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Forbidden's 1988 debut unleashed a band who had some serious power and an interesting technique with the already sharp thrash metal sword, but they just couldn't pull it together for a consistently excellent record. The quality was directed into three insanely awesome tracks, but the rest lacked the extra edge that those three possessed. Their followup to Forbidden Evil would be no other than this album - the aggressive and tense Twisted into Form. This album is much more consistent than the debut, but it is also a bit different in that it's a much more complex and ambitious. The wild thrashing brilliance in the vein of "Chalice of Blood" won't be found here, rather, Forbidden twisted their energy into a more thoughtful and deeper form of thrash that really is quite unique.
This album's construction is a bit unique when compared to pretty much any other thrash album you can think of; this isn't full of catchy riffs and thrash breaks, nor does it bring any total brutality that would take the place of those values. So what kind of thrash is this? It's very, very tense. Each verse pounds along with fierce direction and every instrumental section looms over you with a dark, fearsome resolve. It's a bit surprising upon first listen, as you'd expect either some catchy, riff-happy thrash or some violent madness. Where other thrash smashes your face in or cuts you to pieces, this one just impales you with forceful, direct blows. There's also a lack of other traditional thrash tendencies like mosh sections and whatnot, this thing just doesn't waste its time with those. You're going to be hammered on relentlessly with only brief respites offered in the acoustic interludes. It definitely is an odd hammering that may take a bit of getting used to, but the music here is forceful, effective, creative, and actually extremely memorable.
So while this is a different approach from the thrash you may be used to, it's quite rewarding after you begin to dig in. The riffs are aggressive and energetic, while the drums serve as a complete percussive war machine that launches missiles from all sides in the form of unusual yet effective cymbal usage and complex rhythms. Russ Anderson's vocals are still powerful and soaring in nature, but he has found a way to keep them leashed so that he never sounds out of place like he occasionally would on the previous album. There's only one track that keeps it relatively simple (ironically, it's the best on the album - "Step by Step") while the others feature a myriad of different lead breaks and complex riff assaults. Keep in mind that these aren't riff sections like you'd find on other thrash albums, these pound away at you with furious resolve and they pretty much don't let up at all until another musical monster rears its head.
This aggressive and tense style is pulled off spectacularly, but as you may have guessed, it does overextend itself a bit. Sometimes the varied songwriting catches up with the band causing some unfocused sections. This is the total downfall of "One Foot in Hell" which is a song that does absolutely nothing for me with its strange vocal parts and haphazard riffing. Also, you'll also find yourself losing focus from time to time in some of the instrumental sections like in "R.I.P" but thankfully there's some seriously brilliant soloing that graces a good number of songs here in order to drive things even further. If the band could have cut a few of the musical wanderings out in favor of sections similar to the lead break of "Infinite" or the catchy riffing of "Step by Step" this may have resonated with me a bit more, but the unrelenting and thought provoking nature of this album still manages quench a thirst that only this can satiate. It may get a bit overextended here and there, but it never gets boring, which is a huge plus.
Overall, Twisted into Form manages to play in a league of its own, with basically zero who can match it at its own game. This side of technical thrash is definitely something interesting and unique, but the ever-gripping nature of this record sets it apart not only from anything you could compare it to but even the album these guys before this one. I'd recommend this to anybody on a search for some thrash that kicks things up a notch, not in catchiness or brutality, but in thoughtful, complex aggression that stands as a brand all on its own. I definitely prefer tracks like the legendary "Chalice of Blood" or the completely badass "Through Eyes of Glass", but this album as a whole utterly towers over Forbidden Evil in every single way. That one just doesn't bring it like Twisted into Form does, and you'd do well to give this a shot. This isn't perfect, but it is excellent, and definitely worthy of your time.
Back in 1990, we had already survived the first shock waves of thrash metal. The stunning effect of the groundbreaking debuts of those bands that have a legendary status today began to fade away. Almost every band was heading for new shores and a less harsh approach was spreading like a virus. A lot of formations began to flirt with the establishment. Forbidden marked no exception. However, in contrast to the vast majority of their competitors, they were able to create excellent melodies and to combine them seamlessly with a metallic fundament. With regard to this skill, it was no problem that "Twisted into Form" did not achieve the aggression level of "Forbidden Evil", the furious debut of the band. The second full-length scored with almost fragile parts and thundering sections as well. Aside from the filigree music, Russ Anderson's performance went beyond the usual scope. In addition to his powerful screams, he did not forget to demonstrate that he was also able to sing in the narrow sense of the term. Inter alia "Out of Body (Out of Mind)" gave him an opportunity to develop his full potential.
