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Forbidden - Biography



Logos similar to this (obviously without the word "Evil") were used after the name change, until the one shown above was brought in, after the release of the second full-length. The early Forbidden logo still appeared on the 1992 compilation of their early material.


Forbidden was part of the second wave of thrash metal bands which arose from the Bay Area Scene (along with Testament, Death Angel, Vio-Lence, etc.), and though full of promise early on, they never broke through like many predicted.

Originally formed in 1985 as Forbidden Evil by vocalist Russ Anderson, guitarists Robb Flynn and Craig Locicero, bassist Matt Camacho, and drummer Paul Bostaph, the group slugged it out around the Bay Area club scene like hundreds of other up-and-coming garage bands inspired by thrash originators like Metallica, Slayer, and especially Exodus. Flynn wouldn't last long (going on to form Vio-Lence, then Machine Head), but with his replacement, Glen Alvelais, the band gradually built a following and eventually signed with Combat Records. Their 1988 debut 'Forbidden Evil' received largely favorable reviews and they set out on the road with fellow thrashers Exodus, Death Angel, and Testament. Forbidden then recorded a live EP at the 1989 Dynamo Festival in Eindhoven, entitled 'Raw Evil: Live at the Dynamo'. But unlike their friends Testament, who had successfully pulled off the same stunt two years earlier and solidified their footing with European audiences in the process, the record won them few new fans.

Guitarist Alvelais quit to join Testament shortly before the recording of 1990's 'Twisted into Form' - a less inspired but more focused collection of technical thrash, which still failed to break new ground. Then, like many of their peers, Forbidden fell prey to the dwindling interest in thrash metal symptomatic of the early '90s, and a 1992 best-of collection called Point of No Return seemed like the end of the road. Yet the band persisted, despite their near-obscurity and the defection of drummer Bostaph to the mighty Slayer in 1994. New drummer Steve Jacobs joined the group for 1995's 'Distortion' and the band broke up shortly after the release of 1997's 'Green'. Guitarist Calvert went on to join power metal band Nevermore, while Locicero, Camacho, and Jacobs formed Manmade God.

In 2001, Forbidden reformed as a one-off for Chuck Billy's Thrash of the Titans benefit concert, under their original name Forbidden Evil.

On October 5, 2007, reported that Forbidden has reformed again for some reunion shows in 2008 both in the US and in Europe - and confirmed for some summer festivals. The reunion did not feature either the Forbidden Evil line-up or the one with Jacobs. Gene Hoglan (of Dark Angel, Death and Strapping Young Lad fame) played drums for the band's first few reunion shows, due to Bostaph's prior commitments with Testament, who had been in the studio working on a new album. After that Mark Hernandez (ex-Vio-lence, Heathen) filled in on the drums for the band's European tour, which included an appearance on the main stage at Belgium's Graspop festival. Japanese dates were also lined up for later in the year.

According to various reports on, Forbidden are rumored to be in talks with Nuclear Blast Records about recording a fifth studio album for the label. If it is released, that would be the band's first album of new material since 1997's 'Green'. Forbidden confirmed they are planning a new album in a myspace post in August 2008.