Band: Forsaken


Date: 12/11/2016


Venue: Chateau Buskett


Guests:  Arkham Witch, X-Vandals



Twenty-five years is a long time, isn’t it? I guess it doubles the effort when these years pass for bands that work in a hostile environment. I am not saying that Malta is hostile per se, on the contrary, but I imagine -at least resembling this with our case some more years back- that twenty-five years back, the Maltese metal community had a lot of issues to tackle. But what I’ve learned after visiting Malta four times is that these guys are very persistent and focused on what they are doing, as they have learned to face the odds and challenges. So, Forsaken, the prime metal act from this small Mediterranean country, have completed twenty-five years of successful career and have forced the metal world to lay eyes upon their country. I will not say more about this asset of doom metal that is called Forsaken, but this: to my view they are the most important band the last two decades together with Reverend Bizarre. Bands come and bands go, but Forsaken remain. 




So, November 12, in Chateau Buskett, a rather peculiar and unusual venue for metal events, but very hospitable as I was told by the locals, Forsaken celebrated their anniversary of 25 years of existence. The gig was opened by X-Vandals, the band that Albert Bell, bass player of Forsaken, was member of. We are talking about a genuine old-school European thrash metal band, with menacing rhythms and vicious riffs. Forceful and powerful, they were on good shape playing songs from their career. Arkham Witch followed around half an hour later with this heavy / doom intersection of theirs; the British way of course. Very entertaining, despite their rather uneven set list, they conquered the stage with this Pagan Altar meets Pentagram style of music. They did it well and they seemed to enjoy it; at least I did it in that beer-friendly atmosphere (‘Fucking Hell” was literally running that night). Oh, and they seemed very nice lads (and lass) while mingling with the audience. They won a new fan!







To be honest, I was expecting a grand entrance on stage by Forsaken. Instead, they just stepped on, checked each other with their eyes, and started playing "The Healer" from their debut "Evermore". It is this sort of professionalism I know from the Maltese. Clinical, but with passion, they were gearing up while time passed by. Not too late after the kick off, the band took its initial form, when Kevin Azzopardi on guitars and Cay Schembri on keyboards entered the stage. The 1991 line up was complemented by Sean Vucovic, the regular guitarist of Forsaken, making it a full scheme, with two guitars and keyboards. This exuberant line up gave more depth to their sound, with most critical the addition of Schembri’s keyboards. He added this perverse Italian prog rock essence with baroque-ish sounds that, when coincided with the lead guitar parts of Vucovic in "All is accomplished", created a grandiose feeling. On "Season’s End" Mario Ellul, the second keyboardist of the band, joined the rest of Forsaken and the band inevitably focused on "Anima Mundi" and “Iconoclast". One song later, Rachel Magri, sister of the late Daniel Magri, entered the stage to perform the female vocal parts of "Via Crucis" and "Martyr’s Prayer". It might sound a bit dramatic, but you could feel this extra emotional tension in the atmosphere and this is truly remarkable. Don’t forget that during the process of the gig, things were getting hotter and hotter. All four regular members were delivering faultlessly their parts, but as the Aristotle said "the whole is greater than the sum of its part". The withdrawal of the keyboards and the second guitar did not remove any of the power of the band; everything was played on ten. Which means that, if you can picture it, under the stage there were 250 people stunned and ecstatic from what they were seeing. We even had the chance to listen to a new song, "Serpent Bride", which at that moment sounded like a very grim and dark tune. The last four songs were dedicated to "Dominaeon" (the young brother of "Tales of Creation" as I use for a short description; siblings and of similar qualities, but distinct) and "After the Fall". This part of the set list exceeded every expectation. The concert was concluded with a cover, which was none other than "Black Sabbath". It was delivered in sheer excellence and in the epic/doom metal dynamics that Forsaken know best. I can talk for hours about the band and how great each member was at what he did. The important thing though is that Forsaken is one entity, four guys into one. And most important is that they enjoy what they do in a naοve and straightforward manner, just like young metalheads do. I guess time passes by, but can not alter the qualities you have. If they can be proud of one thing is that they create good music, exceptional if you ask me, with very good attitude.




Bands come and bands go in doom metal, but Forsaken remain. Hopefully they will remain for another quarter of century providing us high-octane epic/doom metal. Let’s wish that this will start happening next year with a new album that we all starve for.






1. The Healer


2. Visions in thy Shadow


3. All is Accomplished


4. Where Angels Have Fallen


5. Season’s End


6. Via Crucis


7. Martyr’s Prayer


8. Carpe Diem


9. Serpent Bride


10. Dominaeon


11. Metatron and the Mibor Mythos


12. Daylight Dies


13. Aidenn Falls


14. Black Sabbath




Photo by: Stefan Ciantar
Report Giannis Tsakonas


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