HistoryFormed under the Forbidden Evil monicker in 1985, these Bay Area thrashers appeared at the same time as Vio-lence (same deal, same management, etc.) and featured later Vio-lence/Machine Head posse Rob Flynn. The departing man had disagreed with the rest of the band who wanted to go into a more heavy metal direction. Forbidden Evil, apparently, got its name from a War Cry song (featuring Paul Speckmann of Master) that was contributed to Metal Massacre IV. The band seemed to have a great future ahead of it with Testament-like solos, ripping material and a dedicated fan-base. Unfortunately, a weak label, ever-weakening material and members lead to the group’s demise in 1997. When no new deal was forthcoming in 1992, Bostaph replaced Lombardo on the Slayer stool. Live In Eindhoven was a 1989 EP. Alvelais had departed the band amidst some acrimony with other guitarist Locicero slagging Alvelais’ playing and ability.
No surprise, the band reformed in 2001 - for a Chuck Billy benefit concert - and then in 2007 and even featured Gene Hoglan on drums. Forbidden recruited drummer Mark Hernandez recently of Heathen and also of Defiance, Vio-Lence and Torque for its European tour in 2008. Drummer Paul Bostaph appeared on stage with his original band Forbidden on September 12th, 2008 at Slim's in San Francisco. Bostaph is still with Testament and appeared with Forbidden as a one-off reunion. Glen Alvelais again left in 2009 and was replaced by former Testament guitarist Steve Smyth. Alvelais was apparently not impressed by the lack of heaviness in the new Forbidden album and was to instead focus on the Tenet project. The Americans played the entire 1990 album, Twisted Into Form, on June 1st of 2009 at the Camden Underworld in central London, England. It was the band’s first U.K. appearance in almost twenty years. Forbidden signed with Nuclear Blast Records in early 2010 joining Exodus, Testament, Death Angel and others. The band had two new songs on its corporate website.
Forbidden was working on its next album, Omega Wave, at Sonic Room/Audio Voyage Studio in Livermore, California in 2010. The band had recently signed with Nuclear Blast. In addition to touring with Overkill the band was crisscrossing the USA with Evile, Gamma Bomb, and Bonded By Blood. Glen Alvelais relaunched his Bizarro project in late 2010. Gene Hoglan covered drum duties for Forbidden drummer Mark Hernandez at the band’s headlining appearances at Inferno Fest in Norway and at Metropole Ruhr Fest in Germany in 2011. Hernandez was busy with a "family obligation." Apparently, “family obligations” were forbidden in Forbidden and Mark was soon dismissed. Forbidden was scheduled to go on a European headlining tour in August of 2011. Support was to come from Communic. The band would play Belgium’s Alcatraz Festival on August 27th with Gene Hoglan. Bassist Matt Camacho left the band in mid-2012. In tandem, singer Russ Anderson also decided to take a break from the music business. The band cancelled its Wacken appearance. Earth Crawler was another project, which featured former Forbidden and Testament shredder Glen Alvelais. The band would release its demo From Below on May 5 2017. Killian On Command: An Evening Of Vio-lence featured musicians from Testament, Exodus, Mordred, Death Angel, Forbidden and Vio-Lence playing only Vio-Lence material. The band existed between 1985 through 1992. The show was a benefit for Vio-Lence singer Sean Killian who was diagnosed with liver Cirrhosis. Former guitarist Tim Calvert died on April 30th 2018 due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. He was 52 years old and most recently was a commercial pilot. Forbidden singer Russ Anderson reported in 2020 that he had undergone months of treatment and rehabilitation for alcoholism.
Forbidden again reformed in 2023 after disbanding 11 years prior. The band was playing the Alcatraz Metal Festival in Belgium in August. The band consisted of guitarists Craig Locicero and Steve Smyth, bassist Matt Camacho and drummer Chris Kontos. Singer Russ Anderson was not returning and was replaced by Imagika’s Norman Skinner.
FORBIDDEN – OMEGA WAVE – NUCLEAR BLAST
The 2010 release Omega Wave was an attempt at correcting the band’s mistakes with the albums Distortion and Green from the mid-nineties. Both records diverted from the band’s roots in Bay Area thrash and incorporated hardcore and crossover elements. The tempo of the songs on these two was also much slower than on the first two albums. Omega Wave is a return to what the band does best: mostly fast thrash with Russ Anderson’s versatile vocals, ranging from high-pitched screams to deep growls. The short intro Alpha Century sets up the opener Forsaken At The Gates, a song that is reminiscent of material from the debut album. Overthrow sounds almost like Testament, especially in the chorus. Chuck Billy actually contributed background vocals to the song, together with Zetro Sousa! Adapt Or Die has some nice arpeggios at the beginning and a touch of Nevermore in the verses. Swine is the first slower song and mixes acoustic guitars with distorted guitars. Chatter, as its name says, is a mix of voices talking over a repeated musical pattern (mostly with British accents) and serves as the intro to Dragging My Casket, one of the highlights of the album and with surprisingly melodic vocals. Hopenosis deals with religious fanaticism. Immortal Wounds seems to continue that lyrical theme. Behind The Mask, Inhuman Race, and the title track Omega Wave form sort of a trilogy about insanity, mankind’s hunger for power, and the destruction that results from it. The Omega Point is also a concept developed by the French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. To him, it was the maximum level of complexity and consciousness. According to Forbidden, it seems more like the maximum level of destruction. The title track is one of the heaviest of the album. Note the progression from Alpha Century to Omega Wave, by the way! Overall, measuring this record is hard if you have the band’s first two albums in mind. Forbidden Evil and Twisted Into Form were both milestones of their genre. But the return to the band’s original sound makes Omega Wave a very strong piece of music. Measured objectively, it was among the best outputs of its year. – Andreas Herzog