After more than a decade since their previous full-length ‘Green’, California’s Forbidden have returned with their newest offering ‘Omega Wave‘ along with a re-energized thrash spirit. Perhaps testament to the adage that haste makes waste (however stretched that may be), it is encouraging to hear that the band have not only ditched the grunge rock influences found on their 1997 LP but have brought back an anger and bitterness considered more than essential to thrash metal.
Musically and figuratively, ‘Omega Wave‘ is not a rehash of earlier vicious fare like ‘Forbidden Evil’ or ‘Twisted Into Form’ – Forbidden may be back, yet their latest release is as much a reflection of the times as their back catalogue was.
On one hand, it feels right to say that this works well in their favour; especially with later track ‘Hopenosis‘ whose title could be as much a reference to the current public frustrations with American president Obama as it could be to organized religion. That the continual messianic imagery it conjures throughout the lyrics can be taken either way seems to add fuel to the former; which suggests that Forbidden and by extension angry thrash can adapt well to their political climate.
Yet on the other, one cannot help but wonder how far the Californian quintet have indeed recycled and reused past concepts from their earlier works – themes of social stagnation, impending mortality and religious failure are certainly nothing new for them. Either it could be that after such a long hiatus, the band needed to re-tune their memories to their own music and lyrical ideas to create afresh; or even that these issues are just as strong in the twenty-first century as they may have been for the 1990’s.