Early years and rise to near fame (1985–1991)
Forbidden Evil was formed by drummer Jim Pittman and guitarist Robb Flynn (later of Vio-lence and Machine Head). They recorded several demo tapes and appeared on the, now-out-of-print, live album Live At Ruthies Inn - The Eastern Front with their original lineup featuring Craig Locicero (guitar), Russ Anderson (vocals) and John Tegio (bass). Jim Pittman, John Tegio, and Robb Flynn left the band and were replaced by Paul Bostaph (drums), Matt Camacho (bass) and Glen Alvelais (guitar). The band's name was shortened to Forbidden in order to prevent the band from being mistakenly perceived as a black metal band. Forbidden Evil, the band's debut album, was released in 1988. The album included three songs written by former guitarist Robb Flynn: "Chalice Of Blood", "Forbidden Evil", and "As Good As Dead". The debut album line-up lasted until 1989 when Glen Alvelais left the band, later to join Testament. He was replaced by Tim Calvert. Their second studio album, Twisted Into Form, was released in 1990.
Post-Bostaph period and hiatus (1992–1997)
Internal problems in the band caused a line-up change once again and drummer Paul Bostaph (who later took over for Dave Lombardo in Slayer) was replaced by Steve Jacobs. This Forbidden line-up released two more albums, Distortion and Green; however, without strong label support, the band eventually disintegrated.
First reunion (2001)
In 2001, Forbidden reformed as a one-off for Chuck Billy's Thrash of the Titans benefit concert, under their original name Forbidden Evil. Craig Locicero was unable to join the group due to his commitment to recording with Manmade God.
Second reunion and Omega Wave (2007–2010)
In 2007 Forbidden reformed again for some reunion shows in 2008 both in the US and in Europe. The reunion initially featured the Forbidden Evil line-up without Paul Bostaph. Gene Hoglan (of Dark Angel, Death and Strapping Young Lad fame) played drums for the band's first few reunion shows, due to Bostaph's prior commitments with Testament, who had been in the studio finishing a new album. After Hoglan, Mark Hernandez (ex-Vio-lence, Heathen, Defiance) took over on the drums for the band's European tour, which included an appearance on the main stage at Belgium's Graspop festival. They also played some Japanese dates later in the year. After this Glen Alvelais quit the group, stating that he felt he "could no longer take all the accusations and distrust that came with our so-called chemistry." He was replaced on guitar by former Nevermore guitarist Steve Smyth. In the summer of 2009 they toured Europe and the U.S. once more, performing their celebrated second album Twisted Into Form in its entirety.
In 2008 Forbidden began talks with Nuclear Blast Records about recording a fifth studio album for the label. In a post on the band's Myspace page the band confirmed that they were recording a new album, Omega Wave, released in 2010.
Switching drummers and back on hiatus (2011–present)
In August 2011, drummer Mark Hernandez left Forbidden, citing personal reasons. Gene Hoglan replaced him for a few shows, including Alcatraz Festival. In November of that year, the band announced their new drummer selected from a YouTube auditioning process, New Mexico's Sasha Horn but in July 2012 when Camacho announced he was leaving the band to pursue his legal career and Anderson stated his intention to "take a break" from the music business, Forbidden was effectively over once more, with Locicero stating as much in 2013: "“Unfortunately, I think Russ is finished,” Locicero said. “And by the time he would want to step up and do it again, it would be too late. It became painfully obvious to me that Russ really wasn’t cut out for the road anymore and that’s why Forbidden broke up the first time. I ended up doing too much work and I needed everyone to step up and help me out, and the same thing started happening again; when the original members aren’t really motivated, it’s just not fun anymore. So I don’t think I ever want to go backwards again."