Seventh Angel were a Christian thrash metal band from the UK who burst on the scene in 1990 with their debut The Torment. Thanks for the folks at Metal Mind Productions, this little gem can once again be enjoyed by the metal faithful, or discovered for the very first time. The latter is probably the case for many, as these guys never really broke into the thrash mainstream, much like fellow Brits Xentrix, despite releasing some very solid material. The Torment is filled with some great riffs, tunes like 'The Charmer" and "Tormented Forever" bursting with guitar power from Ian Arkley, who also handles vocals and sounds at times like Jon Oliva of Savatage fame. His crunchy power chords on "Forbidden Desires" plays off the wall of pounding drums from Tank and Simon Bibby's melodic bass grooves, and the bassist takes plenty of lead space on the grinding "I of the Needle", a tune that reminds of Sirens era Savatage.
"Locked Up in Chains" is a track that's sure to get your blood pumping and head banging, the Savatage-meets-Candlemass riffs are a perfect reminder of the era, and propel this behemoth track from start to finish, save for a ripping guitar solo. Nice to see the band drop in some tender acoustic guitar picking on "Acoustic Interlude", which segues into the album's epic track "Katie", a near 10-minute classic that combines thrash, doom, progressive and power metal all into one raging maelstrom (something Fates Warning used to do so well back in the 80's), resulting in one of the darkest and most powerful pieces on the album.
Metal Mind's remaster comes in a nice digipack, complete with recreated artwork, lyrics, and an essay on the band, plus the bonus demo track "Lamentations". Despite the remaster treatment, this is still a product of its era, so expect the somewhat muddy late 80's/early 90's sound, which is kind of dated, but still possesses a certain charm. Oh yeah, the cover art was done by Rodney Matthews, acclaimed artist who has also worked with bands like Magnum, Nazareth, Asia, Tygers of Pan Tang, among others.
1) Tormented Forever
2) The Charmer
3) Forbidden Desires
4) I of the Needle
5) Expletive Deleted
6) Doctor Hatchet
7) Locked Up in Chains
8) Acoustic Interlude
11) Lamentations-bonus demo track