YEARS ACTIVE: 1986–1991, 1999–PRESENT
Tormentor is a black / thrash metal band formed in 1985 in Budapest, Hungary:
Attila Szigeti – guitars
Attila Csihar – vocals
Tamás Buday – guitars
Lajos Fazekas – bass guitar
Márton Dubecz – drums
Their first appearance on stage was in 1986 at a “looking for new talents” festival called AORTA. However the judges did not appreciate their “noise” too much, they still won and passed through the finals in “Hard Rock and Heavy Metal” category by the votes of the audience. It gave the band immediate attention and a few reviews appeared in some cultural magazines of that time. They also won an opportunity for a full live show in the same venue in Budapest. They started to work on more songs and they learned a couple of covers from bands like Destruction, Kreator, Bathory or Sodom.
Due to some obligations to military services they had to go through a couple of member changes, especially on bass guitar. In 1987 they decided to record their first demo “The 7th Day Of Doom”. This recording was made from their own forces in one night, in a 4-track demo studio in an old bunker in Budapest. Right before that recording György Farkas joined the band on bass guitar, replacing Lajos Fazekas.
The band started to spread their demo via some tape trading channels. (Attila was recording many of those tapes on his home stereo). In this period they met János Zsobrák, a booking agent and manager back in the day. More and more live opportunities came up, and the band became gradually more and more infamous. In 1987 a good friend of Attila, Zsolt Machat joined the band on drums replacing Marton Dubecz. Zsolt brought a lot of “Fresh Blood” into the band. His artistic visions influenced the bands imagery almost immediately. Later Tamas Buday departed the band due to artistic differences. In 1987 they met Gábor Faragó from one record company of the Hungarian State. In that age Hungary was part of the East European Communist block. There were no independent labels whatsoever. Eventually they had an offer for a full length LP which was still an amazing and unusual opportunity.
They started to work on new materials immediately. They were rehearsing 3-4 times a week in the following year, until they could enter the studio in November 1988. The recording took two weeks and after some mixing process they had their legendary debut album ready, called “Anno Domini”.
After several issues with the label, back and forth movements, and especially after Gabor Farago losing his job, it became clear that the album was never going to be released. Only a few cassettes left what they recorded in the studio, and luckily or thanx Satan, they also made a copy of the original master tape on a HiFi video tape (HiFi video was a brand new system that came out around that time).
Then again, that tape also mysteriously disappeared…
About 6 months later it was simply impossible to hold back those new songs anymore not just because of the fans’ high demands, but of course because of the spreading rumors.
So eventually they just decided to make a few copies only for the closest friends and they started to play the new songs live. Of course, naturally those tapes started to be copied and spread all among the fans. The band became more famous than ever before. Sometimes they played in front of like 500-1000 people which was a nice crowd compared to sthe ize of their homeland. In 1990 they even had a small tour when they played in Vienna and Bratislava, their only shows outside of Hungary ever.
But due to military service obligations again the band had hard times functioning and organizing shows. Attila Szigeti was the next one to look at the one and half years service. The lack of the releasing of the album “Anno Domini” also caused negative vibe within the band. Eventually in 1991 they decided to stop. It is ironic cause they had their last show on the opened air stage of PECSA in Budapest, 5500 capacity…
Tormentor’s line up on “Anno Domini”:
Attila Csihar – vocals
Attila Szigeti – guitars (and keyboards on the album)
György Farkas – bass guitar
Zsolt Machat – drums
Those copied cassettes soon reached abroad as well, Mexico, Norway, Sweden..etc. through the tape-trading community. Tormentor also influenced many of the elder Black Metal bands like Mayhem, Dissection, Immortal, Darkthrone, Emperor…
Following the suicide of Per Ohlin, Euronymous from Mayhem contacted Attila Csihar to join the band; to perform the vocals on their debut record “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. Around the same time he offered to release Tormentor’s “Anno Domini” via their label Death Like Silence Productions. Sadly, because of the murder of Euronymous in 1993 it could not happen. In 1994-95 Samoth from Emperor reached out to Attila with the same request.
So finally, the release of the album could happen via his label, Nocturnal Art Productions. (LP/CD, and picture disc via Ajna) More than a decade later, amazingly that old HiFi video tape appeared again (from back in the days of the studio), and with the original master quality sound. Attila felt like after all those years, finally Tormentor’s “Anno Domini” should been released in its full glory so he made a re-release via their label Saturnus Productions (in 2008 on CD then in 2013 on limited vinyl).
After a long break Tormentor reformed with a new line up in 1999 in order to make a more experimental record called “Recipe Ferrum”. It was released by Avantgarde Music in 2001. Because of it’s different musical approach it caused mixed feelings among some of their fans, yet it reached many new ones throughout the years.
Tormentor’s line up on “Recipe Ferrum”:
Attila Csihar – vocals, guitars
Mugambi Zolduns Bwana – lead guitar
Zénó Galóca – bass guitar
Machat St. Zsoltar Motolla – drums
To be continued..