Possessed took San Francisco's metal scene by storm, playing with fellow Bay Area thrashers and friends Exodus, and other bands - many now long gone. Released in October 1985 on Combat Records, the group's milestone 1985 full-length debut, Seven Churches set a new standard for extreme music. Combining lightening fast riffs, Jeff Becerra's raspy trademark growl and speedy bass playing, pummeling drums and Randy Burns' production, it helped usher in a whole new genre of music we now know as death metal. Follow-up Beyond The Gates was issued on Halloween of 1986 and continued the band's ascent and mission to change the landscape of heavy metal. It was especially well-received in Europe and was the highest selling Combat album that year.