A TRIBUTE TO POSSESSED "Seven Burning Churches"

This year marks the 31st anniversary of the release of the iconic POSSESSED debut full length "Seven Churches" - an album More Hate Productions pays hommage to with this release "Seven Burning Churches" that gives us "Seven Churches" covered by an array of great bands, and "Swing Of The Axe" as a little bonus. More Hate Productions is based in Russia, and the bands are also centered around the former East Block, with a little trip to Italy. All bands are from the Thrash and Death Metal scene, so all quite capable, style-wise to handle a POSSESSED tune quite well. And I think all 11 bands on this tribute do a quite good job by catching that special and haunting aura noir that makes "Seven Churches" such an enormous and mindblowing album. We are getting energy and intensity, the bands have seemed to put some passion and energy into the recordings, so all tracks have gotten a proper salute. Especially the three Death Metal bands GROND, PYRE and CASTRUM, and well, the three only bands I knew thoroughly on beforehand, do some really good jobs. GROND pulls "Fallen Angel" into their dark and twisted Lovecraftian universe and make the track even more dark and twisted than the original. CASTRUM twists "Death Metal" into their manic universe and deliver it quite machine-like and sterile, which actually works, as they are putting a good deal of intensity into it. PYRE, that start out the album with "The Exorcist", is putting CANNIBAL CORPSE to shame with their version, a good deal of pure old school Death Metal brutality and intensity. My favorite track on the album, "Twisted Minds", is also done really good by SICHGART from the Ukraine, a dark twist on the original with some really good vocals, old school Death / Thrashing madness done just right. A good pick up for all fans of POSSESSED, as the 11 bands on here are doing a really good effort to hail the good old gods of Thrashing madness, and if the album had been on schedule for a release last year, everything would have been even more sweet.

A TRIBUTE TO POSSESSED "Seven Burning Churches"

Normally I do not care much for tribute albums unless they interest me personally or offer something unusual. What we have here is a tribute to Possesseds debut album, Seven Churches, with the addition of "Swing of the Axe", a song that Possessed originally recorded in 1985 for their three-song demo. The 11 bands, from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Italy, put their own twist on Possesseds well-known songs. None of the performances fails completely as each song can well be recognized. Some, like Italys Violentor covering "Burning in Hell" and Polands Bestiality covering "Evil Warriors", could certainly have been played more carefully and not so half-assed. On the other hand, Russian Death Metal quartet Pyre succeeded in throwing their darkened ace of spades on the table with "The Exorcist" and the same applies to Polands Hell Patrol, whose version of "Seven Churches" is excellent. Septory from Russia manages to push a handful of Neoclassical elements through "Satans Curse", which is a breath of something a bit more creative. And if Sichgarts (Ukraine) thrashy version of "Twisted Minds" sounds fresh, wait until you hear Gronds (Russia) version of "Fallen Angel", which crushes with its sheer Death Metal heaviness. It is definitely the best performance on the whole album. Every band gives their best swing of the axe in the name of Possesseds classic Seven Churches album. Some are more successful than others but this is a well-executed tribute.

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