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Possessed Biography

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Possessed In-depth Biography

Like the extreme music they created, San Francisco's Possessed} seemed cursed by dark and evil forces throughout their troubled career. Formed by guitarist Mike Torrao} and drummer Mike Sus} in 1983, the group would lose first singer Barry Fisk} to suicide before even graduating out of their garage band status. They persisted though, and after recruiting vocalist/bassist Jeff Becerra} and guitarist Brian Montana}, the band was offered a slot on Brian Slagel's} Metal Massacre 6} compilation. Possessed}'s savage sound immediately stood out from their competition and drew the attention of Combat Records}, with whom they signed in 1985 after replacing Montana} with guitarist Larry LaLonde}. Issued later that year, the brutal Seven Churches} was arguably the first true death metal album and set the stage for the genre's breakaway from thrash. Their second effort, Beyond the Gates}, was released, fittingly enough, on Halloween 1986, but didn't have the same impact as its predecessor. After recording the five-track EP The Eyes of Horror} the following year (produced by LaLonde's} guitar teacher Joe Satriani}), the band decided to call it quits. Two years later, frontman Becerra} was shot during a mugging and left paralyzed from the waist down. LaLonde} would go on to a long career with quirky trio Primus} and Torrao} went as far as recording some demos with a new Possessed} lineup before dismantling the group once again. A compilation called Victims of Death} was released in 1993. ~ Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide

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