Album: 1585 – 1646
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Possession’s EP, 1585 – 1646 is a primitive, 4 track EP of straight forward but still chaotic black/death metal, harkening from Belgium. While Chris Moyan’s extremely recognisable art might be a staple of the visceral black/thrash bands, both Possession’s logo design and the album art done by him help solidify the primitive and dark tone of the album. The album follows the life, accusation and eventual burning of a French woman, Adrienne d’Heur, who was accused of sorcery.
The opening track, Obscurity – Visitation, might be a monster in terms of its length (9 minutes over the two 4 min and one 6 min track here), but it also does an extremely effective job at setting the right atmosphere for this EP with its wind, rain, Gregorian chant and bells that create a sinister atmosphere not unlike in Black Sabbath’s self titled track. An almost second wave black metal riff follows this, backed by a pounding drum drives the atmosphere before breaking out into swirling black/death metal for the last couple of minutes of the track.
Possession’s swirling black/death is of a more straight forward affair than other, more abstract groups, taking fast, almost blasting drumming and combining it with a primitive and somewhat simplistic tremolo picked guitar and bass attack that gives the EP a bestial quality similar to early black/death groups. This style of swirling black/death is mixed together with a couple of sections of first wave styled black/thrash, particularly the mid-point of Guilty, as well as the fuzzed bass lead section nearing the end of Ablaze, bringing the album to a damning end that conjures images of burnt witches.
The vocals have a reverb soaked quality to them in the same manner to Vampire’s debut and Necrowretch’s, with howled backing vocals taking space near the end of Ceremony as well as deep but controlled rumbles throughout Guilty. The production of the album sits slightly towards the lo-fi end of the scale to give 1585 – 1646 the primitive and evil sound that Possession appear to be aiming for while not breaching anything one could call hostile or abrasively raw, while the mixing is top notch, giving an almost seamless combination of bass/guitars to emphasis the atmosphere. Definitely check this EP out, and hit up Possession’s prior material!