This highlight did not only possess a certain spirituality, which thrash bands rather seldom offer. At the same time, it covered the whole range of Forbidden's vision of gripping thrash. The forceful and offensive, almost rumbling beginning led to an evocative chorus, but the most outstanding feature was the finely adjusted melody that showed up at 2:19. Forbidden did not tend to focus on progressiveness and I don't think that they intended to appear very intellectually. It was rather a natural process that the guys integrated a few innovative ideas with great ease. All different parts merged into each other and generated a fantastic result. Yet one could not only concentrate on this track. The entire A side made a very strong statement, because the fusion of technical competence, intuitive musicality, atmospheric parts and generic thrash riffs was second to none. Regardless of whether one was listening to "Step by Step", which combined slightly bulky riffs with a smooth chorus, or to "Infinite", the more or less straightforward opener with siren-like guitars at the beginning, each and every song proved the great compositional abilities of the band. Forbidden seemed to be the new kings of the world wide thrash community. However, as we all know, things did not turn out that way.
At the time of its publication, I was highly convinced that "Twisted into Form" was another absolutely immaculate Bay Area thrash album, on the same level as "Hell Awaits", "Seven Churches" or "Bonded by Blood". I loved every track, including the emotional intro and the brief guitar instrumental with its weird and ominously growing atmosphere. 26 years later, I freely admit that I was wrong. The B side offered only three regular tracks. At first, I thought that one of them, "Tossed Away", is slightly weaker than the remaining pieces. Today I know that it failed to withstand the test of time. Its melodies - and Anderson's accusing vocals as well - were not very exciting. To be honest, this relatively uninspired track has turned out to be a real downer, not in absolute terms, but in comparison with the remaining tunes. At the other end of the quality scale was the titanic "R.I.P.", which opened the B side. It underlined that Forbidden consisted of musicians that had an open-minded attitude without forgetting the key characteristics of thrash metal. It's always good to know where you stand and already the debut had shown that the guys had studied the doctrines of the sub genre very carefully. Therefore, the accurate riffs, the dynamic arrangement and the dramatic pre-chorus of "R.I.P." came as no surprise. Seven and a half minutes presented many facets of thrash, but its energizing liveliness and the variety of the guitars were the most impressive features.
It goes without saying that the precisely cutting riffs required an adequate sound. Fortunately, the album benefitted from a clear, powerful and pinpoint mix. In alignment with the musical direction, the band and its recording team were not interested in an overly brutal approach. It was a breathing production - hopefully you know what I mean - that left enough room for every musician to demonstrate his skills. Neither Paul Bostaph nor the guitarists hesitated to use this room in the best possible way. Probably inspired by their wide-ranging opportunities, they found the perfect balance between professional seriousness and impulsive spontaneity. This mixture is still rare to find, but this is only one of many reasons why every genre fan needs to know this full-length. Despite its minor defects, it is a monument of intelligent thrash metal.
I am honestly disappointed that even among my friends who are thrash fans, this album’s name hardly ever comes up. I mean forget the album, not even Forbidden’s name emerges from the never-ending list of thrash bands. Which is a damn shame because seriously, with the exception of probably Rust In Peace, this album blows any of the “Big Four” releases out of the water. Yep, believe it or not it’s true. It is just that good. Period. The ethereal acoustic picking of the intro track “Parting Of The Ways” exudes a classical influence almost sounding like a lost interlude track of Opeth (just like the other interlude “Spiral Depression”) before bursting into the thrash madness that is the rest of the album. Unlike a lot of thrash out there, this album comes with a healthy dose of variety as well.
