Hailing from London with a penchant for occult metal and with already the Wings of Fire EP under their belt this year, UK metallers Possessor have unleashed a rather tasty and impressive debut album in the stormy form of Electric Hell. There is not much more we can tell you about the band except that if you like a cocktail of sludge and stoner metal with thrash and varied metal rapacity, then this is an ear rioting album to whip up the juices. Consisting of nine tracks which simply flirt with the imagination whilst rigorously fondling the passions, Electric Hell is a treat for all fans of bands such as Black Sabbath, Slayer, and Fu Manchu through to Black Tusk, Gruntruck, and Kyuss with plenty more on offer. There is one band though which came to mind again and again as the release set to work on ears, and that is early Therapy?, the album vocally and in its predatory sounds holding a highly agreeable and uncanny essence of the Irish trio about them.
Unique in its own presence too, the album is a gloriously raw and irresistibly cantankerous encounter which makes an immediate and appetite igniting impression through the first rugged swipes of opener Chasms of Malice alone. From the first breath, sinew clad strikes of guitar courted by the bestial throaty charm of bass crowd ears to spark swift attention, the imagination following suit as an acidic groove and caustic riffing emerges to consume the senses. There is a punk vitality to the track too, especially once the effect surfaced vocals join the now rampaging stride of guitars and the punchy rhythms. It is a glorious enticement with the snarling bass stealing the limelight, but only just from the toxic groove and insatiable swagger of the song.
Its striking start is swiftly followed and matched by Invisible Face, again riffs setting down predatory bait which is coloured by stoner-esque hues and infectious grooves. With a haunted tone to the vocals and grumbling voracity to both bass and drums, the track bulges with rabid riffs and spiky hooks to inflame an already greed bitten appetite. It is a hunger soon fed a tasty morsel by Limb from Limb and spoilt by the outstanding Castle of Bastards. The first of the two is a more slowly intensive proposition, its acidic binding of sonic enterprise as restrained and flavoursome as the gentler expression of the vocals. It is deceptive though as at its core, the song is primed and driven by an incessant nagging of riffs and the ever incendiary bass sound. It is an underbelly which is fuelled with rabidity, a lure as potently predacious as the sounds around it are magnetically reserved. It is a fine encounter but soon left looking up at the might of its successor. Like most tracks on the album it is driven by thrash bred tenacity and muscular urgency which makes for a familiar and easily digestible spine, upon which the rest of the song expands and brings its creative devilry. Castle of Bastards is no exception but to this insatiable bait it unleashes a bestial breath and inventive sonic unpredictability which simply bewitches. The track is where that reference to Therapy? is first bred, though earlier tracks hint at it at times too. Far too short at less than two minutes long, the song is pure hostile drama and quite magnificent.
The sultry stoner grooving of Strange Summoning over a garage punk and heavy metal blended canvas makes its own sturdy claim for top track honours. Again brief in presence but rich on irrepressible adventure with riffs and grooves the prime addiction, it soon makes way for the Sabbath-esque Heavy Dreams. It is a song intensive in weight and primal structuring yet veined with a sonic intrigue and melodic causticity which would not be out of place in a Torche or Melvins treat. It is followed by the virulent contagion of the instrumental Skeletal Form, a corrosive dance of scathing riffs and inhospitable rhythms with an impossibly addictive groove, one again related to anything the previously mention Irish band uncaged on the Shortsharpshock EP or the Troublegum album. Equipped with sludge oppressiveness and acute stoner seeded sonic enticements, the piece is a deliciously enslaving encounter which reinforces the depth and devilish character of the band’s exhilarating sound.
The album is concluded by firstly the sonic grazing of Face the Possessor, a track which fails to find the same eagerness of reactions as its predecessors but still with intimidating jagged riffery and entrancing guitar endeavour leaves ears richly satisfied and the imagination enticed. The final song of the album is its title track, a hypnotic and unrelenting persuasion of doom spawned pressure and bordering on insidious temptation. It is a demonic slice of instrumental alchemy which shows that if ever their frontman lost his voice the band would not disappoint on stage thanks to their absorbing and spellbinding, not forgetting ingenious sonic adventure.
As Electric Hell seduces time and time again, it is hard to imagine that Possessor will go unnoticed for long by fans, media, or even label interest. Now is the time to submit to their diablerie we say, this raw and unpolished gem of an album a thrilling ticket to the start of their inevitable ascending ride.
Electric Hell is available now @ http://possessor.bandcamp.com/album/electric-hell
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