Review: Possession – Exorkizein

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Written by Elliot John Doe

Possession is a band dedicated to keeping the spirit of the black arts alive in their true form and unveiling them through uncompromising music. Raising the darkness since their inception in 2012, this Belgian quartet have a few releases under their belt from over the last five years and now in 2017 have unleashed their first full length, Exorkizein.

The introduction, simply titled ‘Intro,’ bears the sounds of horror incarnate with creaking doors, screaming and cackling women all to the tune of an organ and faint choir. Quite possibly a dissonant recording of some dark ritual, leaving you teetering on the edge of what hell waits before us.

‘Sacerdotium’ embodies a dark descent into madness with pounding tribal drums, growling bass and droning guitars, but then the madness ensues with blast beats and ferocious riffing. The screams of pure intensity sit really well amongst the insanity and even tread the waters between Death and Black metal.

‘Infestation-Manifestation-Possession’ is a brilliantly black, dark and dirty composition with some of the catchiest Black Metal riffs I may have ever heard!. Some artistically profound lead guitars drenched in reverb add great effect.

‘Beast Of Prey’ is relentless from the get go, a barrage of heaviness and a feeling of uprising, with the clever use of some subtle background strings in parts giving everything a cathartic lift. A distorted church organ and choir recording lead us out in to…..

‘In Vain’ which starts with a creepy ‘80’s electro sample that leads into some spoken word before the drums and crunchy bass kick things into a sludgy movement. Soon joins the guitar and the album’s best vocals so far. Definitely more of a Death Metal inspired track here, containing some evil death growls and ethereal female choir vocals that adds an uneasy feeling.

‘Take The Oath’ holds an exciting riff to half timed drum beats creating an interesting contrast and dynamic, shortly picking up the pace and throwing in some perfectly timed double kicks and squealing leads. Some chanting lyrics is sure to make this a fan favourite and would make a great live performance main stay track for the future, definitely one of the stronger tracks on this collection.

The final offering lies with ‘Preacher’s Death’, a hair swinging harvest of darkness in powerfully simplistic riffs that hold a sense of uplifting and a cleverly masterful middle section of reverbed picking. The ever intense vocals carry through the passion as the song fades away.
Although the riffs and some of the vocals have Death Metal leanings I am much more inclined to consider this band and release Black Metal, purely on the sincerity, ferocity and true artistic darkness that is held herein. At only seven songs, including an introduction track, can this really be considered an album? Well, with the length of some of the songs and the collection that it is I’m going to say yes, on artistic grounds. I also feel that some of the drumming the first half of the album is a little sloppy, perhaps the screws could be tightened a little here. Besides that I felt that a true sense of what they do and stand for is carried across well and I only look forward to seeing these guys flow onwards and upwards in their endeavours, a solid effort brimming with darkness and the black arts. 6/10

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