“Infinite” is simply one of the best songs on the album and man when that riff at 0:52 kicks in, you’ll be forced to do nothing else but thrash the fuck out! With a truckload of technical sections incorporated into the song and a bone-crushing breakdown to boot, this is one cracker of an album opener. Exactly the way all classic albums are meant to be. The title track has some of the best chugging sections I’ve ever heard in thrash interlocked perfectly with the vicious technical licks that the band is known for plus a mindbogglingly brilliant solo sounding like Judas Priest on crack. “Out Of Body” has some of the most technical riffing and an amazingly haunting acoustic outro with a ridiculously catchy chorus which you’ll be screaming along with after the first listen itself “Out of, out of body, out of mind. Out of, out of body, in my mind!” Same story with “Step By Step” which is in fact, even more addictive. “Tossed Away” is one of the more accessible songs on the album even featuring a bit of clean singing in the middle. “One Foot In Hell” has to be one of the more darker songs simply because of the oppressive atmosphere it conveys with some of the heaviest and fastest riffs on the album coming to a close as you wish that this masterpiece was only a little longer. Sure, 40 minutes is the perfect length for any thrash metal album out there, but an album with this level of quality and punishing riffage, it does leave you wanting more. At least in my case.
One can argue that this album is pretty much a culmination of the progression and advancement of thrash ever since its inception and many of the thrash bands at the time only dreamed of making an album this good with all the addictive elements that make thrash one of the most kickass genres out there - catchy choruses, rifforama madness and a healthy dose of punk making the songs stick to your brain like superglue while also compelling you to mosh the fuck out. Very few thrash albums out there capture all the ingredients the way this one does. I mean sure, their debut was pretty good especially for a band that just started out but man this album is their debut gone interstellar. “R.I.P” is one of the songs where the progressive influence really shines through with its hammering riffs (some of the best riffs in thrash, bar none) battering your brain into a taste of thrash hell and its long winding and twisting structure. Bottom line is: This album freaking compels you to obey its command of thrash till death by moshing and headbanging like there’ no tomorrow.
Still claim that you’ve heard the best thrash has to offer without listening to Forbidden? Sorry to be a killjoy but no, you haven’t. Get this album and you’ll understand.
Thrash metal has always been noted for its adherence to orthodoxy, perhaps far too often given how many of its original torchbearers varied their craft about as much as the prime movers in metal other various sub-genres. There has been this tendency to overplay the slavishness to the basics that dogged many of the late-comers to the scene (anyone putting out an album after 1988) and also overemphasize those more extreme characters among the earlier pioneers that tilted more towards either a death or black metal character before said styles fully separated from what is now recognized as thrash metal. The loss of perspective that this tends to create is best demonstrated by the existence of albums such as Forbidden's extremely unique yet generally familiar sounding sophomore offering Twisted Into Form, an album title that would seem to convey the often ugly way in which society manifests itself, but largely conveys how an existing formula can be manipulated until an entirely different form emerges musically.
Despite taking some very obvious cues from other noted Bay Area acts that came a bit earlier such as Metallica, Testament, Exodus and even a slight helping of Slayer here and there, this album functions on a very different level that anything that those bands put out up until this point, and also diverges drastically from more technically oriented bands from the east coast and the mid-west in its more rugged and aggressive Bay Area demeanor. The thick and punchy character of the riff work hear on these songs, which also possesses a nimble and gallop-happy flavor that is all but a precursor to where Jon Schaffer was going with Iced Earth's early LPs, is just a bit too heavy and menacing to be mistaken for the lighter and speedy demeanor of Toxik and Watchtower, though vocally some of Russ Anderson's cleaner and tuneful moments bear some resemblance to their handiwork despite the bulk of his contributions here having a gruff sound along the lines of a more disciplined and measured Tom Araya. In fact, some of the higher pitched wails on here flirt with Geoff Tate territory in their degree of slickness and polish.
But for all this album's clear signs as an album rooted in typical Bay Area cliche, it's just way too fancy and nuanced to really be mistaken for anything else that was done at around this time period. Perhaps the closest comparison could be Heathen's Victims Of Deception, which came out about a year later and was far longer in scope and closer to a late 80s Metallica sound. The frequent yet not overdone usage of harmonic guitar moments is a brilliant display of flash and precision, occasionally resembling the more dissonant and chromatic character of how Slayer approaches harmonies, but also leaning a bit more on a consonant and sorrowful element that's reminiscent of Metallica's approach. Rhythmic twists in the whole arrangement, underscored by the disciplined character of the rhythm section and the elaborate yet controlled character of the guitars, occur with greater frequency than usual but stop short of being jarring. Likewise, while the employment of acoustic guitar work and atmospherically tranquil points of contrast has been employed frequently in this style since the mid-80s, this album raises the approach to an art form and doesn't hesitate to spice things up with a more flashy display than what Metallica had put forth at any point in the eighties.
