Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion (Nuclear Blast Records)

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As gaps between albums go, thirty three years is going to take a lot of beating, but when you’ve released the seminal death metal classic that is Seven Churches, perhaps you don’t need to release anything else. Just how do you top an album that still regularly features in heavy music fans top tens of all time? Well in 2019 death metal pioneers Possessed have re-emerged with Revelations Of Oblivion, to give it their best shot. With vocalist Jeff Becerra the only remaining member from that era and with such a long time having passed, the band have a mountain to climb to regain their status as one of the premier acts of that genre.

And it seems as if they have hit the death metal reset button. From the demonic opening Chant Of Oblivion to the first chords of No More Room In Hell a wry smile crosses my face as I realise that this is going to be everything I had hoped it would be. The album lurches by at a furious pace which rarely lets up, with Becerra’s, Tom G Warrior vocals sounding as potent as ever. Drummer Emilio Marquez produces those huge fills in true old school style, giving the impression that he has at least fifteen toms bolted to his kit, while the guitars are constantly at odds with each other, a trick perfected by Slayer, with screaming riffs and haunting solos galore. It does slow down ever so slightly in tracks like Demon and Graven, but that’s only to pummel you with another monstrous riff, while tracks like The Word remind you of the influence they had on the black metal world too. They finish the album with the demonic outro of Temple of Samael an acoustic number that will haunt you in your sleep for weeks to come

So I’m pleased to report that Revelations Of Oblivion is a masterful return, one that takes us back to the classic death metal sound of the late eighties with a punch that belongs very much in the now. Hail Satan… Chris Andrews

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