3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2004
This is the pinnacle of bay area thrash. Along with Testaments release Souls of Black, and Megadeaths Rust in Peace, 1990 turned out to be a hell of a year for thrash. This album containes highly melodic, fast, technical thrash and Russ Anderson's voice is honed to perfection for this one. Every single song is a winner but of course most people will probably love "step by step" and "out of body" the best. If you love thrash, this is a god @#%^ must have. Everyone knows Forbidden rules, and this was their best album.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2007
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.
on June 6, 2014
I have owned this CD since it was released, so mine has a lot of millage on it. It's too bad not many have heard of Forbidden - even those into thrash/metal. Back in the day this was super-underground. You either heard about it from friends or you frequented the record stores every week and looked through the new releases which appeared to be thrash or heavy ass metal. This for me was one such album. Forbidden kicks so much ass! Ripiin' guitar riffs and a kick ass drummer in Paul Bostaph. He lays down some sick syncopated beets which were almost unheard of in the Thrash genre. Russ also has a great voice for Thrash. Not too throaty or high-pitched (I listen to King Diamond or Overkill if I'm in the mood for falsetto vocals). Every track on this album is awesome. High energy, aggressive, good rhythm, great solos... My only gripe is the mastering job, but hell, this is underground metal and the budgets were never more than minimal. You can't go wrong with this one, but if you're reading this, you probably already know that. This is solidly in my Top-10 all-time favorite Thrash albums with the likes of Anthrax's 'Among the Living', Slayer's 'Reign in Blood', Megadeth's 'Peace Sells', Testaments' "The Legacy", etc. It's that damn good!
on July 26, 2015
If you are a Thrash Metal fan (Exodus, Anthrax), this is a MUST HAVE CD. Start to finish it doesn't disappoint. The vocals may not be everyone's favorite, but I personally really like them. Awesome drumming and guitar work. It touches on some religious negativity, but that doesn't both many people nowadays, just be warned.
on December 27, 2005
This album came out in the 90's, when the thrash scene ruled the charts and the Bay area bands like Megadeth, Exodus, Vio-lence and others were on the pinnacle. This album is more technical than "Forbidden Evil", but for me both are great!!! Also check out: Heathen, Defiance, Sacred reach and many others.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2006
The best release from Forbidden and for younger Slayer fans who want to check out what Bostaph was doing before joining them this is the one to get. He simply shreds here as does the entire band. But beware. This is 80's cheese at its finest. While it did come out in 1990 it does not represent the 90's at all. This style was still popular until the fall of '91 when the release of Nirvana's Nevermind decimated every thrash and glam band in existence. And that was a good thing. The big hair, makeup, spandex, tight jeans testosterone style needed to be done away with. It was getting old. Try not to laugh when the singer lets his pipes rip...ooooooooooooAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!