At the end of it all, Twisted Into Form provides an extremely interesting stylistic twist on Bay Area thrash metal while still being a 100% Bay Area album in every respect. There is precedent for everything that occurs on it from previous efforts, and yet it comes off as fresh and unique when experienced in its entirety even to this very day. It makes a statement that thrash metal can be quite intelligent while inserting itself into real world issues, and that can be reflected in a sound that is still quite fast and powerful despite taking an approach that's more varied in feel and tempo than offerings out of Exodus in the later 80s. It doesn't merge in progressive elements in the manner that Voivod was doing, but instead takes a progressive look at what is already going on within the style's existing components. Calling it pure thrash wouldn't be a mistake, even if the term tends to conjure up examples that are far less technical and involved. It's sugared over a bit with flashy lead guitar wizardry that goes slightly beyond what tends to be associated with the more widely heralded offerings of the Big Four, and it's a bit more complex and intricate than most, but like any good thrash album, it lives and dies by attitude and aggression.
Count me among the few that while cognizant of the fact that Glen Alvelais' departure did a number on Forbidden's collective musicianship, appreciate Twisted into Form far more than the debut. Personally, this is no small claim to make, as Forbidden Evil's unrefined, ballistic constitution runs scorched earth bombing missions on most challengers and is a Bay Area juggernaut hampered only by a marginally steep drop-off in quality concerning any song not titled "Chalice of Blood," "Through Eyes of Glass" or "Feel No Pain." A mere two years later and Forbidden is apparently in an altogether different place. The abstract societal rants of the debut have been pushed aside to make room for the aspiration that comes with perceived maturity.
Twisted into Form is often lauded for this maturity, with Russ taking on more auspicious and topical themes such as astral projection and addiction, all alongside Locicero's characteristically angular riffing style. Newly-recruited Calvert also bites off a sizable amount of compositional real estate, and the final product is certainly a juggernaut that pushes the Bay Area sound to then-new extremes. Although not quite as innovative as it could have been for its time due to the early '90s release date, Twisted into Form is the real fucking deal, and more than holds up when measured against such straining expectations. There is a more immediate sense of tension here, threaded throughout a truly dark and clandestine atmosphere. The true abyss indeed, with Russ Anderson's banshee wails barking orders atop a monolith of clashing, concentrated and chaotic riffs that balance brooding leads alongside incendiary rhythm antics with a distinct style that the band seemed to lose soon after this point (Distortion comes nowhere close), although the inky atmosphere was somehow retained.
So with the stage set, Twisted into Form upends floorboards and expectations as it rifles through seven wrecking balls that range from galloping and catchy ("Step by Step") to contemplative and tense ("Out of Body (Out of Mind)"). Anderson is all over this thing, having by now developed something of a signature vocal style that bursts past petulant and goes straight for harpy-esque high notes. I've heard many cite his performance as a detriment due to being so omnipresent and suffocating, but Russ had one of the best clean singing voices in all of thrash, and he works up a decent sweat throughout Twisted into Form, fusing the aforementioned with a more throaty bark to ultimately cover a lot of ground. Craig's obtuse leads are right behind him, and the raspy guitar tone adds some gutter spice to an album that could have easily become overproduced and distractingly-polished.
My favorite song is ironically the one that I hear the most complaints over, that being "Step by Step." A song about the dangers of addiction with a positive spin ("It just gets worse until you pull through") is intriguing enough from a conceptual vantage point, but the song's greatest appeal is that it successfully stands in stark contrast to the six-plus minute juggernauts that take up the majority of the record. The riffs are harried and come in fast, putting the listener in a proper headlock instead of musing authoritatively concerning religion like "One Foot in Hell." Two songs that exist on opposite ends of the playing field, yet Forbidden make both work just fine. Other cuts like the title track are divisive burners more centered and driven by the rhythm section, replete with Bostaph's manic fills and mechanical intensity.
Twisted into Form, a nearly perfect storm elicited by the tag-team that is Craig and Russ, yet a one-off when it comes to this level of brilliance as far as Forbidden is concerned. The band was never able to replicate the quality present here, trying to siphon the ichor-infused atmosphere on the followup Distortion but overshooting their goal and falling face-first. Maybe I am appreciating this more than it deserves on a nostalgic level, but I hold Forbidden's first two records in very high personal esteem, Forbidden Evil for its calamitous vibe and Twisted into Form for the unsettling darkness it spreads. Apparently a hard sell for some, but when I am in need for well-gestated Bay Area bombast, I tend to grab this record first. If you don't know Forbidden, this is as good a place as ever to start. The band fizzled out quickly, but few of their peers managed to come close to touching this one.
