Published on May 23rd, 2018 | by Justin G.
Seventh Angel: The Torment (Retroactive)
Originally released in 1990, The Torment was the debut full-length album from UK-based Christian thrash metal band Seventh Angel. The band had a handful of demo releases under their belts, and had appeared on some key Christian metal compilations (I first encountered them on White Metal Warriors – Last Ship Home), but this was their first “real” album.
Seventh Angel’s approach to thrash metal was really interesting. Sure, the expected Metallica/Testament-inspired riffing was there, but there was a degree of technicality on The Torment that you didn’t often see in thrash metal, and the vocals have that tortured/snarled (but not quite growled) style that almost makes this the Christian counterpart to Venom (with a side of D-A-M, Xentrix and maybe Sacred Reich as well).
As noted earlier, Seventh Angel is a Christian band, so the lyrics to these songs reflects that. They range from the biblical (themes from Revelations, as you might expect) to dealing with social issues, but the band’s message is clear. You don’t have to be a believer (ooh, Believer, another good reference point) to enjoy the album though.
Obviously the main audience for an album like The Torment is fans of Christian metal, particularly Christian thrash metal bands like Believer, Deliverance and Detritus. But Seventh Angel’s brand of thrash will absolutely satisfy fans of early Megadeth, Testament, D-A-M, Xentrix, Sacred Reich and even Venom. It’s fast, it’s heavy, and it never gets boring.
Reissue Notes: The Torment was reissued this year by the Retroactive label. It’s Retroactive’s second version of The Torment, but the first was long out of print. The album has been remastered, but there is no bonus material, so if you grabbed an earlier reissue, there’s probably no need to upgrade. If you missed this album before now though, this will come in quite handy. There’s also a limited edition vinyl offering for serious collectors.
Summary: You don't have to be Christian to enjoy this classic thrash gem