Let me introduce you a band called Possessed
, a death-metal band who never had successful career but they became one of the true pioneers in the death-metal genre. The band was created by the guitarist Mike Torrao
and the drummer Mike Sus
in 1983, the trouble struck the band very early when the band lost their first singer who took his own life. The band struggled on with a new vocalist and bassist Jeff Becerra
and a second guitarist named Brian Montana
, but Brian
left the band to so another one was introduced to the band and this time it was Larry LaLonde
who became the new guitarist. They signed up for Combat Records
in 1985 but the bad luck were still after them, Jeff Becerra
was shot during a mugging and he became paralyzed from the waist down and the bands future was no so dark that they disbanded.
The band had a short career with lots of trouble but they released an album which is considered to be one of the very first and true death-metal albums. The band took a Slayer
-formula and made it even more brutal and rawer, this album is called ''Seven Churches''
and it was a hugh breakaway from the bands thrash-metal platform. This album has the classic intensive death-metal drumming, fast eerie guitar sounds and aggressive harsh vocals. The material does though have small fragments of thrash-metal hidden here and there which makes the songs a bit catchy and maybe not so straight-ahead as some songs or bands can be.
THE BAND MEMBERS
The band lost a few musicians before they release an album so the members in this band was first of all vocalist and bassist Jeff Becerra
, Larry LaLonde
on the guitars, Mike Torrao
who also was a guitarist and the drummer was Mike Sus
. The vocals in this album is very typical for the death-metal genre, the vocals are harsh, aggressive and somewhat dark. It reminds you of the vocalist in the swedish death-metal band Dismember
in my opinion. But these were the vocals that paved the way for the up-coming vocals that would be the main ingredient for the famous death-metal genre. Jeff's
bass is almost non-existent in this album I'm afriad, it goes along with the rhythm guitars and does not make any standout performances. The guitars is churning out riffs after riffs and most times they are quite simplistic in their structure and is very fast played. The songs have some catchy riffing here and there but the guitars in overall are pretty simplistic and intensive. The guitar solos are though better than the riffing, the solos are pretty catchy, skillfully played and somewhat chaotic and most of the times fast. The drums are classic for the genre, the patterns are often very fast with endless beating. There is though some variety in the patterns and they become pretty catchy and enjoyable.
THINGS I LIKED ABOUT THIS ALBUM
This is death-metal indeed but I didn't found it so extreme as many other bands like Morbid Angel
for example. This band did a great performance and I could endure many songs before I got tired of them. One thing I enjoyed was that there was quite many songs that were catchy even though that I have a hard time to get used to old-school death-metal. Some songs that I enjoyed was songs like Evil Warriors
, Holy Hell
and Twisted Minds
, why I liked them was because that they had a catchy structure, good variety and great guitar solos. Another thing I liked was the guitar solos, for a first album the solos sounded ''experienced'', it felt like these guys knows how to handle a guitar. The solos were energetic, the variety was great, the catchiness was pretty high and it didn't felt like it was newbeginner stuff.
THINGS I DISLIKED ABOUT THIS ALBUM
I'm not a big fan of the death-metal genre so there was a few things that I didn't cooped with so well. One thing was the vocals, the straight-ahead vocals had a poor variety in my ears. No sudden screams, growlings or stuff like that, though it is considered as a true death-metal album I guess I have nothing to argue about but the vocals becamed a bit dull near the end and I got bored pretty quick. Another thing I thought was a bit poor was the overall sound production, the music felt very flat and a bit blury. The production maybe wasen't at tops in the 80's back then but it sounded flat, if there was more base-frequence, cleaner guitars and less ecos from the vocals it would've sounded perfect. The band didn't felt so heavy too, the band seemed more focused on the extreme and satanic themes rather than the sound, but is just my own little opinion.
Another music experience, not my type of music but I'm feel quite satisfied now when I know how real death-metal sounded like back in the past. This is a band that I will not continue to listen at so much but I will still keep it as a memory of some of death-metal true pioneers, if you are looking for a missing link between thrash and death-metal this is the album. If I would recommend this to someone it would be death-metal fans of all kind, I think this is a album that needs to be remembered and I think that this would suit many death-metal fans. The album maybe isen't heavy as the modern death-bands but this has the very classic elements of real death-metal or at least the main ingredients. I thank you for this time and I hoped that you enjoyed this review, criticism are most welcome.
-- Evil Invaders
-- Holy Hell
-- Twisted Minds
-- The Exorcist
I'm not a big fan of death-metal but I will try to give this album a decent rating and the score will be: 4/5