Possession - 1585-1646 (EP)
Iron Bonehead Productions
Black/Death Metal
4 songs (24:58)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Goat

It's rare that metal bands stand out on the basis of album (or in this case, EP) titles alone, but Belgian hellraisers Possession managed to draw my attention with this, their second EP. Telling the story of a witch's pact with Satan and eventual demise, 1585-1646 is a solid listen, full of atmosphere and riffs, if not quite convincing that Possession do enough to make their sound original. Even if it's not original, however, the band are easy to recommend to lovers of old-school, Hellhammer-ing extremity. Opening with Obscurity – Visitation, the track builds with an eerie storm and monklike chanting before the raw riffing begins, somewhere between classic death and black. It's closer to black in terms of atmosphere, yet groovy and physical enough to be death metal, and by the time the track kicks off into a gallop it's truly hard to define as one over the other. The same goes for the energetic yet not quite blastbeat drumming, and the throaty yells and wails of vocalist Mestema; yet it all fits together well and makes for a truly headbangable track, especially once the high-pitched, Slayer-esque solo kicks in.

The one fault I can find is that it takes a little too long to get to the actual metal, something following track Ceremony has no problem with. Rolling waves of riffs a la Bolt Thrower soon turn darker and blacker as the vocals join in, the track growing in complexity without losing its heaviness. Guilty continues in a similar vein, faster and wilder, the riffs devolving into a wall of occult noise over which the vocals shriek out, yet the best moments here are towards the end of final track Ablaze, when the groove settles into a hypnotic, almost pure black metal rhythm and the atmospheric effect is at its greatest. These guys know what they're doing, and I look forward to hearing what they can achieve on a full-length album.

Killing Songs :
Ceremony, Ablaze
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