Forsaken

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From their MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/forsakenmalta

Forsaken are: Leo Stivala (vocals), Albert Bell (bass), Sean Vukovic (guitars), and Simeon Gatt (drums) they remain one of the most consistent and long-standing bands in Malta's underground scene throughout its ten-year existence.

The band started out as progressive metallers Blind Alley and the initial line-up, formed in September 1990, featured Leo Stivala (vocals), former Fall Out keyboardist Cay Schembri, Kevin Azzopardi (guitars), Simeon Gatt (drums) and Tony Azzopardi (bass). The band adopted the epithet Forsaken shortly after the recruitment of ex-Kremation and Vandals bassist Albert Bell in July 1991. The new line-up set about writing new material that displayed an array of influences amongst the plethora of sub-genres in the Heavy Metal scene resulting in the band's first and only demo to date, entitled "Requiem". This served to attract a great interest in the band, which culminated in a deal with the French underground independent label Arkham Productions. The band released its debut 7" Ep on Arkham entitled "Virtues of Sanctity" in July 1992. The Ep featured a re-worked version of "Where Angels Have Fallen" from the "Requiem" demo and another track called "Confessing My Desolation". The Ep was released to widespread acclaim in the underground scene furthering the band's recognition with Doom Metal enthusiasts world-wide.

In May 1995 another mainstay in the band's repertoire "Moon Dancer" was recorded at Temple Studios (Malta) and was the band's first experience with the famed local producer David Vella. "Moon Dancer" highlighted the band's penchant for emotive lyrical themes and was also Forsaken's contribution to the first all-Maltese underground CD compilation "The Storm Has Begun" released on June 24th, 1995 on Storm Productions.

In February 1997 the band released its long-awaited debut CD entitled "Evermore" on Storm Records. This CD release, featuring tracks such as "Madrigal", "Season's End" and "The Healer" received favourable reviews in a number of established underground zines, including the notable Metallian Mag (France). On the 4th January, 2001, Daniel Magri, the band's longest serving guitarist, passed away after a long and courageous battle against cancer. Daniel's contribution to the band was indeed outstanding. He had helped to re-orient the band's sound after his recruitment in 1992 and had been instrumental in the composition of several of Forsaken's most memorable tracks, including "Confessing My Desolation", "Sufferance", "The Healer", "Season's End" and "Rubicon". Despite his illness, Daniel was still highly active in the band, and was central in capturing the band's sound on "Neon Knights" - a cover version of the monumental Sabbath track off "Heaven and Hell", which the band contributed to a Mk II Black Sabbath trubute entitled "Dehumanised Witch" released on MidWest Metal Production (USA) in 2000. Daniel, however, will not be remembered only for his artistic ingenuity. Apart from being a highly resourceful musician, Daniel was moreover a great friend and his companionship shall leave an indelible mark on the band.

In February 2002 Forsaken opened a new chapter in their eventful history with the release of a three-track demo simply titled Demo 2002. The demo features a re-worked version of the perennial Where Angels Have Fallen, Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross) and A Martyr's Prayer. The demo is aimed to showcase the band's contemporary musical direction. This sees Forsaken entering into unchartered territory whilst consolidating their progressive, doom metal roots. Shortly after despatching the demo to various labels, the band was approached by Golden Lake Productions (Scotland, UK) with a concrete offer for a new record deal. Taking into account the label's enterprising status in the UK underground metal scene and its strong and concrete interest in the band, Forsaken felt no hesitation to forge a new partnership with Golden Lake Productions. The band's record deal with Golden Lake saw the band release a MCD entitled "Iconoclast" toward late summer 2002. The MCD featured four tracks;"Where Angels Have Fallen", "Via Crucis (The Way Of the Cross), "A Martyr's Prayer" and "Wither the Hour" for a total running time of 35 minutes. This was soon followed in 2004 by the full length release "Anima Mundi" on Golden Lake Productions. Both this album and the MCD have received an incredible response throughout the world from fans and media alike and have catapulted the band to the forefront of the doom metal scene. The next release on Golden Lake was the re-release of the "Evermore" CD, which was re-mastered and includes the "Neon Knight" cover recorded in 2000. This was released in January 2005 and is limited to 1000 copies only, they are a few left.... November 2005 saw the band release "Dominaeon" where the band took their fire-brand of doom metal to new heights! The Masters of Doom returned with a crushing masterpiece of dark and heavy doom metal. Each track is a classic, filled with hauntingly dark and heavy riffs and soaring vocals from Leo Stivala. Two tracks also feature a full male choir to add even more of a grandiose aura. An awesome blend of heaviness, melody and headbanging metal. After more than three years in the making, Forsaken now return with "After the Fall". Released on April 1st 2009, this new album marks Forsaken's first collaboration with Sweden's I Hate Records. The album continues with Forsaken's tradition for melodic, heavy epic doom metal but with a rawer edge than their previous works. The band have tried every effort to ensure that After the Fall is more than a worthy successor to Dominaeon.

See also

Dominaeon Album Review (Michael Bugeja - The Malta Independent 11 Jan 2006)

Forsaken To Launch New Album (Michael Bugeja - The Sunday Times of Malta 05 Apr 2009)

Keeping It True (Michael Bugeja - The Sunday Times of Malta 14 Jun 2009)

Facts about "Forsaken"