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Possessed, is, as most of us know, one of the founders of the glorious genre that is Death Metal, and often considered to be THE creators of it all. If so, it started with this album, released in 1985. This is Possessed, "Seven Churches".
The opener, "The Exorcist" is the perfect way to open this album. Starts off with a slower, softer tune, and right then you know that your in for something fucking awesome. You hear the little clinks of the cymbal and it just blasts off. Now this is classic Death Metal at it's finest. You gotta love it. Heavily distorted dual guitar riffs, insanely fast, and even though the it's lacking in technicality a little bit, it's glaring. I mean, imagine hearing this in 1985.
The solos are great as well, well placed, well paced, neat, and not wretchedly overused. This is pump music. It's the type of music that makes you wanna down a keg of beer and jump off buildings. It's party music. If there was a metal-head party in town, this is what would be on the stereo. A perfect example of this is the song "Holy Hell". It just has that beat that makes you wanna go crazy.
The drums on the album are like any classic Death Metal: lacking in the variety department. It's mostly bass and snare, maybe an occasional cymbal, you know, nothing overly impressive, nothing special. Just classic Death Metal drumming. While they're lacking in variety, the beats, and use of beats varies, which is a good thing too. It's not the same beats with the same drums over and over, so there is a little variation, but not enough to save it from sounding repetitive. I also feel like the drums are a little bit too loud in some parts, and the guitars not loud enough. I get the feeling that the guitar and bass are being drowned out by the vocals and drums, which is understandably a little disappointing.
The bass for the album, from what I can hear of it, is fair and follows on it's own according, and not with the guitar much, if you know what I mean. It does stand out fairly far in some songs. Referring back to "Holy Hell" again, the bass is really audible in this song, and can give you an idea of what it's like.
The vocals are awesome. The vocals for me, are the best part, along with the speed and aggression of the guitars and the song's themes. Now, Jeff Becerra is a god. His vocals are incredible. Every thing you'd come to expect and even more, in an awesome Death Metal band. Harsh, crude, perfect. Not much else to say about them.
With all this said, this album is awesome. I shouldn't have to tell you that Possessed is awesome if you're already a Death Metal fan, because chances are, you already know full well that they kick ass. A great first full-length album, by possibly, it is debatable, the first Death Metal band ever. With this said, it's my job to tell you the undersides. The problems I have with the album are nothing really serious. The guitar and bass are very unclean, and are drowned out by the drums and vocals. The drums are very repetitive as well. More variety would make the album way more pleasurable.