This was 1990, the year of Rust in Peace, Persistence of Time, By Inheritance, Never Neverland and Seasons in the Abyss so you had to be pretty damn good to stand out amongst the crowd. At this point in time the thrash scene was brimming with bands the world over, and with the rapid progression of the scene you could easily pigeonhole the bands into certain categories. Forbidden was part of the second wave of Bay Area bands, falling nicely into the progressive/technical niche, and quickly establishing a name for themselves with their awesome debut album Forbidden Evil.
Twisted Into Form is a collection of nine tracks (with two bonus tracks on my reissue), two of which serve as acoustic intros to the following tracks, both of which a deftly handled courtesy of guitar wizard Tim Calvert and band stalwart Craig Locicero. What we have left are seven tracks of pure Bay Area thrash metal with a technical slant, and for my money Twisted Into Form serves as one of, if not the finest examples of the Bay Area sound. Each and every band member is on the ball here, and Russ Anderson delivers his finest vocal performance to date, wailing at the most opportune moments as well as utilizing his more aggressive mid range.
Opening up the album we have one of the acoustic intros "Parting of the Ways" which touches on themes that appear in the follow up track and true opener "Infinite". "Infinite" serves as the perfect introduction to the sounds heard throughout Twisted Into Form; this is a showcase in riff development and modulation with the lead guitar work on this track - and the album on a whole - being incredible. Another pro move is bridging the final riff of "Infinite" into the next track "Out of Body (Out of Mind)", which is a masterpiece of ass kicking thrash. Next up is one of my personal picks from the album: "Step by Step". Now excuse me while I bang my head...
From the title track onwards we hit the more progressive side of the album, with longer track lengths in "R.I.P" and "One Foot In Hell". The latter of which I feel is probably the weakest link of the album, although still a quality track I feel most of the ideas used here had been demonstrated to a far superior potential in the preceding tracks. Not to mention it's the only track Tim Calvert doesn't have writing credits for (coincidence? I think not). Rearing backwards, I believe "R.I.P." deserves a little attention here, this is the longest track on the album, opening up with some quality percussion (Bostaph really takes names and kicks ass here) and it's not long before it's full-on thrash territory. This track serves as the equivalent of an underground roller-coaster twisting and turning through dark alcoves.
I've went on quite a bit, but in all honesty this is Twisted Into Fucking Form. As far as I'm concerned this album is untouchable. Forbidden would never again touch the heights of this album again. I'm sure most thrash fans own this by now, and if not, then put this top of your priorities, cancel your schedule and crank this the fuck up.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com (although slightly edited)
This album has the best guitar work, best vocals, best drumming, best bass lines, best solos, best lyrical meanings, and best consistencies in all of thrash metal. Nothing competes or even comes close to this album. The technicality of the each song is phenomenal. Each songs structure is mind blowing, Russ' vocals are groundbreaking, and the production is solid. These are all the reasons this is the number one thrash album of all time. If you are a true thrash metal fan, there isn't a single track that you wouldn't like. It has it all you could ever want, need, or dream of. I will try and give at least on strongpoint of each album, but not to much.
The album starts of with an amazing acoustic guitar intro, known as Parting of the Ways. The guitars are amazing in this song. This runs right into the classic track Infinite. This song is possibly the best on the album besides One Foot In Hell. Russ shows a lot of his vocal talents throughout the song. The drums and bass are the strongpoint that keeps a constant rhythm throughout the song, and the solos are as good as they come. Next is Out of Body (Out of Mind). Again Russ deeply expresses his talents on this one. The main riff has enough technicalities to impress any guitar player. The best part of the song would probably be the chorus it is extremely catchy. Next is Step by Step, a song about drugs, and fighting off the addiction of drugs. The great part about this one is all the instruments tend to be in synch with Russ' vocals; it sounds perfect during the chorus.
