Any time a band that has been long dead and hasn’t really put anything out since the ‘80s is obviously gonna gain my attention with a new record in 2019. Naturally, that meant that spinning the new Possessed record Revelations Of Oblivion dawned over-hype on my part, and I thought it was absolutely incredible. Well, that’s partially still true, but it does lose some value after a few replays.
Taking one good look at the album cover, it’s not difficult to tell what the music is going to sound like. Imagine the aesthetic of early Possessed records and gloss it over with today’s production resources and an aged voice. “Damned” showcases some of the best work present, thanks to the weight the chorus pulls. The lyrics and vocal delivery have a fluid flow that’s carried rapidly by blistering beats behind the kit. There’s also without a doubt a hefty supply of riffs, which is pretty obvious in the single “No More Room In Hell.” “Abandoned” throws back to old writing tactics with the fret-ascending breaks between extremely fast riffs, which reminds me of “Pentagram.”
However, too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing, because the only real downfall here is exactly that. Revelations Of Oblivion could easily stand to drop a few tracks, as it’s a bit long. Tune’s like “Demon” lack much structure, sounding like a rampant cluster of kicks and licks that aren’t bad but go nowhere. Plus, it isn’t difficult to see that some of the Satanic shtick is a bit forced and tries too hard. It’s always been what Possessed have been about, but you can tell when it’s natural and when it isn’t.
I definitely like this record, and I’m glad they decided to put out a new one. The fact that they can still craft music that invokes high levels of fear and fire says something; it just would have been a lot tighter if about a quarter of the songs were dropped. And I get it, tightness isn’t always the key with this brand of death/thrash, so perhaps loosening some bolts would have done wonders too. Anyone who likes the early albums should give this a spin.
Revelations Of Oblivion was released on May 10th, 2019 through Nuclear Blast and can be found on their website on vinyl, CD, and cassette.