If not for the efforts of labels like Metal Mind Productions, forgotten metal gems such as Lament For the Weary might disappear from the face of the earth and not be remembered for their importance in heavy metal history. This is the second album from the Christian thrashers, a group from the UK who created some powerful music but sadly have left us with very little recorded output other than this and their debut The Torment. If you are familiar with that album, then you'll love Lament For the Weary, though there's a healthy mix of Candlemass styled doom flavor here to go along with their European thrash sound. Though the production of this album is very dated sounding today (Metal Mind have done the best they can to clean this up a bit but it's still somewhat muddy), Seventh Angel were a product of the times, when metal was harsh and unpolished, and band's were getting signed without big production budgets, high class producers, and all the latest studio gadgets that are used today.
I mentioned Candlemass earlier, and they seem to cast a large shadow of influence here, as well as early Fates Warning, so expect lots of heavy, crushing guitar riffs, melodic harmony lines, epic arrangements, and dark atmosphere. Opening cuts "Recollections of a Life Once Lived" and "Life in All Its Emptiness" contain plenty of doomy riffs and pounding drum work, while "No Longer a Child" fluctuates between raging thrash and melancholic heaviness. On "Full of Blackness" not only do you get some epic riffs from Ian Arkley & Scott Rawson, but some ripping leads as well, with Ian's gruff vocals adding the perfect amount of agression and anger. Let's remember that this was a Christian band, so if you read along to the lyrics you see the band painting a dark picture splattered with faith and hope. The moody "Woken by Silence" kicks off with some lovely acoustic guitar before huge metal riffs & tasty harmonies come into play, turning this track into one hell of a crunchy rocker. Another real treat is the instrumental "Passing of Years", as the band weaves a mystical spell of thrash and progressive metal, showing off plenty of chops and songwriting skills.
As solid as the band's debut is, Lament For the Weary is just a monster release, and an album that should have been huge back in the day. Unfortunately that never happened, so let's give these guys the credit now for putting together one of the early 90's best thrash/doom releases. Better late than never I guess.
And yes, fans of Rodney Matthews take note-that's his artwork again adorning the album cover, in glorious color all over this digipack reissue.
1. Recollections of a Life Once Lived
2. Life in All Its Emptiness
3. No Longer a Child
4. Full of Blackness
5. Lament for the Weary
6. Woken by Silence
7. Falling Away from Reality
8. Dark Shadows
9. Passing of Years
10. Secure in Eternity
11. Farewell to Human Cries
12. The Turning Tide -bonus track