A Sorrowful Farewell: Possessor – The Speed of Death

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Artist: Possessor

Album: The Speed of Death

Label: APF Records

Release Date: 29/01/2022

Country: United Kingdom

Unfortunately for me I only discovered Possessor when I received a promo of their last album Damn the Light back in 2020. Once I did, I immediately went back and listened to their previous albums. What I found was a band with a genuinely powerful energy and a perfect blend of fuzz, heaviness and aggression.

Following the band’s previous album, I was extremely excited to see what they would release next and when I heard that there was an EP coming soon, I was definitely keen to see what the band would hit us with. Then came the unfortunate news that this would in fact be the band’s final release and that they would no longer be operating as Possessor. While I am extreme sad to see this chapter close, I am also very excited to see what comes next for the band’s members.

Anyway, with that out of the way let’s talk about The Speed of Death. While there are only four tracks (well technically three), let me assure you that each and every one of them packs enough of a punch to kick your ass. Picture early Venom but played with more aggression and even louder. Essentially this is old school speed metal played with the venom of proto-black meta and elements of stoner and sludge metal. You’ll find stupidly catchy riffs, rumbling bass and unrelenting drums played at breakneck speed and paired with vocals that should remind any classic metal fans of Venom’s Cronos.

Having made that comparison let me be very clear that there are numerous moments where things get heavier and more aggressive that they ever could have on a release from the early 80s. This is a perfect blend between old school throwback and modern interpretation. The way the band have produced and mastered the music has kept a sort of old school feel to it, making the more modern elements feel like they too could be from that era. The album opens with Twisted Nerve Endings, which immediately sets the tone for the EP with its classic sounding soundbite about “boys gone bad”. This launches off into a high-speed offering of speed/thrash riffs, incredible rumbling bass work and high energy drums. The track rockets along with this level of aggression and groove until about 2/3 of the way through where it takes things in a more stoner metal direction.

Track 2 Medusa Lives! is a raw, high energy speed metal offering with even raspier more distorted vocals that almost feel sludgy in nature. This one does not let up for a moment and barrels forward from start to finish. It gives way to track 3 Paura which is a gloomy interlude with some vintage horror spoken word. Lastly, we have the closing track Draw Blood which not only ends the album but essentially bids farewell to the band and caps off their 9 year career. This almost feels like the perfect song to go out on and shows a fantastic blend of their different styles and influences. Of all the tracks on the EP this has what could be described as the most old-school sounding. Anyone who loves 80s speed metal will definitely get a kick out of this one.

Overall, this was a killer release despite how short it is in length. While I’m sad to see the band go, I’m glad that they left us this one last gift to remember them by. If this is your first time listening to the band then you have plenty of homework to do. If you are already a fan, then you don’t want to miss this one.Listen to and order the album:

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