Belgium’s Possession are a rare band, one who established a distinctive, unholy presence with their very first release and whose music has only become even more interesting in a relatively short span of years. After establishing a beachhead with their 2013 debut demo His Best Deceit, they advanced forward with the Anneliese EP in 2014 (reviewed here) and the 1585-1646 EP in 2015 (reviewed here). And now we come at last to the band’s first full-length effort, Exorkizein, created by a line-up that now includes a new vocalist and a new bassist.
The album will be jointly released by Invictus Productions and Iron Bonehead Productions on April 7. Two striking tracks from the album, “Infestation – Manifestation – Possession” and “In Vain“, have already debuted, and today we bring you a third one — “Beast of Prey“.
I decided to give the “Seen and Heard” caption a brief rest, but that’s basically what this post is — a round-up of new songs and videos. It just happens that everything in this round-up is the sound of slaughtering, though translated through difference metallic prisms. In essence, we’ll do a death metal/black metal back-and-forth, though you’ll hear differences even within those broad genre umbrellas, and the boundaries blur as well.
Over the weekend Sinister released an official video (created and directed by Sebastiaan Spijker) for a song called “Neurophobic” off their new album Syncretism, which will be released on February 24 by Massacre Records. This is the 13th studio album by these Dutch death metal veterans, and judging from the new song, it’s going to be lethal.
“Belgium’s Possession are moving from strength to hideous strength. They began precociously with their 2013 demo (His Best Deceit), took forward steps with their 2014 EP (Anneliese — reviewed here), and have made even more progress with their second EP, 1585-1646. Equal parts morbidly atmospheric and rifftastically raging, it’s an unholy union of black, death, and thrash metal that’s well worth adding to your musical arsenal.”
And that’s how I began my review of 1585-1646 in the middle of last month. I heaped more words of praise on top of this blazing pyre of music, but the main point of this post isn’t to see my own words again (no matter how thrilling that may be), it’s to let you hear another new song from this EP.
Belgium’s Possession are moving from strength to hideous strength. They began precociously with their 2013 demo (His Best Deceit), took forward steps with their 2014 EP (Anneliese — reviewed here), and have made even more progress with their second EP, 1585-1646. Equal parts morbidly atmospheric and rifftastically raging, it’s an unholy union of black, death, and thrash metal that’s well worth adding to your musical arsenal.
The four songs on the EP are conceptually linked. As in the case of Anneliese, the band have taken as their subject matter the true story of a young woman who lost her life at the hands of religious zealots. Here, the misfortune befell a French woman named Adrienne D’Heur; the EP is named for the years of her life.
According to The Font of All Human Knowledge, she was arrested by the French Inquisition, tortured in an effort to compel her into confessing that she had entered into a pact with the Devil (she refused to confess), and was then burned to death. However, Possession have put their own spin on these events, as described in the press release that accompanied our promo of the EP:
Possession’s 2013 demo, His Best Deceit, stirred up a buzz among underground aficionados of black/death bludgeoning, but this Belgian band’s forthcoming 7″ EP, Anneliese, should stoke the buzz to deafening levels. My only regret is that it’s only two songs long. Today, we’re giving you the chance to hear one of them in its entirety.
Possession achieve the kind of sound and aura that many newer bands strive for but few achieve as well. It’s the sound of primordial death metal, rising from the ooze and radiating an otherworldly malignancy. It’s rough and raw, but there’s a lot more to its appeal than feral ferocity: Possession write some delicious riffs that are as infectious as they are morbid.
The gut-punching drum beats and reverberating chords that form the intro to the title track tell you that something wicked this way comes, but you may still not be prepared for the driving rock rhythms, slashing guitars, and feral howls that follow it. It’s an immediate headband trigger, and if you don’t get a charge out of the grinding bass solo in the song’s back half, there’s no hope for you. The horror-filled atmosphere of the song’s down-paced finish makes a killer of a song all the more lethal.