Thursday, April 11, 2013

Into the Void: The 7th Day of Doom

Tormentor - The Seventh Day of Doom (Demo) (?/?/1987)

Tormentor hailed from Hungary, and are mainly remembered today as the first band of Attila Csihar. They never actually released an official album, and the material that exists from them is incredibly rough and unpolished. Some people find this to be charming. I am not necessarily one of those people. While I certainly appreciate a lo-fi recording, there's a profound difference between something like Transylvanian Hunger, which sounds raw and organic, and this demo, which sounds like it was recorded with a single microphone stuck under downy blanket.

Still, there's plenty to be gleaned from this album, particularly with the knowledge that this tape was extensively passed around the fledgeling black metal scene. Tormentor was a a five-piece band, and unlike the rest of the bands we have encountered so far made extensive use of their dual guitarists to play solos. This tendancy towards wheedly-wheedly guitarism (mostly the solos are just a few notes played really fast over and over and over) reminds me more of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest (or maybe Kerry King) than it does Bathory or Venom. The songs are also goddamn long. I'm not sure if it was some sort of conscious choice from the band, but they have one song that's 5 minutes, one at 6, and one at 7, 8, 9, and 10 minutes (there's also one at 5:30, so maybe not).

Attila's vocals are definitely the most unique element of the recording (the riffs aren't, as all the songs sound pretty much exactly the same to me). He croaks, he howls, he bellows and crows. He's certainly not all that understandable, but I think that may be more due to the production than his particular style of delivery. This album was recorded seven years before he joined with Mayhem, and his voice obviously sounds younger and less developed. But his madcap warblings are an interesting contrast to Quorthon's much more controlled snarl. Both he and his band, however, have a long way to improve, and we will revist them a couple years down the road.

Final Verdict: 3/10 - If this was all that Tormentor left us with, I doubt they would be remembered today

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