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SEVENTH ANGEL- Demo Collection

Seventh Angel is/was a British metal band, led by Ian Arkley, whose music was a hybrid of thrash metal and doom. Legends in the christian metal scene, Seventh Angel only released 3 full length albums, The Torment- 1990, Lament for the Weary- 1991, and Dust of Years- 2008. Arkley has continued singing for metal bands, most notably My Silent Wake, where he has furthered the thrash/ doom hybrid SA was known for and developed his signature death metal growl, but has distanced himself somewhat from the christian metal scene. This cd compiles 4 different demos: Red Demo- 1989, Rehearsal Demo- 1989, Heed the Warning Demo- 1990 (all preceding their debut The Torment), and Dust of Years Demo- 2008 (preceding the Dust of Years album.) Some demos have been released before, but this is the first time the early ones have been released for public consumption, mostly because Arkley says he was embarrassed by the lyrical content of songs like "Dr. Hatchet"(a pro-life tune).

The demos, are clearly that- demo quality- but fans will enjoy seeing the progression of what started as a promising young Iron Maiden knock-off band with Sardonyx vocals to become the legend that they are now. Love that rumbling Steve Harris- like bass. There are 2 markedly different versions of "Heed the Warning," and many of the songs, such as "Dr. Hatchet," "Locked Up in Chains," "I of the Needle," and the chainsaw thrash guitar assault on "Forbidden Desires" ended up on the band's 3 official releases. Notice how much darker and doomier the final 2 songs are. Arkley's death metal growl "Did you leave me all alone?" on "Lamentations" sounds much more like his current band MSW. Methinks Arkley was being too modest, I'm sure fans really want to hear some new music from Seventh Angel, but these demos and My Silent Wake cds will slake their thirst... for now. This cd is in digipack format with pictures of memorabilia and old gig flyers and the demo covers themselves, with new liner notes from Ian Arkley himself. If you've never heard Seventh Angel, obviously I would suggest you start with one of their 3 major releases, but this disc is a gem for fans and collectors. (Bombworks Records) 4 out of 5 stars

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