For those who are unaware; Forbidden are known for their technical capabilities and musical prowess, especially in the guitar solo department as well as for vocalist Russ Anderson’s instantly recognisable voice which differentiates Forbidden from the crowd. These key elements are all present and correct on ‘Omega Wave,’ which helps the album retain that trademark Forbidden sound after all these years.
It has been thirteen years since the release of Forbidden’s most recent studio album, 1997’s ‘Green,’ and while people may be expecting a cynical cash in on their debut’s legacy, (the band went as far as to hire Kent Mathieu, the same artist who painted their first two album covers and got him to paint a cover which evokes their debut album) Forbidden actually find a good balance between the various styles present of all the band’s previous four albums as well as introducing a fair amount of modern ideas and approaches to songwriting.
There are minor line up changes, however the core of the band on every record has always been Russ, Matt and Craig who are all stalwartly present on this outing and while the listener can notice the loss Glen Alvelais on Guitar, Steve Smyth former Guitarist from Nevermore was an inspired choice for the band, given the band’s Nevermore inspired leanings on their previous two albums.
Stand out moments on the album include the speedy ‘Forsaken At The Gates,’ and ‘Overthrow,’ which features guest vocals from Exodus and Testament singers Chuck Billy and Steve ‘Zetro,’ Souza as well as the long, mid paced ‘Dragging My Casket,’ which evokes the best moments from the band’s third album Distortion.
As a comeback album Forbidden have done themselves proud with Omega Wave; however don’t expect the world, it is Technically competent in every way and musically impressive, however the album as a whole is just missing that extra spark that elevates perfectly executed and expertly crafted music into genius. Omega Wave is a strong effort and the band’s enthusiasm is very promising for their future. If they can manage to build on this albums excellent groundwork they could potentially release something really great.