Tobias Forge’s Past Attempt at Death Metal “Broke His Heart”


For many here in the states, the ascendant rise of Tobias Forge and his ‘ABBA-meets-Blue Öyster Cult during a seance’ act Ghost feels like he managed to capture lightning in a bottle, but that’s just not the whole story. Forge has been in a range of bands since the mid-90s, with his most extensive body of work being with a defunct death/thrash metal band called Repugnant.

During a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Forge looked back at his time in the band and reflected on the moments when he thought things were over before it began. As its founding vocalist and guitarist Mary Goore, Forge said the band fell significantly short of his dream of opening for Slayer one day.

“I learned the hard way in the late ’90s that wanting to play 80s-inspired death metal with my band Repugnant was painfully out of touch with what was going on at the time. It broke my heart; I wanted us to be signed to Roadrunner and support Slayer. That never happened, unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately, as it kept me grounded for a few more years and if those things had happened maybe I wouldn’t be here today.”

Repugnant was active from 1998 to 2004, then once again in 2010, and then another time in 2011. The band has since broken up, seemingly for good, with only one full-length effort (Epitome of Darkness) released under its name. The rest of the band’s releases include demos and various splits over the years.

And while the band was “painfully out of touch” with death metal trends at the time, Forge said Repugnant still managed to get out there an mix it up with Macabre on their first tour.

“Repugnant had a close shave with success. We signed to the [Dutch] label Hammerheart, which at the time felt like we’d made it because the first thing they did was take us out on our first tour, supporting the American band Macabre. “They were a favourite band of ours – still are, and whenever we play Chicago they come to the shows – and at that point it felt like we might be going somewhere, but we quickly parted ways with Hammerheart because we couldn’t agree. It felt like our chance and we’d blown it.”

You can check out the full interview with Tobias Forge in the latest issue of Metal Hammer.

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