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The Birth Of Death Metal. - 90%

Drummerboy25, November 22nd, 2014

It was 1985. Many fledgling bands were releasing their debut albums and metal music kept growing and evolving. Releases such as Megadeth's "Killing Is My Business" and Exodus' "Bonded By Blood" were pushing the boundaries of metal music. Out of all these amazing releases, the most legendary one, the one that revolutionized metal, was the most overlooked and underrated. Seven Churches.

This album gave birth to death metal. Period. This album was the heaviest, fastest, and most brutal thing that the world had ever heard at this time. In my humble opinion, it beats almost any other metal album of its time in terms of speed and aggression. It was also much more technical than much of the other albums around its time. This album is an absolute benchmark in metal history, yet it is one of the most underrated in metal history.

Onto the music itself: fantastic. The musicianship is top notch. It's even more impressive that they wrote this album and recorded it during a spring break, and also consider the fact that they were still in high school! The intro to "The Exorcist" is probably one of the best intros I've ever heard. I know it's from the actual movie of the same title, but they seriously put it to better use here. The majority of the album is fast and brutal. Just in-your-face killer, but at the same time there is a very technical edge to it.

Now onto the instrumental and vocal sections. The drums are extremely jazzy for a death metal record and set this album apart from a lot of other death bands. The riffs are crunchy, heavy, and melodic. They combine melody and heaviness very effectively. The vocals aren't meant to be pleasant. They sound like a mad, barking dog. They are gritty and angry as they should be. The bass for the most part isn't too audible, but the bass lines are killer if you listen closely.

The production is surprisingly good. It is a little fuzzy in some parts, especially the guitar tone, but for the most part, considering the low budget and time span this album was recorded in, it's a sharply-produced album.

In the end, "Seven Churches" is a landmark in metal music, one of the most underrated albums in metal, and most of all, this is the father of death metal. Without this album, death metal wouldn't be where it is today.