For those jostling for position in the crowded fields of hardcore, metal and the intersectional …
Revelations of Oblivion is the first album in thirty-three years from American death metal band Possessed.
It marks a valiant return to recording of one of the most formative bands of the genre after immense trials and significant lineup changes, and Possessed have hit this comeback with wall-to-wall intensity. Revelations Of Oblivion has got some quirky moments, it’s got some spine jarring, dark, and acoustic moments but it is nevertheless as death metal as it comes.
From the outset, it is made clear that Revelations of Oblivion is a dark and foreboding death metal album, and it expounds the biblical theme of Revelations with depth and skill. The apocalyptic theme manifests from the stormy monastic-chant instrumental intro Chant of Oblivion. Motifs connected to Revelations are laced throughout the album, such as the samples of insects and churchbells in Graven. Of note on this theme is the demonically playful track, aptly titled Demon, which is stylistically a bit inventive and highly effective. Rounding off neatly, the album closes acoustically, with the angel of death in the broodingly beautiful, but industrial noise-spiked Temple of Samael.
There is nothing diluted about Possessed’s approach to Revelations Of Oblivion. It has a relatively raw yet resoundingly modern production quality and is indeed ‘heavier’ than Possessed’s material from the 1980s
Vocalist Jeff Becerra is the central pillar of Possessed and his performance on Revelations of Oblivion is outstanding. Becerra’s range is evidence on the mid-paced track Omen, with deep clean vocals alongside his classic sound. Tracks such as Dominion and Abandoned have very memorable lyrical refrains that Becerra delivers convincingly and powerfully. Musically, Revelations Of Oblivion is a veritable garden of delights for shred devotees as guitarists Daniel Gonzales and Claudeous Creamer let fly on wild, duelling solos amidst invigorating fast and catchy riffs in some tracks, and stately, spooky sequences in others, such as Shadowcult and Damned. The multiple strengths of Possessed’s new lineup come together in tracks such as The Word, with edgy tremolo and cascading drums, almost melodic vocals and searing solos; a song that is both violent and beautiful.
There is nothing diluted about Possessed’s approach to Revelations Of Oblivion. It has a relatively raw yet resoundingly modern production quality and is indeed ‘heavier’ than Possessed’s material from the 1980s in the way that one would expect the sound to be developed three decades later. It would seem somewhat redundant however to make too many comparisons to the early Possessed albums, except to note that Revelations of Oblivion is a brilliantly worthy heir to this discography. Revelations of Oblivion is a curiously powerful album, and the description that comes to mind is ‘authentic’; it is the kind of album that really comes to life because the darkness, the rage, the sheer irreverence is so genuine.
STANDOUT TRACKS: The Word, Abandoned, Demon
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Behemoth, Death, Immolation