Few bands have had as widespread an influence on an entire genre of metal like Possessed do with death metal. Their debut Seven Churches took on a genre all its own. Possessed were formed by a bunch of high school students, most notably Larry LaLonde who also played in Blind Illusion and most famously as the lead guitarist in Primus, and bassist/vocalist Jeff Becerra, who is the only original member left.
Becerra was left wheelchair bound after a robbery in 1989 and has performed sporadically with various incarnations of Possessed over the years, yet the band hasn’t released a new album since 1986. So here we are 33 years later and Becerra and crew have finally put out the follow up Revelations of Oblivion that has been more than eagerly anticipated for what seems like eons.
First off Becerra sounds like his classic self vocally. Fans of Seven Churches will recognize his distinct thrash chants. It also feels apparent that the newest members of the band are not trying to simply emulate past members’ contributions in a soulless attempt to appease others. There is certainly enough individuality that helps set the band apart from the genre and its former self.
Take for example first single “No More Room In Hell.” The speedy tremolo picked sections feel exhumed from a grave first laid to rest in the mid-‘80s. Guitarists Daniel Gonzalez (Gruesome) and Claudeous Creamer create an atmosphere that is some of the best death/thrash that has been released in some time. Not to take away from Emilio Marquez’s work on the battery and the fat bass of Robert Cardenas, which help pace along the fury throughout this nearly hour long dirge into hell.
For fans of Seven Churches and death metal in general, it is impossible to pass up Revelations of Oblivion, an album that sounds like it was created by the forefathers for a new generation. A band that was clearly influenced by the Paul Baloff era of Exodus along with Venom, Possessed have clearly has not skipped a beat in all this time and the world of extreme music is about to be leveled by this album.
(released May 10, 2019 on Nuclear Blast)
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Listen To Possessed – “No More Room In Hell”