There was an ebb in excitement levels surrounding Forbidden’s recent return to active status when the Bay Area thrashers unveiled mega-unimpressive cover art for Omega Wave (here), their first record since 1997’s Green. To echo at least one Blabbermouth wiseacre, I’ll ask who smoked up the packaging budget? Cuz despite guitarist Craig Locicero’s endorsement, the art looks cheap and needlessly reminiscent of Forbidden Evil, their debut (here). Imagery is not as huge a deal in the post-interslice age, but this “Where’s the rest of it?”-style art threw at least one fan into a panic (me), causing him or her (me) to wonder if the album’s sound quality would match its unflattering cover. Would Forbidden, once a post-Vio-lence Robb Flynn project and farm system for Testament and Slayer, fail to reclaim its near-fame thanks to penny-pinching and a cover concept that borrows heavily from those sparkly decals you get from gumball machines at the roller rink? Fuck!
I feel foolish now that the band’s Myspace is streaming “Forsaken At The Gates,” the first public taste of Omega Wave. The jam is incredible and its production sounds like a million bucks (even on Myspace). Along with Exhorder and Coroner, Forbidden always had the most deceptively clever (and presciently busy) guitar riffs in thrash metal, and the semi-tangible skill of putting them in order to achieve dynamic, impactful songs — the slapping of the face alternating with the zapping of the nuts, as it were; “Forsaken” is all that! (By the way, is anybody else reminded instantly of “Infinite” at every mention of the word “evil”?) And in retrospect, I should’ve known not to worry cuz the guys in Forbidden all still have good hair (above). That’s the starting point for all good metal.
Forbidden’s Omega Wave is slated for an October 22 release on Nuclear Blast.