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|Origin||Halesowen, West Midlands, United Kingdom|
|Years active||1987–1992, 2008–present|
Under One Flag / Music For Nations
|Associated acts||Ashen Mortality, My Silent Wake, Fire Fly, Detritus|
Andrew "Tank" Thompson
|Past members||(Full list)|
Seventh Angel are a British Christian metal band that formed in 1987. The band was known for its combination of doom metal and thrash metal. According to Cross Rhythms magazine, they were considered to be thrash metal pioneers, and they released the albums The Torment (1990) and Lament for the Weary (1991). These records achieved mainstream distribution through Music for Nations label, making Seventh Angel label mates with such groups as Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Although Seventh Angel disbanded in 1992, "for a long time [they were considered to be] the best metal act in the UK", claims Cross Rhythms. The Daily Telegraph called Seventh Angel "one of the leading Christian thrash metal bands in Great Britain."
The band headlined the Metal Meltdown festival in 1990, played concerts in Germany and the Netherlands, and they were featured in both Channel 4 and BBC TV for several live performances of their Greenbelt festival concerts. The guitarist/vocalist Ian Arkley went to form the doom metal band Ashen Mortality. On 23 May 2008, the group announced their reforming. The current line-up consists of the original members Ian Arkley, Andrew "Tank" Thompson (drums), Simon Bibby (guitar), and Mark Broomhead (bass). On 24 June, the band released their third album The Dust of Years.
Demo era (1987–1989)
Seventh Angel was formed in 1987 by Ian Arkley and Andrew (Andi) Blount with Scott Rawson joining very soon afterwards. In August 1988, the first drummer Andrew Blount was replaced by Andy Hopkins who played with the band until December. For a brief period, Stuart Benton was trialled as vocalist but this was short-lived.
In early 1989, Mark Ruff joined as their drummer. The first demo Seventh Angel was produced in 1989 with Ian playing lead guitar, bass (as Neil A Kray) as well as vocals. A few days later Simon Bibby joined to play bass and the band began to play local concerts around the West Midlands. The band played its first concert in May in Netherton, West Midlands.
In August 1989, Seventh Angel performed their 5th concert at the Greenbelt festival, supporting the American rock band One Bad Pig. Afterwards Mark Ruff left and Seventh Angel toured the United Kingdom, including Ireland, with the American heavy metal band Whitecross. Colin Brookes played drums during the tour. Andrew "Tank" Thompson replaced Colin on drums. The second demo titled, The Rehearsal Demo, was recorded whilst Scott Rawson had a short break away from the band.
Channel 4, The Daily Telegraph, and The Torment (1990)
On 25 January 1990, Seventh Angel appeared on Channel 4's Not on Sunday programme which featured a performance of "Divine Takeover" and a band interview with Brian Redhead. Later that year The Daily Telegraph described Seventh Angel as "one of Britain's leading Christian thrash metal bands." The demos received positive reviews in various magazines.
On 14 February, Ian Arkley and Simon Bibby were involved in a car crash in which Bibby broke his arm and Ian damaged several of his teeth. However, the band was able to play their confirmed concerts. Simon took over on vocal duties and Scott played bass for the gig following the accident.
Between 12 and 14 March the third demo titled Heed the Warning was recorded and mixed at White Rabbit Studios in Bridgnorth with Paul Hodson. Afterwards the band recorded their first album entitled The Torment at Mad Hat Studios in Wolverhampton by the same producer. The British fantasy artist Rodney Matthews painted the cover painting for the album.
Over the next few months Seventh Angel some local venues around Dudley and Stourbridge, including five performances at The Rock Tavern in Brierley Hill. The band headlined Metal Meltdown in November, which was Simon Bibby's last concert as he left the band in February.
BBCTV and Lament for the Weary (1991)
Simon Jones joined in to play bass and Seventh Angel performed concerts around Horsham and Stourbridge during the spring. The band played festivals including Harry and Crossfire. Seventh Angel toured the UK with Toranaga from 21 March to 7 April, playing 11 concerts.
The second album, Lament for the Weary, was recorded in ICC studios, Eastbourne, with Roy Rowland from the 4 to 16 July 1991. Lament saw the band combine doom metal elements to progressive thrash metal. The album received positive reviews.
Seventh Angel performed on the mainstage of Greenbelt festival on 23 August, sharing the stage with the American progressive metal group Galactic Cowboys. In October 1991, after a concert in Croydon, Scott left the band, as did Simon Jones after the Greenbelt festival concert and the band continued with only Tank and Ian Arkley as permanent members.
