May 12, 2019

Forbidden - Green (1997)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Groove Metal
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© 1997 Pavement Music
AllMusic Review by Vincent Jeffries
With '80s thrash metal titans Exodus, Testament, and especially SoCal transplants Metallica headquartered in and around San Francisco, it's little wonder that environmentalism -- a subject near and dear to the hearts of many Northern Californians -- was given serious lyrical consideration on many thrash metal recordings. While the members of Forbidden were never afraid to speak up on the subject of man's reckless and destructive treatment of nature, Green's artwork and lyrics suggest that the band's message of man's abuse of man in the name of and via the almighty dollar is this 1997 release's central human indictment. The questioning of humankind's moral identity relative to its economic convictions is only fitting, considering that Green is the final effort of a talented, underappreciated band. Member changes and business difficulties prevented Forbidden from hitting stride, while other Bay Area second wave thrash artists like Testament rose to national prominence on the coattails of the hugely successful Metallica. Co-produced by the band and Patrick Coughlin, Green is a powerful-sounding disc with dense guitars winding around and through fat drum and bass tracks. Just on the quicker side of medium, the song tempos are the slowest ever for the band, which is to be expected as thrash metal had become almost officially passé years before the recording of Green. The straight-up metal of this album has never been entirely unfashionable, seeming to evolve organically while its radical and trendy offshoots come and go, leaving tiny sonic proteins attached to the genre's DNA. Considering Forbidden's extensive musical abilities and prog leanings, the band's slow migration away from the limiting musical hyperbole of thrash is probably more a matter of maturity than fashion. Singer Russ Anderson is at his career best during Green's first two molten tracks, "What Is the Last Time" and "Green," and guitarists Craig Locicero and Tim Calvert more than match his intensity with their piledriving riffs. The material becomes a little repetitive toward the end of the disc, but the clarity and punch never lets up, making Green a fitting swansong from an orphaned but classic metal outfit.

tags: forbidden, green, 1997, flac,