Every now and then a demo comes along and regardless of the fact that, at its core, originality is non-existent, the blatant condensing of the band’s influences into something vital – and the brazen execution of it all – is enough to knock your jaded ass off its perch. Recently released through Iron Bonehead Productions – an underground baiting label that’s become increasingly known for high quality, nasty output – as a limited-run cassette and given greater distribution in CD format on November 15, 2013, by the equally noxious Invictus Productions, Belgium’s Possession has delivered one such demo, titled His Best Deceit.
A four track mauling, which includes a crude cover of Sepultura’s “Necromancer” (originally found on the Brazilian band’s 1985 EP Bestial Devastation), Possession’s morbid fixation with seminal bands such as Sarcófago, early Celtic Frost, Archgoat, early Destruction, early Impaled Nazarene – the list goes on – reeks through every blackened proto-thrash riff and clubbing beat and blast. Formed in late 2012, yet trapped musically and aesthetically circa 1980 to 1987 – just look at the ghoulish cover photo of the band hanging out in a graveyard a la INRI – Possession is not of this time ... or world.
His Best Deceit was mixed and mastered by Phorgath of Enthroned fame at Blackout Multimedia Studio, and he has caked this demo in just the right amount of murk. Phorgath’s perception and translation of Possession’s demonic urge to summon the masters of the archaic arts, yet instil the enthusiastic energy a demo should hold, is strikingly clear the moment the wailing exorcism of the intro to “Possession” (naming a song after the band being another tip of the hat to the elders) gives way to the song’s portentous opening riff. The distressed screams of vocalist Mestema reverberates off the crackling blasts and infests the scabrous riffs, and the band is choking in its hatred whether moving at a Bolt Thrower-esque stomp or at whiplash speed as per “The Truth of Cain” and the raw terror of the title track.
Causing a plethora of esteemed extreme metal bands to be referenced yet sounding fresh, exciting, and as untamed as the originators once did is a testament to the keen knowledge these four musicians possess (no pun intended). There is true authenticity to the music Possession has created on its demo, including the carefully chosen Sepultura cover, something some other new bands mining the past work of extreme metal most heathen lose through a lack of understanding. Metal, like any genre, is full of posturing and hustlers trying to capitalize on trends that emerge both underground and above. And sure, more and more bands are popping up in graveyards armed with influences of the most crepuscular kind and looking for primal production standards to showcase their retrogressive bent, but you can weed out the insincere if you look close enough. Peer at Possession long enough and your eyes will bleed. This band is the real deal and off the back of this repugnant demo, great things will come.