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Old January 17th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
Armageddon's Child
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Forbidden - Twisted Into Form

Forbidden - Twisted Into Form



It's not often that I find myself sitting down to review an album with thougts of Bobby Burns echoing in my head. In fact, it's not ever that I find myself doing so, until now. When I pulled my dust laden copy of Twisted Into Form out of the disintegrating old refrigerator box where I keep all the albums I no longer listen to, I fully expected to slag it off and delight in the cries of shock, dismay and frustrated impotence sure to emanate from the ranks of the slighted speed metal fanboys. But, apparently, my memory failed me, because this is, if not a brilliant album, then one that cetainly aspires gamely to excellence. So, once again, the best laid schemes o' mice an' men...

Twisted Into Form is in many ways the archetypal late model speed metal album. Nothing here is particularly novel, instead, Forbidden offers a refined and deepened exploration of the ideas of Metallica, Artillery, Testament, Anthrax and other predescessors. Here, the band excels by refurbishing the hoary discipline of speed metal through applying a greater musical awareness and technical savvy to the tried and true techniques of the genre.

What is truly impressive about Twisted Into Form is the degree to which its more formal elements are integrated fully into core of the album's sound, rather than serving merely as embellishment or distraction. The band's use of a harmonizing lead guitar is especially laudable: they neither apply it constantly and indiscriminately as a gimmick, nor do they use it sparingly and predictably just to spruce up intros and bridges. Instead, it is applied strategically throughout songs, often at dissonant intervals to enhance the sense of furious, frustrated alienation that lies at the heart of most of these (often quite literate) songs. The lead work is equally notable for its pertinence, as the masturbatory glee with which many skilled but stupid guitarists ruined albums of this era is blissfully absent.

Indeed, the musicianship is uniformly superb, technically astute and tastefully executed. While the riffs are simple and direct in conception, they are played with an intricately syncopated precision that belies their bludgeoning intent. Paul Bostaph's percussion is similarly punishing yet subtly complex, particularly in its shifting textures (it's clear that despite the claims of Lombardo fanboys, Bostaph should not be held responsible for the abomination that is later Slayer...as if Christ Illusion wasn't proof enough), and Russ Anderson's vocal performance is among the best of its era, immaculately tuneful, yet filled with spite and bile.

Unfortunately, the band's undeniable ambition is at times undermined by the essential conservatism of their chosen style. The Bay Area sound, of all the major branches of the speed metal tree, was the least removed from its heavy metal roots (and therein lay the core of its appeal to those for whom Slayer was too much and Sodom and Kreator were right out), and it suffered from the inherited defects of its ancestors. The emphasis on explosive rhythmic consummation, while undeniably satisfying on a visceral level, also places stultifying limits on the range of narrative expression, and Forbidden simply cannot match the intricate motivic architecture pioneered by Slayer and expanded upon by subsequent generations of extreme metallers from Morbid Angel to Immortal. Too, the rock-based verse/chorus arrangements the band favors here often stagger under the unwieldy weight of perhaps too many riffs. As a result, Twisted into Form at times seems both mechanically ponderous and painfully dated, as much a thing of the past as the Soviet armored divisions Americans of the time expected to come lumbering through the Fulda Gap.

Where this music redeems itself is in its inspiring combination of passion and sincerity. Even when its grasp is exceeded by its reach, the youthful fire of the band's creative desire and unleashed anger at an illogical world carry the day, and, for all its flaws, Twisted Into Form stands as a fitting epitaph and final monument to speed metal.

8.5/10

Last edited by Armageddon's Child : January 17th, 2007 at 09:38 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should write more reviews of albums you no longer listen to.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice review. It's a very solid album as I recall, I've gotta get around to re-purchasing it. I've got Forbidden Evil on vinyl, it's good but Twisted Into Form is better.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You should write more reviews of albums you no longer listen to.
Or not. Unless, of course, they're actually well-written and not filled with pointless bashing and hate tirades galore
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Old January 20th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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killer thrash album.

cant believe you bothered listening to christ illusion. it should be apparent enough that slayer will never release another even half-way decent album.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Or not. Unless, of course, they're actually well-written and not filled with pointless bashing and hate tirades galore
He always writes well written reviews.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All of his below 60% reviews are pretty bad, and can be suummed up in one sentence: "This fan favorite album is a pile of vomit-inducing, artistically hollow feces, which insults my highly developed intellect". He's better at recommending stuff.
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Still he runs and burns behind him,
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This band had one great album, but it wasn't this one. It's still listenable though, just not quite an 8.5
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Old January 27th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I do enjoy listening to Forbidden occasionally.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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man but the singers voice s so annoying
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Old April 11th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This band had one great album, but it wasn't this one. It's still listenable though, just not quite an 8.5
You really need to re-listen to Distortion again then. I hated it when it first came out, but I've since found it to be really ahead of it's time in the progressive metal genre. It's really a brilliant album.

The only album I don't really care much for is Green.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks. I haven't heard either Distortion or Green. I must check them out.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 02:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Green is VERY underrated.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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one of my favourite bands ever,
"Twisted into Form" and "Forbidden Evil" are absolutely one of my faves.
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