Back in their garage days, Barry Fisk, the original vocalist tragically committed suicide. So Jeff Becerra joined Possessed
as their front man in nineteen eighty three and became a major part of the band’s identity. Their nineteen eighty five debut, Seven Churches
, was incredibly explosive and decorated with innovative guitar solos. It is an awesome classic that rivals most of the best thrash albums to this day. Then a year later in nineteen eighty six they released their sophomore album, Beyond the Gates
. It was a fast paced album with lots of dynamic thrashing and shredding. There weren’t any neat sound effects like what embellished the previous album and some of the tracks had similar textures. So they probably rushed the creative process on that release. The band members parted ways in nineteen eighty nine and the band had split up. Jeff Becerra started the band up again with different musicians in the two thousands and signed with Nuclear Blast
in twenty seventeen. This recent CD comes in a jewel case and the elaborate album art depicts Satan
’s palace in hell.
After the short intro, No Room in Hell
, commences with some coarse guitar chops while the rhythm guitarist ominously grinds. The bassist soon cuts in with some short power chords, as the drummer dramatically rolls from the higher tones down to the lower beats. The vocalist miserably cries out his lyrics. “When there’s no room in hell, the dead shall walk this earth.” “When there’s no one left to tell, God
dies for Satan
’s birth.” The lead guitarist thrashes with a rough melody and the rhythm guitarist grinds along in a dark harmony. About halfway in the bassist chugs out a catchy rhythm and then the lead guitarist takes off with a speedy guitar solo. Vocalist Jeff Becerra was shot during a robbery in nineteen eighty nine and was tragically paralyzed from the waist down. That
is why we see him performing from a wheel chair, he is now fifty one years of age.
Lead guitarist Daniel Gonzalez joined the band in twenty eleven, he is thirty seven years old. He has also performed with Create A Kill
. He often slashes and dashes along with strong riffs that alternate between clear and distorted sounds. The rhythm guitarist, Cladeous Creamer is recognizable with the long blonde hair and goatee. He has previously worked with Mucus Membrane
. Creamer usually drives hard at the mid range notes, with a dirty sound quality. The fifth song, Demon
, starts with a catchy guitar lead and atmospheric grinding from the rhythm guitarist. Then the melody picks up speed, with the bassist following suit and the drummer pounding away maniacally. Jeff desperately chants out his lines with a raspy quality to his voice. “Dark
messiah, black madonna.” “Bestow your blessing within this circle of protection.” Then after two minutes the lead guitarist thrashes dynamically, as the rhythm guitarist grinds out a complementary lilt in the following sequences.
The eighth track, Omen
, begins with a fast ascending guitar riff and alternates with church bells in descending tones. Then the lead guitarist rips forward, while the rhythm guitarist thrashes with a rugged texture. Becerra hollers out his lyrics with a rough edge and an air of emotional distress. “Rising
up from the depths of the sea, bringing armies to war.” “Cast down from the heavens above, laying waste from the shore.” Soon the tempo increases using a higher measure of distortion and an increased display of tenacity from the drummer. The bassist lays down some heavy lines, during some flashy guitar solos and a couple of squealing notes. Robert Cardenas has played bass with Possessed
since the late two thousands. He is fifty one years of age and has performed on albums with Coffin Texts
and Masters Of Metal
. Cardenas usually rolls with fast bass lines to reinforce the overdriving guitar music. Occasionally there are speedy chugging and power chords involved. Sometimes he drives the songs with ominous rhythms.
Drummer Emilio Marquez is forty five years old and has been with Possessed
since the late two thousands. He has performed on albums with Asesino
, Coffin Texts
. His presence is characterized with hyperactive movement, displaying his skill with the various tones from his large drum set. There are a lot of flashy patterns and extended drum rolls that start from the higher tones and run down to the lower tones. The eleventh number, Graven
, starts with some interesting sound effects and shortly afterward breaks out with fierce grinding melodies at an explosive tempo. The bassist plays an ominous rhythm that bounces between the midrange and higher notes. The vocalist desperately yells out his lines. “Six
six six on the head and on the wrist!” “Two
coins to cross the river Styx
, on bended knees and Satan
’s fist!” The guitarists shred and thrash with incredible ferocity, as the drummer attacks with varied beat tone arrangements.
Jeff Becerra was just a teenager when the first two albums were released in the mid eighties. So naturally his voice sounds deeper in his fifties and he can’t scream with the same intensity as he did in his youth. But he still provides the same personality and presence as we would expect on a Possessed
album. The classic lineup had fine musicians and brilliant songwriters with a phenomenal chemistry. The new guitarists and bassist are very good, but they don’t match the performances of the old school lineup. However, the new drummer is an upgrade for the band. The lyrics were written by Becerra and the music was mostly written by Gonzalez. They have borrowed a couple of riffs from the older material, but they don’t dwell on it for long. There is a lot more grinding and less innovative riffs than in the past. It is still a relentless onslaught of high speed activity and they did the best with the resources that they had. Their modern sound is comparable to a cross between Terrorizer
and Pig Destroyer