Foreign concerts and disbandment (1992)
On 7 December 1991, the band played a concert at Christmas Rock Night in Ennepetal, Germany. Jon Willis played bass on this occasion. Also filling in for bass during the next few months were Earl Morris of Detritus and Nic White.
Over the next few months the band played some festivals and concerts around the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. On 30 May, Seventh Angel played in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Mark Broomhead of the fellow thrash metal band Detritus played bass at the time for Seventh Angel, and the band played a concert at Greenbelt festival on 28 August, sharing stage with the reputive Swedish progressive doom metal group Veni Domine.
Seventh Angel toured the Netherlands from 9 September to 12 October, and from 12 November until 12 December. Mark Broomhead became a permanent member of the Band, and despite work towards a new album for the now three piece, 12 December 1992 saw Seventh Angel's last gig in Utrecht, the Netherlands and the band split up shortly afterwards.
Ian Arkley went to form the doom metal band Ashen Mortality in 1993; Tank formed rap metal group Freekspert and later SukMunki; Mark joined with other former Seventh Angel bassist Simon Bibby on epic doom project Amaranth and later experimental rock band Fire Fly.
Comeback and The Dust of Years (2008-)
Seventh Angel announced reforming on 23 May 2008. They also announced the release of a new album. The current line-up consists of the original members Ian Arkley, Andrew "Tank" Thompson (drums), Simon Bibby (guitar), and Mark Broomhead (bass). The group also launched an official Myspace. On 1 October, the Polish label Metal Mind Productions announced re-issuing the band's first two releases. The band has written half the song material for their new album, according to the press release. The re-issue of Lament includes a newly recorded bonus track titled "The Turning Tide". The song features similar thrash/doom style the band is known for, albeit with death growl vocals as opposed to the previous thrash shouting. In late 2008, the band performed concerts in Brainstorm festival, Netherlands, and Nordic Fest, Norway. On 3 March 2009, Blabbermouth.net reported that the band would enter studio The Priory in Birmingham with Greg Chandler of Esoteric to record their new album. The cover art was provided by Matt Vickerstaff of Darkwave Art. On 6 March, it was announced that the band signed with Bombworks Records to release the album. As reported via their Myspace, during 19–23 March the band recorded the album, entitled The Dust of Years, which was released on 24 June.
- Seventh Angel (demo, 1989)
- The Rehearsal Demo (demo, 1989)
- Heed the Warning (demo, 1990)
- The Torment (1990)
- Lament for the Weary (1992)
- Heed the Warning - Live (2005) (A collection of demo and live material from the early 90s)
- The Dust of Years (2009)
- Ian Arkley - guitars, vocals (1987-1991, 1991-1992, 2008-present)
- Andrew "Tank" Thompson - drums (1989, 1989-1992, 2008-present)
- Simon Bibby – guitars (1987-1991, 2008-present)
- Mark Broomhead – bass (1992, 2008-present) (ex-Detritus)
- Stuart Benton – vocals (1988) (prior to the first recordings or live performances)
- Andrew (Andi) Blount – drums (1987-1988) (prior to the first recordings or live performances)
- Andy Hopkins – bass (1988) (prior to the first recordings or live performances)
- Simon Jones – bass (1991)
- Jon Willis – bass (1991)
- Earl Morris – bass (ex-Detritus) (1991)
- Colin Brookes – drums (1989)
- Scott A. Rawson – guitar, bass (1987-1989, 1990-1991)
- Nic White – bass (1991)
- Mark Ruff – drums (1989)
- Morrow, Matt (2005). "Seventh Angel - Lament for the Weary". The Whipping Post. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Williams, Lynn (1 July 1992). "Seventh Angel - Lament for the Weary". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
- Sammons, Greg (31 July 2006). "Seventh Angel - Heed the Warning Demo Recordings". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
- Hoff, Brian (1 July 1990). "Seventh Angel - The Torment". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
- Bolton, Nick (2005). The Torment (liner notes). Retroactive Records (re-issue).
- "Seventh Angel Reformed". BlackPlanet0. 23 May 2008. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Sammons, Greg (29 August 2005). "Fire Fly: The UK Hard Rock Band". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "Seventh Angel Preparing to Enter Studio". Blabbermouth.net. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2012.