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POSSESSED - Revelations Of Oblivion

Release date May 10/19 (Nuclear Blast)

The Mighty Decibel's #1 Metal Album of 2019!!!

Way back in 1985 when Seven Churches was released it was immediately obvious to those who worshiped at the altar of the loud that Possessed had created something new and exciting. The album had elements of thrash, but there was something heavier and more disturbing about this new sound which they labelled death metal (a year earlier on their debut EP). Seven Churches is an unquestioned stone-cold classic 10/10, still standing as not only the first death metal record, but also one of its best. However, the inadequately produced (by The Rods' Carl Canedy) Beyond The Gates was released the following year, not able to match the excellence of its predecessor. All was corrected in 1987 though when the band issued the immense The Eyes Of Horror EP which snapped peoples' attention back but quick. Then silence.

The band parted ways, most notably guitarist Larry Lalonde going on to form Primus, while bassist/vocalist Jeff Becerra was left paralyzed following a shooting. So here we are some 32 years later (!) with the first Possessed album in my greedy, trembling hands. Thoughts of 'I hope they can at least live up to Beyond The Gates' filling my mind, I pressed play.

First thought was relief ... they didn't fuck up, living up to the illustrious Possessed name/expectations. This sounds exactly like what you'd expect from a healthy version of the band in 2019. The guitars dart about adroitly, the drumming immense, while Becerra's sand-blasted throaty roar remains a unique weapon that only Possessed wields. Kudos to the band for the production job and to Peter Tagtgren for mixing duties (at Abyss Studios in Sweden).

After multiple listens, it becomes clear that this is not only a very good album, but a special one. Like their classic releases that preceded, Revelations of Oblivion doesn't have any weak spots. Track after track of high quality, high speed death affronts the ears over its 12-tracks proper (not including the instrumental intro and outros), making for an unrelenting 55-minutes of listening pleasure. Buy or die!

[8.5]

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