In preparation for the Possessed show tonight at the Noctis 666 metal festival here in Calgary, I figured I would pull out my Seven Churches collection. This album is one of my personal favorites. It was a groundbreaking album as the band pretty much created death metal even though most of the members were still in high school. Back in 1985, I considered this album thrash. Crazy, fucked up Satanic thrash, but thrash along the same line I considered Venom thrash. I wasn't very worldly back then.
Seven Churches was also a great album to collect. Anything released on one of the "indie" metal labels from the 80's had lots of variants with all the licensing imprint deals.
The first press on Combat came with an embossed cover and green labels. The side spine is also mis-spelled as "Seven Curches". The only downside is that the cover has a real bad tendency to develop ring wear just like the Combat Core version of Agnostic Front's Victim In Pain.
The album also came with a b/w two sided glossy inner sleeve. Of course there are split seam issues. That shit happens with 30 year old records.
The second press of the album is close to the original except the labels were changed to the familiar camouflage ones. The embossed covers remain as does the mis-spelling on the spine and the awesome inner sleeves.
Next up is the Century Media Euro pressing from 2000. It comes on red vinyl and a drastically changed layout. The title is now in red lettering and the embossment is gone. The back cover is also changed and is a major letdown.
Here is a comparison of the two back covers. No contest. The Century Media one sucks.
I never bothered to pick up the Euro Roadrunner version from the 80's just because they never had the embossed covers.
To round it out, I have included my Banzai Records Canadian version of the cassette. I love anything to do with tapes and the Banzai speed metal swirl!
I don't for a second think that tonight's show is going to be anywhere near as good as seeing the band back in their heyday. Hell, only Jeff Becerra is left and he has been in a wheelchair since the 90's and doesn't play bass anymore. Still, the chance to hear Pentagram and Seven Churches will be a dream come true. Good times.