Possession – Exorkizein (Review)

PossessionPossession are a black/death metal band from Belgium and this is their debut album.

Possession play malevolent, evil black metal with some old-school death metal and doom elements.

The album has a solid underground sound that does the material justice, allowing it to glow with a cold, infernal light.

The vocalist’s savage screams seem more brutal than most singers of this style manage. His voice almost seems tangible, as if it’s capable of reaching out through the airwaves to cause actual physical harm. Other vocalisations are also used, but it’s the screams that really do it for me.

Musically, these songs take the corrupted heart of black metal and vomit some death metal gore onto the vicious riffs.  It’s a good combination that overall sees the band embrace the blackened aesthetic and frozen Satanic evil of the style, while still acknowledging and weaponizing death metal’s more misanthropic qualities.

Brutal and savage, but also curiously thoughtful and refined, there’s some really engaging music on this release. The band play with the passion of the cultist, but the songs are not frenzied or unfocused as you might fear due to this. No, this is a band that know what they want to achieve and have set their music to attack via specific overarching themes. Telling a tale of exorcism, the music dips deep into the realm of the occult and otherworldly, fashioning six hymns to blackened evil that firmly make their mark on the listener.

Savagely warped and full of ideas that are pulled off extremely well, Possession show that they can write songs that not only rip your face off, but also unsettle and disturb with their dark ambience and morbid atmospheres. The band are equally adept at blasting with hateful speed, slowing down to a doom-infected crawl, or adopting a mid-paced assault that’s relentlessly aggressive.

Real feeling is injected into this release around the more ferocious delivery. Darkly emotive guitar riffs and haunting leads and solos combine with the doom aspects to add substance and poisoned flavour to the tracks, ensuring that this is an album that you definitely feel compelled to visit over and over again.

Exorkizein is a very impressive listen. Possession have unleashed something quite special on the world here.

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