Reviewed: January 1996
Released: 1995, Massacre Records
San Francisco Bay area thrashers, Forbidden, return (finally) with Distortion. I have been waiting for this bloody album since 1990’s GODLY CD Twisted Into Form. Many of you may remember them for their video “Step By Step” which received frequent airplay on Much Music’s Power30 (a Canadian hard music/metal show), the rest of you have probably heard of them thanks to Paul Bostaph who went on to join Slayer. In the past five years they were dropped from COMBAT and then spent a good deal of time looking for a new label. A few demo’s were produced during this period, none of which I have heard, and finally they were signed to MASSACRE.
The question is – was this album worth the long wait?? Well all things considered, yes. However not a hell of a lot of new ground is broken with the new CD. It’s also nowhere near as heavy as the last album. Singer Russ Anderson no longer even tries to hit the higher notes, but his vocals are still quite good – even if they are much lower. The band is rounded out by Craig Locicero on lead guitar, Tim Calvert second lead guitar, bassist Matt Comancho, and new drummer Steve Jacobs. If you liked Forbidden before you’ll still like them and if you are into bands like Machine Head, Pantera, Testament, and Exodus (R.I.P.) you will enjoy Forbidden.
The hot spots on Distortion are the title track “Distortion”, “No Reason”, “Wake up!” and “Mind’s I” (great vocal work here – creates a really emotional atmosphere, probably the best song on the CD). The weakest track is their cover of “21st Century Schizoid Man.” I’m not sure what they had in mind with that one, it definitely sticks out. While the album cover is quite cool, the inside of the CD is laid out poorly. There isn’t a single picture of the band inside!!! At least they provided the lyrics.
I realize that this CD has been out for a few months, but it wasn’t available here until now. In the few months that it’s been out there has been to my knowledge no videos made, and little has been mentioned about them in the popular magazines. As usual you can’t judge a band by it’s commercial success. Some of the best bands out are virtually unknown to the masses. So if 90’s thrash is your thing you will love this CD. I know It will grow on me with each listen. I am glad that Forbidden has remained true to what they are in order to get a new deal. They could of easily jumped on the alternative bandwagon in hopes of gathering label interest. However, they remained true, thereby gathering respect instead…something far more valuable and long lasting.
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