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The 1985 released debut by California's POSSESSED is one of the most important early roars of the upcoming death metal scene and quintessential for EVERY metal fan as ASPHYX drummer Bob Bagchus confirms in his respectful tribute below.
“Seven Churches” review by Bob Bagchus / ASPHYX:
“What can I say about one of the very best Death Metal albums of all times except that it is one of the best Death Metal albums of all times?! Before I heard this album I thought that Venom, Slayer, Metallica, Motörhead and Hellhammer were the most brutal bands around and that it couldn't get more extreme than that.... I was wrong! I remember walking into the local library where they had lots of metal LPs for hire (a dollar for 2 weeks) and saw the Possessed "Seven Churches" album there, it had just arrived all new and I took it back home with me. I've read some reviews already (not too good ones though, but a bad/average review meant it just had to be great for us, and it always was!) and I played it on the turntable. The intro already spooked me out and then “The Exorcist” kicked in like a nuclear bomb! So heavy, I couldn't believe it! And then the vocals.....goddamn! I never, NEVER heard such extremely brutal sounding vocals like these! This has to be demonic! INSANE! I was hooked right away! I bought the album right after this in the record store. The whole album had/has such an evil dark and satanic atmosphere that I almost felt sorry for the gods Venom! I was amazed by the speed of "Burning In Hell" and the brilliant "aaaahhh" howl in "Evil Warriors" and the vocal intro of "Pentagram" with the great swinging first riff of it. All was so intense and still is! "Seven Churches" still is one of the most brutal Death Metal albums to date and I really think that the term "Death Metal" was invented by Possessed because of the self titled last song on the album. I think it was also on this very album the deathgrunt was born. Jeff Becerra is the father of all deathgrunts."