Seven Churches



by heavy metal kid USER (6 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2006 | 921 replies

Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

So, letís go back to 1983 when the heaviest band was Venom and the thrash scene was emerging with bands like Slayer and Overkill. Many bands combined the fierce of venom and the speed of thrash back then, the result was the Florida early death metal scene ( Death and Morbid Angel ) and Californiaís Possessed.

Possessed can be considered the band that put the first Death Metal album in the world, although the characteristics arenít exactly the same as the later death metal scene, this album sure was important in the development of Death Metal, adding some blasting drum beats, death grunts, satanic themes, and complex guitar work.

įWhat album is it? Seven Churches
įWho is who:
Jeff Becerra : He plays bass, an instrument that can barely be heard on the album, the complex of his bass lines arenít great, he only follows the others instruments adding only some distortion to the songs, he also does the vocals, you can notice the big influence of Venom in his vocals.

Mike Sus : Since the beginning of this album, the fast drum beats never end; sure, some of them are very repetitive and they arenít what I call outstanding drumming, but some of the beats especially near the end of the album are a clear call to greatness.

Mike Torrao: Possessed was a band that didnít have an established lead guitarist, both Larry and Mike shared the leads and the rhythm. Mike Torrao beats LaLonde in almost any aspect, heís the main brain of the band, he wrote almost all the music and the songs, as for guitar playing he played slightly different from the Thrash bands at that time, he also define the difference between Venom and Possessed.

Larry LaLonde : Larry is a great guitarist, but back in Possessed he was outshined by the creative mind of Torrao; still, he managed to add his mark on some of the songs. His style is a bit more complex than Torrao; an example of this is the song Seven Churches.

Seven Churches is an album that stops at 39 minutes with 27 seconds, time distributed on 10 tracks.

Overall view: Seven Churches is a non stop blast beat generator, musically itís not challenging or great in a technical point of view, many of the songs follow the same structure and in some occasions it can be repetitive. For the fine ear, many of the songs are different enough one from each other; still, the bad production of this album doesnít help that statement, the bass is almost inexistent and the guitars are blocked by the drums and vocals (this only applies in the fast drum beats). Sure, one important characteristic of the death metal are the predominance of drums, but bands like Death put some effort into the production.

This album, defined not only a major part of Death Metal, it also defined the sound of Possessed itself, ironically this band isnít innovating at all; sure, the sound combination was something new, but the band didnít reinvent themselves in this album.

The lyrical themes are simple and unoriginal, the lyrics can be considered as a low imitation of Mercyful Fate and Venom:

You'll die there's no time to run from hell
You lied the witch has cast her spell
Your sins will be paid for and sacrificed
This is the price - Satan's curse
As you can see, the simplicity and the lack of imagination of the lyrics are screaming their existence on Seven Churches, itís like reading a satanic bible version made by some teenagers; still many of the strophes are good and a bit graphic, making some of the lyrics worth to quote in a conversation of Death Metal history.

As I mentioned before, the drums donít stop and outshines all the instruments, this can be considered something good is the drummer is good and the band isnít something outstanding. In this case, itís a 50-50, Mike Sus is a good drummer, some of his beats are interesting and some of them are off tempo; still the other members of Possessed are worth of listen, some of the best riffs coming from the guitar are outshined by the loud drums.

In a nutshell, Seven Churches is an album that features a great combination of different metal styles, all of them arranged on an unoriginal way.

The Highlights

The Exorcist : Being the first song of the album, and also being one of the best songs isnít a good sign. Anyway, the exorcist can be one of the songs were the guitars and the drums sound equally, the riff mayhem is influenced by thrash is an absolute way, although the song is repetitive, many of the rhythm changes are worth to make an eulogy to them.

Pentagram : The second song on the album, this song features simple odd time signatures. This song starts with some growls, they make a great effect if it is the first time you hear the album, once the music start you can notice the ďdeath and rollĒ structure in the main verse, the song features also a ďstop and goĒ riffs during the verses.

Seven Churches The fifth and main track of the album, this is one of the few songs that features audible bass lines and they are worth of listen because it gives the song a great groove during the bridges, it is also the only song that features LaLonde as an author, sharing this role with Becerra and Torrao. This song can be considered as the best of the album, it features the best of Possessed in all the aspects.

Conclusion , Is not that the album is bad, is just that 60% of that album is just pure influence, once you listen this album probably you might think that Possessed needed to add more of their touch instead of just combine different styles.

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user ratings (740)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Slapping Penguin
July 2nd 2006


THIS WAS THE BEST REVIEW I HAVE READ. You my friend have raised the bench mark. It was long but very engaging. Very informative but with enough opinion and though to bring that human touch. Great work, look forward to reading more of your stuff soon :D

I only have two songs from this album but I like it.

Apocalyptic Raids
July 2nd 2006


fucking essential classic album. If you listen to Death Metal, and haven't heard this album....

Seven Churches is a non stop blast beat generator,


props to you for reviewing such a great album... but I found some of your descriptions rather hard to decipher.

heavy metal kid
July 2nd 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man, i was actually listening to this album and found out that it wasn't a review for it, so I studied very well and made this review.

About the grammar, I'm gonna edit it later.This Message Edited On 07.02.06

Slapping Penguin
July 2nd 2006


The way you have set out this is a good way of setting out albums.

July 2nd 2006


Larry was better in Primus

Apocalyptic Raids
July 2nd 2006



July 2nd 2006


I appreciate this more for the influence it had on metal than for the music itself.

itís like reading a satanic bible version made by some teenagers

That's pretty much why I like the lyrics. :p

Freezing Moon
July 16th 2006


5 for sure, as classic as it gets.

I love this album.

November 8th 2006


i need this record....badly

November 8th 2006


i know im sounding like a utter idiot here but can someone tell me how to get the little quotey boxy thingy to work?This Message Edited On 11.07.06

November 8th 2006


Dammit, beat to the punch, but I'll include the name tidbit.
if you wanna include the name of the person, than: [quote=anyradomname]etc...
This Message Edited On 11.07.06

November 9th 2006


but anyway

Larry was better in Primus
no way is that happening hes amazing in Possessed and i think primus has its upsides [ahem les claypool ahem ahem] but other than that i think he showcases more talent here than there nothign against primus tho i hav nothing but respect for them

May 27th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

i need this record....badly

As do I...

Nice review.

June 1st 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album. I cant get enough of it. Although I disagree with what you said about the bass guitar work. I can hear it just fine, and it adds alot to the music. And you also say how it is "unoriginal", but back in the 80s, this was innovative and original. It was basically the first band of its kind back in the day. This Message Edited On 06.01.07This Message Edited On 06.01.07

March 2nd 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

This is a straight up classic!

jebus FX
March 2nd 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

i can feel it

March 27th 2008


Album Rating: 5.0

Every song here is classic.

March 29th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

This album is awesome. Im really starting to get into bands that started the whole Death Metal scene like this band and Death.

June 12th 2008


I'm enjoying this a lot recently, give it a bit of time and I could see myself bumping this up to a 5.

November 26th 2008


Album Rating: 5.0

The Exorcist is awesome

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