Album Review: Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion

It’s an understatement to say that this album is one of the most anticipated of the year. Forefathers of death metal Possessed have returned with their fourth studio effort after 32 years – the apocalyptic sounding Revelations of Oblivion. Having become a reincarnated force on the stage in recent years, and with some killer teasers from the album along the way, Revelations of Oblivion is certain to be an awesome comeback.

Opening with the traditional spooky instrumental intro, “Chant of Oblivion”, the dark bombast of the orchestrations sets the apocalyptic scene. From the beginning of “No More Room in Hell”, it’s clear that Possessed are back. The riffs are relentless old-skool deathrash that instantly get the head banging straight from the opening stabs. The thrashing pace and insanely catchy riffs continue in the raging “Dominion” and “Demon”. Founder Jeff Becerra’s vocals are killer, with his delay drenched death roars adding to the dark atmosphere. The band’s performance is on point – tight and energetic. Drummer Emilio Marquez pounds the skins like a frenzied demon, and guitarists Daniel Gonzalez and Claudius Creamer shred some ripping solos across the album. Revelations of Oblivion has the awesome old-skool death metal atmosphere evoking the classic Seven Churches, and it sounds like the band had a thrashing good time making the album.

The classic Possessed vibes continue with the frantic legato riffing in pre-release single “Abandoned” and recent live stormer “Shadowcult”. Horror movie-esque bells and choirs return for more creepy atmosphere in “Omen”. The song brings a few pace changes from the storming verses, to the doomy middle and the black metal blasting at the end. More melodic black metal ideas come in “The Word” while the relentless deathrash attack blasts with “Ritual” and “Graven”. The eerie acoustic arpeggios of closing instrumental “Temple of Samael” makes the album feel complete, yet leaves anticipation for the next spin.

Possessed’s return with Revelations of Oblivion is triumphant. The band doesn’t need to innovate, just make a killer death metal record that evokes their old-skool vibe while staying modern and fresh – and they succeeded overwhelmingly. From the first note, the album has you hooked until the end. There’s a perfect blend of simplicity, technicality and atmosphere while there are progression and new ideas. This might be the first studio record Possessed has released since 1987’s The Eyes of Horror, but it’s clear the band has absorbed all the awesome extreme metal that’s come in that time. They’ve grown yet not compromised who they are, and it sounds like they had a blast making Revelations of Oblivion. It’s an awesome comeback that has heads banging from start to end – definitely a contender for album of the year.

Revelations of Oblivion is available now

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