Forbidden – Omega Wave Review
As dawn breaks somewhere over the Plains, I pop in Forbidden Omega Wave (2010). Red sky in the east and the symphonic metal opening track seems all the more appropriate – “Alpha Century.”
2. Forsaken at the Gates – The opening instrumental slides seamlessly into “Forsaken at the Gates.” Soaring guitar solos in the bridge mark the power of Forbidden, who are deeply rooted in the thrash tradition. Lyrics are powerful – “Turn around and die. You are denied. Forsaken at the gates.”
3. Overthrow – Elements of power metal, especially in the latter half of the song. Harmonious vocals are interlaced in the chorus and bridge – with the harshness of the typical metal growl. But even that growl is understandable without reading the lyric sheet.
4. Adapt or Die – A song with heavy political undertones, but it has a timeless appeal as governments and even religions are always changing throw elections, war, usurpment. A very Darwinian philosophy to be found in these lyrics. Easily one of my favorites on this album.
5. Swine – Back to the thrash roots here, but with rolling chops. I can close my eyes and see the adept long fingers dancing over the neck of the guitar. March ever onward in the apocalyptic endtimes.
6. Chatter – Song title is just that – a sampling of news feeds and talking heads mixed together in a clusterfuck underneath a stark, haunting melody of guitar.
7. Dragging my Casket – Chill. A more nu-metal sound that could be hard rock radio friendly. Forbidden “pop” stars? Highly unlikely, but it would fit with what is being played now on the KATT (100.5 FM OKC), KMOD (97.5FM Tulsa), et al. Clocking in at 6:47, it is a bit long for what the program directors prefer, but it is long enough for that DJ smoke break. Regardless, I do like this one as it shows an evolution of sound over what Forbidden was when I met them so many years ago at the Rock Island in Wichita, Kansas. “Burned by the fire, stole my desire.”
8. Hopenosis – Sticking with the 2010’s new metal flavoring, a hard edge, and tight backbeat on the skins, this song takes a bit to draw you in, but once you are there, you find yourself joining the chorus. “You promised to show us the way. . . . You gave us hopenosis, illusions, psychosis.” Scathing against religious more than politics, but I have to wonder a bit, with the 2008 campaign slogan of the man who won the US presidency.
9. Immortal Wounds – Back to thrash modality. Chugga, chugga, chugga. Militaristic.
10. Behind the Mask – Nothing striking here, but I have the feeling that this is the song that will end up as the closing credits song. That’s just the type of feel it has to me. At the position of track 10, it’s very nearly the closing credit song. And it even fades out – just like a movie song would.
11. Inhuman Race – Power metal meets the thrash undertones.
12. Omega Wave – title track – “I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end” The whole album has been about the end of what is now and the becoming of what will be – a shift in a thinking, in polemics, the overarching mindset of the human culture.
Overall, this is a strong album and I think one of their best to date, but this is just this reviewer’s opinion. The weakest track is “Behind the Mask” but it has its place within the grand scheme of the album. The songs tie together but can be taken out of their place and listened to and enjoyed individually. I would like to see radio play, and not just on Sirius/XM of “Dragging my Casket,” but this might take a radio edit version first.
Listening notes: Purchased and downloaded from emusic.com. Mp3’s played on my Lenovo R61e Thinkpad listened through the noise cancelling, in-earbuds that came with my Samsung phone. (Review originally written on June 7, 2012 on the northbound Amtrak Southwest Chief line.)