TORRENT, which means downpour of rain or deluge, but also violent flow, emerged onto the scene on March 5th 1987, and they hailed from Vorselaar. Actually, they initially started out when members of two other local bands, WILDFORCE and ENFORCER, joined forces. There were a couple of line-up changes in those early days but by June 1987 they assembled a more or less permanent line-up, consisting of guitarists Johan Van Oeckel and Kris Heylen, bassist P. Thys and his brother D. Thys on drums. The only missing link then was a vocalist, a problem that was solved with the addition of JoŽl Willems.

This quintet line-up recorded the Poltergeist rehearsal tape soon after, which included a cover version of METALLICA's Motorbreath. Their debut live performance took place quickly after, supporting TYFOON and TARGET at JK Kameleon in Eindhout. Soon after the band's rhythm section left and JoŽl decided to stop singing as he became the band's new drummer. Not really surprisingly, since he had been taking drum lessons for three years already. Johan's brother Stefan Van Oeckel became the band's new bassist, but once again they had great difficulty in finding a suitable vocalist. Several people joined forces with the band, only to last for a couple of weeks or even a month, until they bumped into Ivan Peeters. He seemed to work out fine but since he lived too far away from the rest of the band, he eventually decided to leave as well. That was in January 1988.

Having no luck in recruiting a decent vocalist, guitarist Kris finally decided to take on those duties as well. A first sign of life from this revamped line-up was a rehearsal tape that was recorded on April 9th 1988, which included Innocent Offender, The Deluge, Lost In The Army, Metal Unity and the instrumental Beyond The Waves. On April 16th 1988 TORRENT and PARIAH played at Zaal Lux in Herenthout. Plenty of live gigs followed, including the Jam Club in Mol, a return visit to JK Kameleon and a home game in Vorselaar on July 2nd, together with DECIBEL. Plus an appearance at the Hegge Rock festival in Poederlee on July 30th 1988. On those occasions the band played other unreleased tunes, such as Vengeance Is Nothing But Justice and Wicked Love, as well as covers by the likes of OVERKILL (Sonic Reducer), S.O.D. (United Forces) and the aforementioned Motorbreath.

On August 17th 1988 TORRENT entered the Ranger Studios in Vorselaar to record their first real demo tape, Beyond The Waves, recorded on 24 tracks. Later on in 1988 two songs off Beyond The Waves surfaced on an obscure compilation CD, called Power Metal. Another return to JK Kameleon took place on November 5th 1988, playing their set in between openers INZEST and headliners AGATHOCLES. By then it had become obvious that Kris wasn't really capable of singing and playing guitar at the same time, and thus the band was on the hunt for a new vocalist once again.

In April 1989 TORRENT hooked up with female vocalist Berit Beyens and the very next month a new rehearsal tape was recorded, including Triumph Of Death, Nothing But The Truth, Lost In The Army, Wicked Love, Motorbreath, Innocent Offender and Condemned To Live. More gigs followed, including one in Oud-Gastel, Holland on June 4th 1989, where they played the likes of Triumph Of Death and Nothing But The Truth live for the first time, as well as SLAYER's Post Mortem, along with some of the band's earlier material. Shortly after the band's second demo was recorded, entitled Triumph Of Death.

According to former guitarist Johan Van Oeckel, TORRENT finally came to an end due to the fact that the various members started to have different musical interests.

As far as former vocalist / guitarist Kris Heylen remembers TORRENT also shared the stage with the likes of DECIBEL and LEGENDS. And the band also performed at a couple of MC parties in Limburg, although nobody seems to remember exactly when and where.

Kris Heylen later joined the likes of XIRONIX , DETROIT, QUICKSAND and BLUES EXPRESS. He then moved to Spain, where he joined BLUES LABEL. These days Kris still lives in Spain and he's one of the guitarists in THE COUNTRY REVIVAL FARMERS.


1987 : Poltergeist (Official Rehearsal) {Call Of The Ghosts, Poltergeist, Galliers, Torrent, The Force, Motorbreath, Why Did You Leave Me}

1988 : Beyond The Waves (Demo) {Intro, Condamned To Live, Lost In The Army, Innocent Offender, Fortunes Of Life}

1988 : Lost In The Army and Condemned To Live released on Power Metal compilation CD (Imtrat)

1989 : Triumph Of Death (Demo) {Appearances Are Deceptive, Triumph Of Death, Open Your Eyes, Nothing But The Truth}

Poltergeist - Official Rehearsal
 Beyond The Waves - Demo
Triumph Of Death - Demo

Consulted people

Kris Heylen, Johan Van Oeckel, JoŽl Willems

First posted

October 8th 2006

Latest adjustment

December 15th 2006

[Back to bands index]


[Back to top]