It’s great that we live in a time where we no longer persecute people who we don’t understand and have come to terms that there are beings who live their lives differently than do we. Haha. Yeah, right. The saying “being burned at the stake” is just as prevalent and relevant as ever, and though it may have come from the witchcraft mania from centuries ago, it still applies to groups of people today.
OK, you didn’t come for a political speech, so I’ll cut it there. But the Belgian band Possession haven’t forgotten the paranoia surrounding witchcraft that enveloped the past, and their scorching new mini-album “1585-1646” chronicles a witch that wreaked havoc in France during that time period. On this record, we visit with the witch, find out about her visitation from the devil, and follow her as she realizes her powers and eventually is hunted down by the people that she terrorizes. It’s a perfect setting for a metal record, is it not? It has a very King Diamond feel to it, and for those of us who relish stories such as these, the album is a damn pleasure.
What makes it even better is we are hearing Possession develop as a band before our eyes and ears. The band made a huge impression on 2013’s great demo “His Best Deceit” and have slowly but surely added to their collection with last year’s smoldering “Annaliese” and now this new mini effort. The band—vocalist Mestema, guitarist I. Dveikus, bassist/vocalist V. Viriakh, drummer Pz.Kpfw—quickly are becoming one of the better bands in underground death and black metal, and by taking their time to develop, each new release from the band sounds that much more impressive. This 25-minute effort is thunderous and bloody, spooky and hellish, and it should increase the respect this band is getting by each day that passes.
The record opens with the 9-minute Obscurity/Visitation,” a track that takes some time to set a scene, with winds whipping up, choral chants blowing in, death bells ringing, and a storm brewing. Then the guitars light up and start burning, and the whole scene rips open with muscle-bound riffs, screamy vocals, and an assault that cascades hard and smears you with ferocity. That bleeds into “Ceremony” that starts with heavy thrashing and a show of force that could crush your chest cavity. The guitars wail violently, the drums are beaten to dust, the vocals are raw and bloody, and the final moments completely tear things apart. “Guilty” continues the intensity, with the riffs churning and the growling awash in eerie echo. The song is guttural and brutal, with the guitars shrieking like a ghoul, a meaty thrash section erupting, and Mestema howling like a ghost whose soul is burning. The album ends with “Ablaze,” a song that shouldn’t be too hard to figure out thematically based on our plot line, and it hits sections of speed that just blind. The band mashes your bones, with a thick bassline adding to the soot, delirious fury spinning your brain, and the vocals spiraling, ending this tale in a pit of madness.
Possession are a band on the rise, one of those groups you better pay your attention if you know what’s good for you. Over a series of small releases, they’ve built their reputation and keep getting deadlier. “1585-1646” is a can’t-miss slab of death and black metal that will scar your soul and burn you down right along with the album’s main character.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.possessionrealm.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://shop.ironbonehead.de/en/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.ironbonehead.de/
And here: http://invictusproductions.net/