Album Review: Possessor – Damn The Light
Halloween might’ve passed already, but spooky season lasts all year round for lunatic London trio Possessor. It’s a fact written front-to-back across this gore-strewn fifth album, from the eerie first 25 seconds of Bloodsuckers (seemingly lifted from some obscure video-nasty OST) to bludgeoning closer Return To Slaughter High’s open tribute to Bill Froehlich’s slasher classic Return To Horror High. Hell, Alexander Goulet’s killer artwork looks like it’s been nicked straight from the cover of some buried Stephen King paperback.
Brilliantly, though, that nightmare imagery is draped over a Frankenstein’s monster of sound that stitches together some of the most menacing stuff in the metal mausoleum: from the frosty cool of Darkthrone and Celtic Frost’s pitch-black progressiveness to the scourging severity of High On Fire and Motörhead’s Cenobite-endorsed swagger. Lead-single Coffin Fit starts out with a wide-eyed sludginess that feels like Church Of Misery at their most druggily aggro before building through some ripping solos and a galloping final act straight from the NWOBHM. The near six-and-a-half minute title-track, by comparison, is a darkly psychedelic masterpiece that escalates from a jangling, ethereal 100-second build through several waves of mania without ever losing its insidious tension.
Pivotally, every second of these ten tracks comes underlined with a sense of bloody-minded glee. Take It To The Grave is the sort of amp-busting earful best enjoyed with head banging and beer raised high. The Strangeness taps into a sense of shadowy, avant-garde adventure that’s been sorely lacking in the last three decades of truly heavy music. Scalpel promises razor-sharp incisiveness but instead suffocates with its five minutes of fuzz and chest-caving percussion. Fresh Hell echoes tantalisingly around your speakers before thrashily overflowing like a lake of fire with too much beer dropped in.
Robbed graves aside, it’s hardly groundbreaking stuff, of course. Nonetheless, Damn The Light is yet another ghoulishly good time with one of the most frighteningly underrated outfits in UK metal.
For Fans Of: Motörhead, High On Fire, Celtic Frost
Damn The Light is out now via APF.
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