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There are only few classic bands, that today sound as good as they sounded back in the mid-80’s. Possessed is one of these bands. It sounds like thrash metal put in a blender with rawness and a bit of brutality. Nowadays, we’re living in a world of drum machines and stuff that make music faster and faster(and more brutal?). Still, Possessed’s sound is something hard to explain. It’s unique, it’s raw and it’s fast. It’s clear, that Possessed was something never heard before in the early and mid-80’s. To me, this album sounds like early Slayer with a bit more aggression. And that can’t be bad, can it? Well, enough of this worshipping-crap.
Seven Churches starts with a true classic song, ‘’The Exorcist’’. The first time I listened to this song, it sounded like total chaos. After some closer listening, it all started to take form. There is this simple riff, but somehow Possessed managed to make it sound great. The guitars sound very raw and evil, and are played low. And then Jeff Becerra’s vocals kick in. And oh boy, what a singing style! He shouts, he growls, and it’s great! I can only imagine how sore his throat must’ve been after the recording session. You just wait for the moment when his voice starts to loose it’s power, but it doesn’t happend.
Possessed almost manage to keep their line troughout the album. After ‘’The Exorcist’’, a song called ‘’Pentagram’’ kicks in with an evil growling from probably Satan himself. Another great song with a bit slower start, but in the half-way the drums start the thrash-beat again and Lalonde’s and Torrao’s solos come in. Even though all the songs sound a bit the same with lyrics about Satan and death and thrash-beats and insane solos, there’s still something interesting in each song. You just don’t want to stop listening (and headbanging!) to this album. And you can even have some good laughs by reading the lyrics. Or how does the phrase ‘’Hell evil Satan’s curse’’ sound to you?
By saying ‘’almost’’ I mean the two songs, ‘’Holy Hell’’ and ‘’Twisted Minds’’. They are the weakest links in this album, but still they are not ‘’non-listenable’’-bad. But, you don’t have to wait long for a song to repair this gap. It’s the final track, ‘’Death Metal’’, and it’s the best song in this album, no argues in this. Yet again, a simple riff played over and over again with rage. Simple verse-chorus-solo-pattern works great. The chorus is very catchy even though it has only two words in it. Then, in the middle, the band kind of slows down to recharge their batteries, but what the hell, the batteries are full! Becerra starts another of Mike Torrao’s insane solos with his ‘’Kill them pigs!’’-scream and the headbanging starts again. This is a song you have to listen again and again and again... Brilliant.
Only one question lies ahead; will this album last for another two decades? I think it will. This is something remarkable in the history of metal, this is one of the starting signals of death metal, this was, is and will be death metal. The only reason why I didn’t give full points is that this isn’t a perfect album and I haven’t yet found one. So throw away your melodic death metal-albums and get Seven Churches. Be possessed.