIL the early lineup released a few demos and some famous bootlegged live albums before dropping the EVIL of their name in fear of being mistaken for a black metal band but kept the original moniker as at the title of the band’s first official album title.

FORBIDDEN delivered a no nonsense approach to thrash metal and followed more in the style of Exodus than the classically infused Metallica. While the band’s sound changed from album to album, FORBIDDEN EVIL delivers an explosive delivery of thrash fury that found the twin guitar devastation of Craig Locicero and Matt Camacho delivering a punishing thunderous roar of guitar riffing fury, squealing solos and headache inducing distortion turned up to 11 with the rhythm section of bassist Matt Camacho and drummer Paul Bostaph taking cues from the early speed metal playbook and creating an incessant pummeling stampede that allowed singer Russ Anderson’s operatic to soar over. The band scored the production skills of John Cuniberti who had worked with Joe Satriani and FORBIDDEN EVIL instantly became a Bay Area cult metal favorite which launched FORBIDDEN into the top tier status of Bay Area thrash metal, a status which has remained unchanged over the decades since this 1988 release.

“Chalice Of Blood” hits the ground running with an incessantly frenetic guitar riff stampede and finds Anderson alternating between high pitched melodic NWOBM vocal styles as well as the more aggressive shouted vocals that anchor this in the then fully thriving thrash metal scene. While many thrash bands included acoustic intros and moments of calmer reflection, FORBIDDEN EVIL rarely stops for a breath and instead delivers an incessant romp of palm muted shredding, sweep and tremolo picking and frenetic double bass drumming. Exceptions do occur as the bass intro of “Off The Edge” and the surreal opening of “Feel No Pain” but these little deviations don’t last for long and then it’s back to headbanging like there’s no tomorrow. In this way, FORBIDDEN was looking towards the aggressiveness delivered by bands like Slayer or Kreator whose uncompromising approach kept the underground thrash metal scene on a whole other level than the tame glam metal that was on the top of the harder edged music scene.

One of the reasons that the Bay Area thrash metal scene was so successful is that the bands formed a network and set up extensive tours so there were many shows where you could see several bands and after all was said and done, FORBIDDEN became one of the more popular acts due to their perfect balance of thrash metal aggression, excellent songwriting skills and superb diversity in the performances. FORBIDDEN EVIL remains a classic of the genre and it’s easy to hear why. The songwriting duties were shared which gives a more diverse perspective and musicians are all on the top of their game and the album doesn’t have a single weak track and delivers the trash metal goods through its satisfying 43 minute run. While the band hasn’t been exactly prolific and changed the style on each album, FORBIDDEN EVIL remains the purest thrash metal experience as the band became more experimental on the following “Twisted Into Form” which most consider their magnum opus, however there’s no denying that FORBIDDEN EVIL remains one of the 80s most exciting and electrified deliveries of unadulterated thrash metal in its unadulterated form.

FORBIDDEN Raw Evil (Live at the Dynamo)

Live album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Raw Evil (Live at the Dynamo)" is a live EP release by US, California based thrash metal act Forbidden. The EP was released through Combat Records in 1989 and bridges the gap between the band´s debut and second full-length studio albums "Forbidden Evil (1988)" and "Twisted into Form (1990)". The four tracks on the EP were recorded live at the Dynamo Festival, Eindhoven, The Netherlands on May 15, 1989.

Three of the four tracks on the EP were featured on "Forbidden Evil (1988)" in their original studio versions ("Forbidden Evil", "Chalice of Blood", and "Through Eyes of Glass"), and the last track on the EP is a cover of "Victim of Changes" by Judas Priest. Vocally that´s quite a demanding song, but Russ Anderson pulls it off with great conviction, which is also true when it comes to his performances on the original Forbidden tracks. It´s almost a shame to focus so much on his performance, when the rest of the band are also as well playing as they are (the instrumental part of the music is delivered with tight precision and passion), but his performance here (mind you in a live setting) is very strong and deserves a special mention.