Twisted Into Form has amazing structure to it. A lot of thought was put in to this track. The song couldn't have been anymore perfect. Every instrument was represented well. Also the lyrics are great, basically about religion brainwashing the masses, but not meant in a satanic way. The next one is R.I.P. It's a great track that starts off with a nice drum and bass intro, really making the rhythm section stand out in this song. The chorus is catchy and puts Russ' amazing pipes to work. They slow it down with Spiral Depression, which is similar to Parting of the Ways. It’s a mind bending instrumental track that features only acoustic guitars. A great way to transition into the next track, Tossed Away. It has a slower setting that has more intricate riffs than the others. They keep it this way for pretty much the entire song. The chorus is great in the song, and it is an extremely good track. The last track is One Foot In Hell. They definitely finish on a high note with this one. The riffs have a lot groove, which matches the drums perfectly. It also has great lyrics about people who consider themselves religious, but in actually are sinners.
This album couldn't have been any better. Every aspect of this album is amazing. This is thrash metal at it's best. That's why it gets a 100 out of 100.
Long, long ago I was perusing through the stocks of a friend’s CDs which were up for sale at reasonably low prices. This is where I got many band’s albums that I have now; Dark Angel, Overkill, Nuclear Assault and so on. But there was one CD he had that I was to damned stupid to buy, Forbidden’s Twisted Into Form. Well, once he sold out his stock I tried other means to try and get a hold of this album, ebay---failed…badly---a local store called Hastings, whom claimed they could order this CD in for me…they lied. So in the mean time of trying to get Twisted Into Form, I got Forbidden’s debut and was blown away entirely. But some time down the road one of my friends got a hold of a copy of this album and let me borrow this. From first notes I automatically knew the superiority this album held over Forbidden Evil, and it completely astounded me how much two years could change a band.
From the get go this album is exceptionally dark, and quite foreboding, essentially the same atmosphere Coroner managed to generate on their classic debut “R.I.P.” The album begins with a classy acoustic instrumental, entitled “Parting of the Ways” which flows seamlessly into “Infinite” which displays the chance that had happened in a mere two years. It seems to me that this album relies mostly on darkened melody and slower but more bludgeoning riffs. They also take on a more epic song structure, similar to the track “Through Eyes Of Glass” on their debut which works well to their advantage. But back onto “Infinite”, the track just flows well through out and Russ’ haunting vocals are surely the highlight of the track, and quite frankly the album in general. The album moves onto “Out Of Body (Out of Mind)” which is one of the thrashier tracks featured, speedy and complete with Russ and co. doing some good old fashioned thrash gang vocals. And the album slowly flows onto “Step By Step” which is the Achilles heal of the album. To me it sounds incredibly forced and like a stab at popularity. Now don’t get me wrong here, I like this song, but when compared to the rest of this master piece it sticks out like a sore thumb. The rest of the album fades into obscurity about this point, hold “R.I.P.” and “One Foot In Hell”, the latter of which has an incredible bridge, and a great solo to boot.
One of the true highlights in this album is the production put into it. As I’ve stated before is that it’s pretty dark and downtrodden, but in the good sense. Essentially, to get a good idea of how this album sounds is imagine Coroner’s “R.I.P.” but with a far superior sound. Everything’s balanced out pretty well, and once more as I’ve said before the real highlight of the shebang is Russ Anderson’s vocal talents and the shredding solos by Calvert and Locicero.
The lyrical themes to this album are a bit beyond the usual clichéd stabs at religion, politics and environmental issues. This is my personal favorite selection: “Obsession, religious belief
Worshipped on Sunday, forgotten all week.
One foot in hell.
Taking the truth form the book and then twisting it.
Feeling they're touched by the lord.
Loving their neighbor, yet tasting the flavor of sin.
But seeing no wrong.
Cramming the wisdom that righteously flows in them.
Walking the crooked strait line.
Closing of minds to these innocents crimes.”
True, oh so true. But where to end this review? This is such a brilliant album, and a truly underappreciated classic in the genre. If you haven’t heard it yet, well, I feel sorry for you, and I strongly suggest you go find some way to listen to it now—97%.
Most say "Forbidden Evil" is their best, but I disagree, although I like Forbidden Evil alot, this album just offers so much more, where as Forbidden Evil was a bit immature sounding, and the production being really sloppy, this is the opposite, this sounds like they really took time to write it because it's so...different, they developed their own sound on this for sure.
