This is really a death-thrash album, but it’s death metal enough to be considered the first DM album ever. However, I can’t really say how influential this album was. ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ is much better known, of course, and thus is more directly influential, but I don’t really know how much influence this album had on Death’s debut, as Death had been around for as long as Possessed had been, and at least some of the material from that album had been written prior to this one’s release.(Evil Dead, for example. Probably others) Whatever the case may be, serious metal fans will likely wanna pick this up for due to historical significance alone.
This album is unbelievably ahead of it’s time, as it’s death metal from even before thrash metal had truly matured. It’s also incredibly heavy for the time, and would not be topped for another 2 years. (Well, ‘Darkness Descends’ might be heavier. It’s a tough call) Stylistically, this album is basically ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ with a deeper guitar tone and death vox played ten times in a row. The vox aren’t quite as gruff as your average DM band, but they’re DM vox, no question. The guys in this band were a bunch of high school kids, so it isn’t as sophistacated as lots of other albums, but it’s not really amateurish or simplistic either. The exception to this is the drumming, which is kinda weak, and rather holds the album back. An overproduced sound, weak fills etc. Still, the vicious guitars and twisted vox carry the day. There are some decent solos as well. Nothing too complex, of course, but actually reasonably clean and melodic. Most of the songs have a reasonably catchy chorus, but it has no real variety. The opener, ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Seven Churches’ are probably the two best tracks, with the title track being the better of the two.(Beccera’s howling ‘YOU WILL DIE!!!!’ jumps out at you everytime you listen to this album. It’s definitely the best, and the defining moment of the album) It’s all solid enough, of course, but not much really stands out. Still, sounds good while you’re listening to it, which is good enough.
Yeah, that’s it. Good, not great, but worth checking out.