You can argue that opening the EP with "Victim of Changes", when it appears from the crowds chanting after the track ends, that it was the last song played that night/day, is an odd tracklist choice, and I´ll agree with you, but other than that "Raw Evil (Live at the Dynamo)" is quite a great quality live EP, featuring excellent musicianship, great material, and a good authentic live sound quality, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

FORBIDDEN Twisted Into Form

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Twisted Into Form" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, San Francisco, California based thrash metal act Forbidden. The album was released through Combat Records in March 1990. The band was formed under the Forbidden Evil monicker in 1985 as was an active part of the Bay Area thrash metal scene of the 80s (featuring in those days Rob Flynn from Machine Head on guitars), releasing several demos and playing quite a few live shows, before changing their name to Forbidden in 1987 shortly before recording their debut full-length studio album "Forbidden Evil (1988)". While Forbidden are often mentioned as an influential and important part of the 80s Bay Area thrash metal scene, they were one of the acts from those days, along with contemporaries like Exodus and Heathen, which never broke through to a mainstream metal audience, and probably as a consequence folded in 1997.

The music on "Twisted Into Form" is a technically well played and often melodic US thrash metal style. Compared to the band´s debut album "Forbidden Evil (1988)", the music on "Twisted Into Form" is slightly more sophisticated and at times (seldom) even touches semi-progressive territories. The focus on aggression and technically skilled playing hasn´t changed since the debut, but Forbidden have simply become better songwriters with more adventurous ideas.

The 9 track, 41:09 minutes long album is loaded with brilliant and cleverly written thrash metal tracks, featuring raw thrashy (yet sophisticated) riffing, melodic guitar solos, a rhythmically challenging rhythm section, and Russ Anderson´s skillfully executed vocals in front. He is a very talented vocalist, able to sing both raw staccato type thrash metal vocals, and higher pitched melodic ditto. There´s an edge to the delivery at all times though, so this is not pop oriented clean singing. The most valid reference I can come up with is Sanctuary/Nevermore even though Forbidden are generally more thrash metal oriented. But there is also that link to the most raw US power/thrash which the two mentioned artists deliver featured on "Twisted Into Form".

While the video track "Step by Step" is probably the most well known track from the album (and featuring some really heavy thrashy riffing and a memorable punchy chorus, deserves to be just that), there are many other great tracks on the album and it is one of those albums where the diversity between and within tracks makes the album a great listen throughout. The sound production is also clear, powerful, and raw, which suits the music perfectly and overall "Twisted Into Form" is a professional, and for the genre quite adventurous sounding release from start to finish. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

FORBIDDEN Forbidden Evil

Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Forbidden Evil" is the debut full-length studio album by US, San Francisco, California based thrash metal act Forbidden. The album was released through Combat Records in September 1988. The band was formed under the Forbidden Evil monicker in 1985 as was an active part of the Bay Area thrash metal scene of the 80s (featuring in those days Rob Flynn from Machine Head on guitars), releasing several demos and playing quite a few live shows, before changing their name to Forbidden in 1987 shortly before recording "Forbidden Evil". While Forbidden is often mentioned as an influential and important part of the 80s Bay Area thrash metal scene, they were one of the acts from those days, along with contemporaries like Exodus and Heathen, which never broke through to a mainstream metal audience, and probably as a consequence folded in 1997.

The music on the album is technically well played US thrash metal. Forbidden sets themselves a bit apart from the majority of thrash metal acts from those days as lead vocalist Russ Anderson combines his raw staccato thrash metal vocals, with more melodic oriented clean vocal parts (sometimes high pitched). The whole thing is still pretty raw but the occasionally melodic vocals provide the music with valuable memorability. And the 8 tracks on the 40:58 minutes long album, are all high quality material, written and performed by a top tier band. Tracks like "Chalice of Blood" and "Through Eyes of Glass" are among the highlights, but this is an album with no filler material. Quite a few of the tracks appeared on the band´s demos, but here they are enhanced by a better production, and more detailed arrangements, to provide them with new life.

In addition to the very strong and convincing vocal performance by Russ Anderson, the rest of the band are also very well playing. Fast paced aggressive riffing, great guitar solos, a busy and audible bass, and precision drumming by Paul Bostaph (who later has played with both Exodus, Testament, and of course Slayer). A tight yet organic performance by all involved, which is further enhanced by the raw, powerful, and detailed sound production.

"Forbidden Evil" is upon conclusion a very strong debut release by Forbidden and even though the band didn´t get the big breakthrough with this release (or any of their subsequent releases), "Forbidden Evil" is widely considered a "classic" Bay Area thrash metal release from the 80s, and personally I think that reputation is fully deserved. The performances on the album are more than convincing, the sound production is well sounding for the time, and the material is relatively varied and memorable. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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