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Forsaken

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Not to be confused with a later band from Sweden named the Forsaken, the Maltese quintet simply known as Forsaken helped put the small Mediterranean island nation on the international heavy metal map.
Active in one form or another since as early as 1990, Forsaken had coalesced into a steady unit featuring vocalist Leo Stivala, guitarist Daniel Magri, keyboardist Mario Ellul, bassist Albert Bell, and drummer Simeon Gatt by the time they released their highly individualistic first album, 1996's Evermore. Boasting a fascinating mixture of classic, doom, and progressive metal tendencies under one roof, the record's momentum was unfortunately sabotaged when Magri -- barely 25 -- suddenly became afflicted with cancer, eventually losing his battle in 2001. In the meantime, Forsaken's career had been on an extended hiatus, but after sticking with their ailing friend throughout his convalescence and then mourning his passing, Forsaken appeared ready to resume their activities; 2003's rapturously acclaimed Iconoclast EP (featuring new guitarist Sean Vukovic) initiated their comeback, and an additional pair of very fine albums -- 2004's Anima Mundi and 2005's Dominaeon -- show that Forsaken continues to expand upon their progressive doom inclinations undeterred. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi

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