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Death... Metal! - 97%

Metal_1990, December 27th, 2017

I remember first hearing of this album a couple years ago, and I wrote it off as some sort of Slayer clone. Come to find out, (after listening to this masterpiece) I was horridly wrong. This album created one of my favorites styles of music. That style is the mighty death metal! Possessed changed the landscape of extremity on that day in 1985. The genre of metal would never be the same, this album gave rise to thousands of bands/albums that would follow in the coming years.

This album is the most extreme thing of the 20th century, (maybe of all time). There may have been faster albums, there may have been heavier albums, but this album still stands out in its pure aggression. Seven Churches creates a hellish atmosphere of pain and misery with each note. This album is death/thrash, before extreme metal even took on the large following it gained in the late 80's.

The guitar riffs on this album are revolutionary. The guitars have a very heavy crunch to them, intensifying the riffs. Some of the riffs on this album (courtesy of Larry Lalonde) almost sound proggy in a way. The whammy bar sounds excellent, it is a shame it wasn't used a little more throughout the album. The change from a chug centered riff to tremolo picking is flawless, adding a little sense of order to the chaos.

The bass is audible on this record! As usual however, it is not very interesting. It does nothing to write home about. The drummer pounds away at his kit, and typical thrash beats, thrown in with some death metal flavoring, and even some double bass on the last track of the album. Then we get of Jeff's vocals.

Holy hell... Jeff's vocal performance is very distinct in its delivery. It borders death growls at most times, and he even hits a couple of higher notes. Jeff certainly inspired many vocalists to use a gruff, deep growl.

In closing, Seven Churches by Possessed changed the landscape of extreme metal for the better, influencing bands even to this very day. It hit with the impact of an asteroid, influencing many death metal classics, (Altars of Madness, Slowly We Rot, Deicide, and even Pleasure to Kill just to name a few.) This album is on the best albums released of the genre, and it holds its own, even 32 years after its release.