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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)