Like so many we were ravished and bewitched by Electric Hell, the debut album from UK metallers Possessor which was unleashed last year. It was a tremendous persuasion of sound and enterprise reinforced by a retrospective listen of their first EP Wings of Fire, which came out just a few months before that impressive full-length. They have a sound which is raw and voracious yet unafraid to embrace a melodic and sonic toxicity come seduction which is as fierce and flavoursome as the hostile and sinister landscapes it infiltrates. Now band and music has drawn a new lustful submission with new EP Stay Dead, a release realising all the qualities of its predecessors in new and raucously adventurous exploits.
Hailing from London and formed late 2013, the trio breed their insidious temptation masquerading as sound through merging occult metal with sludge and thrash bred hues and tenacity. It is a fusion emerging with a sense of familiarity yet providing distinctly new and incendiary provocations and temptations. They are like a mix of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Kylesa and Therapy?, a hellacious assault on the senses and demonic seducing of the psyche.
The EP opens on a real high of a track and the release never does anything but look down from lofty heights again. Lucifer Stay Dead opens on a rumble of motorbike before descending on the senses swiftly after with a tsunami of riffs from guitarist Graham Bywater and bassist Marc Brereton. With swinging beats just as feverishly hostile and immediate aligned to a sonic enterprise from Bywater sparking early lusty reactions, the track prowls and snarls with bestial irreverence. The song is simply predatory, everything about it soaked in real hunger and antagonistic ferocity. There is no letting up of its intensity either, those ravenous riffs seemingly gaining in strength and appetite across the track whilst rhythms simply grow bigger balls of attitude within a flaming melodic web.
It is an exceptional start matched by Night of Venom straight after, a track which launches itself on the senses with an even heavier and intensive assault. Of course it also comes with that instinctive seduction, an exciting sonic spicing which tempers the viciousness. Brereton’s bass delivers its dirtiest, rabid tones ever though, whilst the contagion of riffs and grooves coring the encounter, like in its predecessor, has a repetitive niggling which simply evolves into an irresistible addiction. This is where that Therapy? essence comes in for us, the song reaping the nature of the same type of persuasion which lit up the N. Ireland trio’s early work.
With it definitely being too short, fair to say you cannot get enough of its primal tempting, the track makes way for Cobwebs, a smiling slice of pop rock. Nah don’t be silly, the song is another portentous stalking of the senses, though to be honest it does have a more respectful swagger to its energy and character too. Of course this is bound in menacing and dark hearted bass growling and just as grizzly riffery, whilst the drums almost call out for mercy such the psychical and gripping sledging they get. It many ways the track is like the darkest Hammer Films of the seventies, its demonic presence and nature wrapped in alluring colourful designs set to entrap before the horror begins.
The EP closes with Lights Out / Crypt of the Sorcerer, the darkest, chilling, and most toxic offering on the release, arguably from Possessor ever. Its classic psych charm is a deceit within a cavernous smothering of devil seeded ensorcellment, the appetiser before a devouring of senses and emotions within a swamp of thrash sculpted riffs and occultist violation. It is sonic smog of seventies and current classic metal twisted and wrung out until breeding its own scorching and intoxicating sludge thick blasphemy. The track is quite simply a thrilling end to another stunning release from Possessor, even with its infernal fade out.
Possessor last year set a plateau with Electric Hell for themselves and the current British occult metal scene, but has now left it behind as a past marker in their emergence with Stay Dead. Maybe only the brave will dare immerse in the world of Possessor but with rewards plentiful and lingering within their aural necromancy, truly no metal /heavy rock fan should fear giving them a go.
The Stay Dead EP is available now via http://possessor.bandcamp.com/album/stay-dead-ep
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