"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Forbidden - "Omega Wave" (CD)

Forbidden - "Omega Wave" CD cover image

"Omega Wave" track listing:

1. Alpha Century
2. Forsaken At The Gates
3. Overthrow
4. Adapt Or Die
5. Swine
6. Chatter
7. Dragging My Casket
8. Hopenosis
9. Immortal Wounds
10. Behind The Mask
11. Inhuman Race
12. Omega Wave

Reviewed by on October 21, 2010

"At just over an hour long, the album feels like it's overstaying its welcome by the time 'Inhuman Race' comes around."

For many metal fans, the recent resurgence in thrash metal has been a welcome return. Not only can they now see many of the old guard again, but a good proportion of them are making, or have made, new albums. A few years ago, people weren't sure Forbidden would ever play again. Skip ahead three years, and their new album "Omega Wave" is ready to hit the shelves.

The album starts with a two minute instrumental entitled "Alpha Century" (see what they did there?) and while it doesn't quite give the album the full throttle start one might expect from a thrash album, it provides a good introduction for the song "Forsaken At The Gates," which is where things start to get interesting. The first fully fledged song as such, "Forsaken At The Gates" is a sonic assault of everything that makes thrash so good. It sounds as ferocious as a thousand wolves and grabs the listener like music should. Frontman Russ Anderson may not quite have the voice he once had, but it's still very impressive, sounding like a happy medium between Tom Araya and Chuck Billy and he uses it to it's fullest extent on this song especially. Definitely one of the best on the album.

Although "Overthrow" and "Adapt Or Die" are both good songs, "Swine" is one of the record's true highlights, taking the tempo down a little to give a much more doom-laden groove, introducing some variety, which is always interesting. Here, Anderson's vocals show a good range and compliment the track perfectly, reaching underground-level lows and soaring highs. The same can be said for "Dragging My Casket," which features some truly amazing melodic vocals, as well as plenty of intricate guitar work.

Unfortunately, from "Immortal Wounds" on, the album takes a noticeable decline. By this point, the lyrical themes of death, destruction and the apocalypse have become extremely boring, with two-minute interlude "Chatter" feeling like nothing more than a waste of time. The music itself also starts to feel a little repetitive at this point, leading one to believe that "Omega Wave" could certainly do with being a few songs lighter. At just over an hour long, the album feels like it's overstaying its welcome by the time "Inhuman Race" comes around.

Highs: "Forsaken At The Gates," "Swine" and "Dragging My Casket."

Lows: "Inhuman Race," "Immortal Wounds" and tedious lyrical themes.

Bottom line: If you're a hardcore fan of Forbidden or thrash in general, chances are you'll like "Omega Wave," but don't expect it to be the best thrash metal comeback album of the century.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)