|Classic Review: Tormentor - Anno Domini|
Label: Saturnus Productions
Year released: 1988
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: August 7, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (24 Votes)
It's no secret that Tormentor was the band to give Attila Csihar to the world of metal, not to mention one of the prime examples of a band that effortlessly bridged the gap between the first and second waves of black metal. This album was worshipped by pretty much all of the early bands in the second wave of black metal, much in the way that early Sodom, Celtic Frost, Bathory and Venom were, but in my opinion, 'Anno Domini' had that certain edge of feral thrashy ferocity that gave them the nod on the grounds of sheer extremity around the time of its release.
Opening with those much loved notes stolen from the Phantasm movie (as Entombed also… erm… borrowed for their outro on the song 'Left Hand Path' a year or two later), the album begins with a kick to the teeth in the way of 'Tormentor I', soaked in a morbid, freezing atmosphere that seemed to slowly seep into the listener throughout the albums run time, like only the classic albums can (see 'De Mysteriis Dom Satanas' for another perfect example of this). As with a lot of early black metal, this is heavily influenced by Thrash and Speed metal, with barbed riffs whipping past your ears at a rate of knots, with Attila's mad barks and howls coated in a thick Hungarian accent helping him to sound completely unhinged (you can almost here the spit and bile hitting the microphone as he belts out his lyrics). This, alongside the runaway freight train that is the crazed drum work and aforementioned molten riffage makes for a package no black metaller could turn away from.
So, in a nutshell, this is raw as hell, bitter and evil black metal which ranks up there with the best of them. It is brimming with youthful enthusiasm, inventiveness and most importantly – malevolence, which coupled with the fact that it boasts a series of seriously classic tunes (see Elisabeth Bathory, Tormentor I, Transylvania etc), it makes it a must have for any black metal fan's collection.
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