FORBIDDEN: Steve Smyth Copies Randy Rhoads

Reactivated San Francisco Bay Area thrashers FORBIDDEN continue their work at Sonic Room/Audio Voyage Studios in Livermore, California recording their fifth studio album, Omega Wave.  Guitarist Steve Smyth checks in with the following update:

“We began Day 3 going straight back into ‘Adapt Or Die,’ finishing up [the] layering and got done a few hours in. I decided to move into a track called ‘Swine’ next. ‘Swine’ is a little different from the rest of the tracks to me, a little more on the ‘doomy’ side of things, but it has more than a few surprises in there.  I’m not going to give away too much here… you’ll have to wait for it!

‘Swine’ has some cool odd-time stuff at the intro, FORBIDDEN style, and well-arranged by Craig [Locicero] and Mark [Hernandez]!  I sort of created the intro riff for this song by accident. Craig and I were jamming on some of the other songs one day, and I just happened to be noodling on something, not really thinking about anything, and he looked at me, and said ‘What’s that?! Play that again!’  I played it again, and we turned this from something completely unconscious on my part into the intro of the song pretty quickly!  Mark and Craig brought some odd-time and arrangement ideas into it from there, and the rest of the song came right into it.  Awesome!  I’m a huge fan of things happening like that. The riff I’m talking about has the influence of Randy Rhoads and Sabbath in it, no doubt from my years of playing a lot of that stuff in my Ozzy/Sab tribute Sweet Leaf.  A very dark, eerie-sounding (I hope!) arpeggiated pattern that has a moving bass line underneath it as well.  Back to tracking: we started from here, and got the flow going, and moved on through the track, noting certain places where I would put some layered stuff in later, as I wanted to bring out the eerie arpeggio section as much as possible.

“Once this was done, I wanted to move into another song I had a bit more of a hand in writing as well, a song called ‘Behind The Mask.’ This one starts off heavy and moody, and does not let up for a long time!  Very heavy pounding metal with a lot of peaks and valleys, as well as a killer chorus that Craig came up with for this one, which absolutely is heavy as hell, and jumps around the beat; a little tricky, but grooves like a mofo!

“Again, I don’t want to give away the farm on this one, but there’s some really cool stuff I came up with in the bridge that I hope you’ll all dig on; lots of melody in this section, and not the type of instrument or style I think was ever heard on a FORBIDDEN record, but rest assured, I kept it heavy! We ended the day with this track, and moved into the next day from there… I was exhausted, but stoked as f*** that I got both of these tunes happily where I wanted them.”

View all the studio blog entries here.

Song titles on the new FORBIDDEN album are as follows:

  • Alpha Century
  • Forsaken At The Gates
  • Swine
  • Immortal Wounds
  • Hopenosis
  • Adapt Or Die
  • Inhuman Race
  • Behind The Mask
  • Dragging My Casket
  • Overthrow
  • Omega Wave

FORBIDDEN 2010 features Russ Anderson on vocals, Craig Locicero on guitar, Steve Smyth on guitar, Matt Camacho on bass and Mark Hernandez on drums.

Hear two new FORBIDDEN demo tracks, “Adapt Or Die” and “Hopenosis,” and the entire Green album at

Go to SMNnews

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