Incubating for 20 years, and recording from June to August this year in their bedrooms, local progressive rock band Forbidden Planet recently launched their debut album, From The Bedroom To Oblivion. Despite having to juggle between their day jobs, social lives, and family commitments, the four-man band’s first album boasts impressive guitar works, awesome technical instrumental skills and great postproduction mixing.

Progressive metal fans would liken this album to big names in the subgenre like Dream Theatre or Symphony X, less the vocals. Post-rock fans would be reminded of material from other instrumental bands like Mogwai. The album as a whole is a mish-mash of gen-res – one would detect elements from metal, rock, jazz and even classical music. Ultimate-ly, this is an album that is truly personal, an album that is a conversation between the mu-sicians and the listener, a conversation with them as they share what excites and inspires them.

From The Bedroom To Oblivion kicks off with a gentle, sombre and notably humble piece, “Circular Logic”. Its clean guitars in a soothing melody does well to set the right mood and prepare you for the powerful tracks that are about to hit your gut. What you’re about to ex-perience over the next 11 tracks are pieces meticulously crafted with finesse and control. These guys know how to make music, and they aren’t shy to show it.

Adam’s lead guitars are wonderfully clean, beautifully controlled and a great example of technical mastery. The second track, “A Fine Line”, is a great example of how mood shifts within the songs in the album. Clean guitars alternate with segments of carefully distorted sounds and mindful use of effects. The track, “When 7 Ate 9” similarly jumps from a mood mode to another; it’s springy riffs one moment and hard hitting chords in another. We can’t help but compare his playing style with that of John Petrucci: technical, deft and playfully mercurial.

Roy’s bass lines provide the flesh and depth to the tracks in the album, with the occasional subtle and coyly teasing bass riff that demands you listen closely to hear it. Laurence’s drums do well to set the pace and weight, especially on the song, “Can I Borrow your Base”. As the guitars and bass drop the heaviness, the drums compliment the mood with some serious hardcore hitting.


Photo Courtesy of Forbidden Planet

When it comes to instrumental music, the golden rule to sounding great is: “less is more”. And this album certainly gets it; the musicians respect each other’s space and synergise well to maintain a great sonic integrity. Everyone is together, yet know well to maintain boundaries between segments to flow in steady and harmonising rhythm.

The album adorably concludes with a progressive rock interpretation of Bach’s “Cello Suite No 1 Prelude in G Major”. That’s a big name, we know, and one most of us wouldn’t dare to say we’re intimately knowledgeable of, but even those unacquainted with classical mu-sic will find the track as one that still manages to come across as really groovy in an elec-tric tingling sort of way.

From The Bedroom To Oblivion is definitely a solid and thoroughly impressive debut al-bum with balanced sounds and powerful instrumental skills. The band is currently working on material for live performances as well as their second album. I personally can’t wait to hear more from Forbidden Planet.

From the Bedroom to Oblivion is now available on digital download at: Bandcamp, iTunes, or Spotify.

All images courtesy of Forbidden Planet.

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Chi Weng Hui