Possessed - Revelations of Oblivion
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
12 songs (53:54)
Release year: 2019
Possessed, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

After basically creating a genre with their 1985 classic Seven Churches and fading away shortly thereafter, the news that a reanimated Possessed were finally due to release new material was more than welcome. And although not the original lineup, Possessed 2019 are more than worthy of your ears; joining original vocalist Jeff Becerra are Emilio Marquez on drums (Asesino, amongst others) Daniel Gonzalez (Gruesome) and the fabulously-named Claudeous Creamer (From Hell, ex-Dragonlord) on guitar and Robert Cardenas (Coffin Texts, ex-Angel Steel) on bass. A more than solid lineup, and despite Revelations of Oblivion being released more than 30 years after the album that made the band legendary, guess what? It absolutely rips. Although the Peter Tätgren mix and production (handled by band members) shows this very clearly to be an album released in 2019, there are very few other differences, to the point where this being released in the band's original run would have made perfect sense.

Becerra could easily have done a Pestilence and changed things up, but no, he's stayed true to the band's Venom-influenced sound, and so we get pummelling, intense death-thrash pounders like first track proper No More Room In Hell (after a grandiose and spooky intro in Chant of Oblivion) constructed around catchy, infectious riffs and led with his strangely ageless snarls. The guitarists are more than up to the job, dominating much of the second half of the track with a solo battle, and it's a brilliant start to an album that keeps the quality levels high for the full 50-plus minute runtime. If there's any downside to the album it's that length; although undoubtedly full of awesome headbanging fun, the songs are constructed in similar fashions and it'd be easy to call it samey. Even with familiarity, the likes of Dominion, Damned, and Demon can get a little hard to tell apart, even if they weren't consecutive on the tracklisting! But they are all awesome songs, the slower moments of Demon helping it stand out and the general early-Exodus-esque thrash influence coming across clearly thanks to the razor-sharp riffs.

What also comes across is the good, honest passion that Becerra has for his music, his performance wholehearted and intense, making the likes of Abandoned all the better for it. After being paralysed in a shooting in 1989 the inner strength and fortitude he showed in bringing his band back and returning to live performances is inspirational, not to mention pursuing a law degree in his life away from metal. And the resulting album is worth the wait, the bells added to the dramatic Omen linking this back to Seven Churches wonderfully, with some nice touches like a blackened vibe to the riffing on parts of Ritual or the ominous atmospheric opening to The Word. Fine, it's a little long, but nothing here is poor or worthy of being cut and the album never drags. It feels like a lost relic from the 1980s that has only just been unearthed, and those that rightly worship at the altar of Seven Churches should find much to appreciate here.

Killing Songs :
No More Room In Hell, Damned, Abandoned, Ritual
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Possessed that we have reviewed:
Possessed - Seven Churches reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
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