As I said the production is excellent on this album, a huge improvement over Forbidden Evil, now don't think because I said it's excellent doesn't mean that it's over the top, I mean it's just right, not overdone, yet everything is heard, If I had the chance to change the sound on this, I wouldn't, it's got the right tone for this band.
Glen Alevais isn't present on this album, instead, Tim Calvert is, and does a very nice job with Craig Locicero, they create some wicked riffs, stellar leads, and some very nice acoustic work as well, so I think replacing Glen Alevais with Tim Calvert was a good move on their part, that's the only lineup change, the rest are the same.
Russ Anderson deserves a section all to himself, I mean this guy is just...amazing, listen to that range, and he's also very diverse, can sound rough and clean, great vocalist.
Paul Bostaph we all know is an excellent drummer, and if you doubted it before, this will change your mind, some killer fills, and very technical I might add.
The album starts off with "Parting of the Ways" which is a nice acoustic intrumental, it really sets the tone for the album, and then, BANG, just like that "Infinite" kicks on, starting with some nice fast thrash riffs, and amazing vocals, listen to that doublebass by Bostaph! very catchy too, absolutely amazing, great way to start off, "Out of Body (Out of Mind)" is another favorite of mine from the album, very thrashy and catchy, and some great vocals by Russ, interesting lyrics...dealing with, you guessed, out of body experiences, some nice acoustic work by Calvert at the end too, "Step by Step" is probably the most popular song off this album, as it had a video made for it, this is one of the fastest on the album, catchy chorus as well, The title track follows suit, another great one, but I don't want to make this review too long, so I'm gonna skip down to "R.I.P" progressive thrash at it's best here, this has a very doomish feel to it, still thrash yes...but different, some amazing guitar work here, very technical, and clocking in at 7:36 it's the longest song on the album, "One Foot in Hell" is a great way to close off a great album, another very doomish sounding song with more great vocals by Russ Anderson, and interesting lyrics as well.
Unfortunatly, Forbidden would go down the tubes after this, as they abandoned this sound, which they shouldn't have done, anyways, this album is excellent from start to finish, if you like progressive thrash, you MUST get this...it's a bit hard to find as it's out of print, good luck!
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.
This album would be the culmination of Forbidden's short, but undoubtedly successful Thrash Metal career (later would come the album Green...but it isn't anything great). Twisted Into Form is a high quality technical Thrash metal album. Everything about this album is matured so to say...as there were issues with Forbidden Evil being a little infantile sounding. There is no problem in the riffing department here...infact things can be learned from the riffing on this album. Russ Anderson's vocals are in high gear as always...this guy has a phenomenal range and will really suprise you if you aren't expecting much from him. The lyrics on this album are one of the main things that make it a better album than Forbidden Evil....they are well written and thought out lyrics...nothing silly...all balls. The song structure is the other thing that puts this one above Forbidden Evil....no drudgery in any song....well balanced between mid-paced riffing and high energy riffing....great soloing and tons of memorable melodies...particularly found in the chorus..but even the verses are memorable on this one.
The album starts out with a short clean instrumental entitled "Parting of the Ways" that carries an awesome melody which flows effortlessly (as the whole album does) into the first full length song "Infinite"....the distortion picks up and the same melody is carried on into this song. This is definitley one of the best songs on here...it is a great opener. Next is another one of my favorites "Out of Body (Out of Mind)"...this song has some great riffing on it and has a fucking awesome chorus....very memorable. Track four is "Step by Step"...awesome song....continues with the direction of the album...lets move on. Next is the title track, which is another great song that keeps the album chugging along beautifully. Now we get a highlight of the album "R.I.P." a great specimen of the great song structuring by Forbidden on this album....another one of my personal favorites. "Spiral Depression" is the next song with is another short clean instrumental that leads into the next song "Tossed Away"...another great song in the same category as "Step by Step" and "Twisted Into Form". Finally, we come to the end of the album....and oh boy is it a great end...."One Foot In Hell"...the title alone is enough to let you know this song is going to kick some major posterior. Another great specimen of the outstanding song structuring put forth by Forbidden on this album. The verse of this song is just so fucking great....awesome riff....awesome melody and cool fucking vocals....best song on the album following closely by "Infinite", "Out of Body (Out of Mind), and "R.I.P.".
This album completely rips, slays, roars, etc. Get your hands on it at all costs.....and hold on to your testies....they will attempt to cower into your pelvic region upon hearing this Thrash Beast!!!