Forsaken – Malta
Forsaken, one of Southern Europe’s longest standing and premier doom metal outfits, were formed in 1990 under the moniker “Blind Alley”. Based in Malta, the band adopted the epithet “Forsaken” in 1991 and released their debut demo “Requiem” toward the end of that same year. In 1993 the band signed to Arkham Productions (France) for the release of a 7″ Ep entitled “Virtues of Sanctity”. Between Feb – March 1994, together with French thrash metal band Oddmongers, the band toured France and Spain to promote the Ep’s release. Forsaken moved to local label Storm Records for their debut full-length “Evermore” (1997). After a lengthy absence from the studio, the band returned to Temple Studios (Malta) to record a cover version of “Neon Knights”, which was featured in the Black Sabbath MK II (Dio-era) tribute called “Dehumanized Witch” (Mid-West Metal Records – USA). In 2002 the band released a three-track promo demo, which attracted considerable label interest. In the same year the band signed to Golden Lake Productions (Scotland, UK) and released their much celebrated “Iconoclast” Ep.
Forsaken’s second full-length album called “Anima Mundi” (also released on Golden Lake Productions) was issued in February 2004 to widespread critical acclaim and is the band’s best selling release to date, The album was also released in DLP vinyl format together with all the Iconoclast Ep tracks as bonus in early 2005 on Immortal Vinyl Records (Germany). After this first DLP release Immortal Vinyl Records released “Dominion” (2006) and the re-mastered version of the band’s debut album “Evermore” on vinyl (in DLP format) featuring various exclusive bonus tracks.
Golden Lake Productions re-released the band’s 1996 debut album “Evermore” on CD early in 2005. During the summer of 2005 the band relocated to Temple Studios for the recording of their third full-length and most widely acclaimed full-length album to date -“Dominaeon” – focusing on a conceptual and introspective lyrical theme dealing with the pathway to spiritual enlightenment and divine revelation. With the famed Polish artist Jowita Kaminska (Exodus, Manilla Road, Emerald, Dantesco, Attacker etc) handling cover artwork duties, “Dominaeon” has been applauded by various critics as one of the milestones in contemporary doom metal, even clinching the No 1 spot in December 2005’s studio test by Heavy Mag (Germany). The band responded to this undisputed hallmark in its discography with the equally enthralling yet perhaps more primal “After the Fall” – released in 2009 on Sweden’s I Hate Records on both CD and vinyl format and gathered strong reactions in Malta and worldwide. The band was quick to follow up “After the Fall” with the release of a 12” Split EP titled “Tales of Doom and Woe” with Finland’s Fall of the Idols (on vinyl only) on the same label in 2010. Forsaken’s new album (the band’s fifth full-length) titled “Pentateuch” is scheduled for release in October 2017 on Denmark’s highly reputed Mighty Music Records – Forsaken’s new home for the years to come. Fans can expect Forsaken’s trademark and evocative epic doom to permeate their latest instalment, which revolves around a thematic lyrical concept based on the first five
books of the Old Testament and musically sees the band taking their passion for epic doom metal to new heights.
Over their many years of plying their trade on stage, Forsaken built a strong reputation as a powerful and emotionally charged live doom act. Apart from countless local gigs and their mini-European tour in 1994, the band played in various reputable heavy metal festivals all over Europe including, the first and fifth editions of the Doom Shall Rise festival (2003, 2007 Germany), the Headbangers Open Air festival VII ( 2004, Germany), Keep it True V (2005, Germany), Elements of Rock Festival (2007,Switzerland), Dutch Doom Days Festival (2007, Netherlands), Doom Metal Inquisition (July 2008, Bradford, England), Cross Music Metalfest (October 2008, Friedewald, Germany), Day of Doom (November 2008, Dortmund, Germany), Brainstorm Festival (November 2009, Netherlands), Hammer of Doom festival (October 2011, Wurzburg, Germany), Neuborn Open Air festival (August, 2012, Germany), Play it Doom Festival (Brescia, Italy, January, 2015 and followed up with another gig in Italy at the Nero Extrema Club at Reggio Calabria in April 2015), Dordrecht Doom Day (May, 2015, Netherlands), Spring Doom Depression Festival (April, 2016, Vienna, Austria). Forsaken also supported NWOBHM legends Angel Witch in the latter’s show in Malta in May, 2014 and appeared in five editions of Malta’s foremost heavy metal festival – MDM (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) since the festival’s inception in 2009 and other leading rock and heavy metal festivals on the Island including the highly reputed Metal Over Malta (2017), Shellshock festival, XMA, Notte Bianca and the Farsons Beerfest. Forsaken featured at Poland’s Rock Hard Ride Free festival in June 2016 together with NWOBHM giants Saxon and Raven and seminal Swedish band Candlemass alongside other notable bands including Primal Fear (Germany) and Behemoth (Poland). 2017 saw the band re-visiting their fans in Calabria, Italy for a one-off show with Thrashers Nuclear Detonation. A long-awaited visited to Hellas for a three-way show with Hellenic epic metal giants Reflection and Achelous (both forming part of Forsaken’s extended true metal family in Greece and beyond) was undertaken successfully in May, 2017. The band is presently considering more bookings for gigs in Europe and beyond after the launch of their much anticipated new album in Malta in October, 2017.
The band’s current line-up reads: Leo Stivala (Vocals), Sean Vukovic (Guitars), Albert Bell (Bass) and Simeon Gatt (Drums). In 2001, one of the band’s longest-serving members, Daniel Magri (Guitars) sadly passed away after a long battle against Cancer. Forsaken clinched the MMA (Malta Music Awards) Best Heavy Rock/Heavy metal band award twice – in 2003 and 2009 and were also nominated for the same award in 1997.
After the Fall