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30th anniversary from Forsaken’s release of ‘Virtues of Sanctity

Forsaken are one of Malta’s most established bands and require no introduction. They have exported their brand of doom through Europe and beyond. Formed in 1990 as ‘Blind Alley’, they changed their name to Forsaken in 1991. In the same year they released their debut demo ‘Requiem.’ I can vividly remember, then a student at the Junior Lyceum (Hamrun), getting my hands on a copy of that demo. It took place of preference in my walk man for many months.

In 1993, Forsaken became the first Maltese underground act to release a 7 inch single on a foreign label. This came as a result of the band signing to Arkham Productions (France). ‘Virtues of Sanctity’, released in July 1993, included two tracks, namely ‘Where Angels Have Fallen’ on Side A and ‘Confessing My Desolation’ on side B. Recorded during November 1992, the tracks were produced and engineered by Tony Scott. ‘Where Angels Have Fallen’ also featured in their debut demo ‘Requiem.’ This continued to cement Forsaken’s reputation as an emerging southern European talent to look out for.

Soon after the band issued a video for ‘Where Angels Have Fallen.’ Shot at Rinella (Kalkara), the video was directed by Alfie Fabri. Looking at the venues the band played after the release of the ‘Virtues of Sanctity’ one can get a bit confused, but that’s how we did it back then, any place was a ‘good venue’. It was all about coming together and having a good time. To name a few .....the Domus Hall (Zebbug), Birzebbuga Sailing Club etc. The band played also at the Harlequin Club (Paceville), prior to touring France and Spain to promote the EP.

Forsaken’s line up at the time of recording was as follows:

Leo Stivala – Vocals

Albert Bell – Bass

Kevin Azzopardi – Guitars

Daniel Magri (R.I.P. 2001) – Guitars

Simeon Gatt - Drums

Additional vocals were provided by Roseanne Zammit. The Maltese themed cover was designed by Joel Grevost and photos are by Dino Mangion.

Well, ’Virtues of Sanctity’ was just a prelude for Forsaken. The band never looked back, reaching new heights ever since.

References: Times of Malta, August 27, 1993 page 17

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