POSSESSED – Revelations Of Oblivion (Album Review)

Possessed – New Album Cover

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After just over a 30 year wait, Possessed have recorded a new album. There have been a couple of EPs along the way (the last, Ashes From Hell, was back in 2006) but this is exciting news for Death Metal fans everywhere. The band were probably the first to have growled vocals and seriously intense drumming.  Nearly every band of note have name checked them as an influence. There is only one original member left in Jeff Becerra, who was bassist and vocalist.  However, he is now the vocalist as he is now confined to a wheelchair, due to being shot in a street robbery many years ago. He has brought onboard four new guys who are from various Death Metal outfits.  They bring to life the 12 new tracks that make up the latest album Revelations Of Oblivion.  The question now is, was it worth the wait?

Revelations Of Oblivion

The first thing to notice is that the production levels on this are the best Possessed have ever had. Their first album (a bona fide classic in Seven Churches) sounded pretty damned rough and ready.   This, record, however, is clear and sharp. The music however continues to be part brutal, part fast, and part doomy. The opening and closing tracks are short pieces adding some atmospherics to it all with opener “”Chant Of Oblivion” sounding like the intro to a demonic horror movie, all chiming bells and strange chanting. Seems a reasonable start considering the first real song is called “No More Room In Hell“. It comes in like a steam train. Thudding drums/cymbals, corking riff interspersed, then a drum roll and the vocals coming in this doesn’t muck about. Heavy, fast, frenetic. Yet, the vocals are nice and clear. Lyrics are clearly heard on this and are for most of the album.

The tracks have some decent variation in them, allowing slower doomier moments, incessant riffs and speedy thrash leads. Lyrically on the face of it they are about the usual subjects, Satan, hell, torture, plagues and death, but listening a little closer some of them are more about the state of the world and using the imagery of Satan/Hell etc to make their point. The 10 main tracks are all of high quality and it is hard to pick which are the stand outs however “Damned” has a really good doomy opening with great drum rolls and fills from Emilio Marquez at the start before it kicks into a monster of  song. The chorus is top quality on this as well. The way he changes his voice to sound the “torment” he is singing about is a good touch. “Omen” again has a demonic style opening and lyrically is about the world we live in as individuals, “my hell is real” he sings. I quite liked the false ending on it as well.

Demon” has a particularly strong grinding riff in it and is pacing is excellent, with a short bass solo from Robert Cardenas before the guitar solos kick in (both Daniel Gonzalez and Claudeous Creamer are impressive between the riffing and the speedy solos). This is great headbanging track with a touch of Candlemass about it at points. It is, for me, the best track due to the structure of it. It also still kicks like a mule!

Welcome Back!

This is a great return by Possessed and will be one of the best Death Metal (and Thrash Metal) albums of the year easily. You could pick any song and mosh along with it. Live, these songs will sound absolutely monstrous. Good to have them back! Lets hope it doesn’t take another 30 years, as I am getting old and not sure I can make it till then!

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