• 8/10
    SEVENTH ANGEL - The Torment - 8/10


Metal Mind Records
Release date: November 10, 2008

User Review
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In the 1980s, in England, there were two Metal bands who represented two different sides. The first was Venom, from Newcastle, who was once members of the NWOBHM movement, but soon they became a Thrash/Heavy Metal band at all counts, and from the other side there was the White Christian Thrash/Heavy Metal band, Seventh Angel, from Netherton. Both bands played the same sub-genre but one was all about Satan and its peers and the other was totally gospel and discussed Christian issues. When thinking about it, this is some “conflict”. Although Venom went way back and reigned the British Thrash Metal scene along with Sabbat, still Seventh Angel were able to rise up and present God and the kingdom of heaven.

Seventh Angel, is one of the many Metal Mind Records reissues, will get closure on their two albums. Their debut, which will be reviewed here, The Torment from 1990 (exact date is the 1st of December) and their second, and final for now from 1992, Lament For The Weary. Both albums were released under the label, Under One Flag/MFN.

Ian Arkley and Scott Rawson formed the band in 1987 in the West Midlands, England. They released three demos between the years 1989-1990. The 1990 demo, Heed The Warning, was later released with the band’s live compilation in 2005, Heed The Warning – Live and a couple of songs from this same demo were presented in the 1991 five-split album, White Metal Warriors.

Under supervising and production by Paul Hodson, in the Mad Hat Studios in Wolverhampton, the group was able to achieve an almost high quality level of sound. The whole album itself sounds like Thrash Metal infused with classic Doom Metal. This piece’s sound is very dark and provides the sense of Venom, but with the purpose to become the opposite end. One notices these dark sensations by the depressed and filthy guitar sounds along with various chorused, soft and melodic verses. The bass, as in many Thrash Metal bands and even Heavy Metal ones, is in charge of the atmosphere around the tracks. The drums, sometimes, sound like they are not a part of the other instruments but you have to get used to it in a way. The one thing that is annoying is that there are some good tracks here but their endings sound like the tracks were cut off before completion.

Seventh Angel, as it seems from this release, were influenced a lot by Venom’s music but not by their lyrical themes. They mixed Venom’s style with the White Metal theme along with some Classic Doom Metal à la the Swedish Candlemass and the English Witchfinder General.

While listening to their Thrash Metal roots, which Venom are also included in, there are several bands that come to mind like the English Sabbat and a small dose of Kreator and Slayer. Seventh Angel’s music is routine with its Thrash Metal rhythms that are very much like Slayer’s early works. Here are various examples: “Forbidden Desires”, “Tormented Forever” and “Dr. Hatchet”. Nevertheless, they created some amazing melodic solo breaks that make their release, somewhat special, than other English Thrash Metal Acts. In order to make the album a bit more “White”, they added some touches of melodic soft rhythms like in the two epics, “The Charmer”, “Epilogue” and the magnificent, “Katie”. As an example, for the Doom Metal elements just listen to the bonus track “Lamentations”. A final interesting component to the music are the small additional instruments like the flute and other small effects, all managed by the producer, Paul Hodson.

Seventh Angel, as a religious band, talks about their main theme, which is Christianity. Their view of the world has some twists and turns in it. In the first track, “Tormented Forever”, like in any religion, they take on all the sinners and Satan himself. Their third verse in this track very much reminds of the days of the inquisition – accept Christ or die sort of way. The track “The Charmer”, can be recognized as a continuance of the former but less fanatic. It talks about false preachers and the purity of Christ. “Forbidden Desires” is the well known story of the Garden Of Eden. “Dr. Hatchet” has a different sense to it, it’s more like many Thrash Metal songs about maniacal killers. This time it is about a serial killer of unborn children.

Although this sort of theme is regular, Seventh Angel adds the religious message of judgment day and Hatchet’s referral to the evil power. “Katie” is another story about a woman and the devotion to Christ.

Overall, the lyrics are well written and very interesting. Although it was the band’s choice from the get go, the lyrics of religion are, in most cases, repeating themselves a lot and that the track’s main dependence is on the music and its creators.

Arriving at this point, the main character in this group is the vocalist, Ian Arkley. Arkley is both vocalist and rhythm guitarist. From what is inferred from the release, his voice is very versatile and flexible. His voice range is a sort of mix between Sabbat’s frontman and leader, Martin Walkyier along with some Angelripper, Venom’s Cronos and D.A.M’s whiny front man, Jason McLoughlin . This multiple mixture creates a hell of a singer that can do harsh verses along with soft and emotive sections. Another person that should get a mention is the lead guitarist, Scott Rawson, who is contributing a lot for this release with amazing dark, melodic solos like in: “Katie”, “The Charmer” and “Dr. Hatchet”. His solos go especially well with the doomy part of the band’s music.

Seventh Angel made a more than solid release but they had somewhat failed to touch this Thrasher’s feelings although it holds those excellent pieces like “Katie”, “The Charmer” and even the strong doomer, “Lamentations”, that are full of emotions. However, in general, the Brits did the job on their first release. The fanatic opener, “Tormented Forever” is a killer track; totally, a thrasher along with “Expletive Deleted” and the best of all thrashers here, “Dr. Hatchet” – killer of the unborn.

This was part one of two reviews on the English Christian Thrash group, Seventh Angel. The band did well on their first attempt to rock the boat. Let’s see how good their second release was and its impact.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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