Death Metal / Thrash Metal • United States
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Possessed is an American death/thrash metal band and was formed in 1982 in San Francisco, California. After breaking up in 1993, the band reformed under original bassist/vocalist Jeff Becerra in 2007. They are noted for their fast playing style, Becerra's guttural vocals and have been cited as an influence on the death metal genre. The band's influence on the genre is so great that they are sometimes called the "godfathers" of the death metal genre and are often considered the first death metal group, with the name of the genre possibly coming from their first demo entitled "Death Metal".

The band originated in San Francisco in 1983. The band recruited Jeff Becerra to take over the lead vocal position following the death of original lead vocalist, Barry Fisk. The following years were spent practicing and working on their sound by performing at local venues. Through their early live performances they
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POSSESSED Discography

POSSESSED albums / top albums

POSSESSED Seven Churches album cover 4.18 | 32 ratings
Seven Churches
Death Metal 1985
POSSESSED Beyond the Gates album cover 3.94 | 16 ratings
Beyond the Gates
Thrash Metal 1986
POSSESSED Revelations of Oblivion album cover 4.55 | 11 ratings
Revelations of Oblivion
Death Metal 2019

POSSESSED EPs & splits

POSSESSED The Eyes of Horror album cover 3.53 | 10 ratings
The Eyes of Horror
Thrash Metal 1987
POSSESSED Entombed / Possessed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Entombed / Possessed
Thrash Metal 2002
POSSESSED Resurrection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Metal 2003
POSSESSED Ashes from Hell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ashes from Hell
Death Metal 2006
POSSESSED Gathered At The Altar Of Blast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gathered At The Altar Of Blast
Death Metal 2018

POSSESSED live albums

POSSESSED Agony in Paradise album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Agony in Paradise
Thrash Metal 2004

POSSESSED demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

POSSESSED Death Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Metal
Death Metal 1984
POSSESSED Demo 1985 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 1985
Death Metal 1985
POSSESSED Demo 1993 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 1993
Thrash Metal 1993

POSSESSED re-issues & compilations

POSSESSED Victims of Death the Best of Possessed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Victims of Death the Best of Possessed
Thrash Metal 1992
POSSESSED Beyond the Gates / The Eyes of Horror album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Beyond the Gates / The Eyes of Horror
Thrash Metal 1998
POSSESSED Reanimation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thrash Metal 2012
POSSESSED Vinyl Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vinyl Collection
Thrash Metal 2012

POSSESSED singles (0)

POSSESSED movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Possessed by Evil
Thrash Metal 2007


POSSESSED Beyond the Gates

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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This album gets a lot of flack for being generally weaker than its predecessor, but I heard no drop in quality whatsoever. It’s exactly the same messy, thrashy, raw old school death metal as on the debut. Perhaps it could be critiqued for not innovating at all, but who needs innovation when the music is this good?

The similarity between this and their debut makes it rather difficult to review. If I have to nitpick, I could say some of the riffs sound a little less inspired, and generally repeat for a bit longer. However, the musicians also sound tighter, more focused and clearly in better practice. All in all, it’s just another really fantastic Death Metal album from the creators themselves.

POSSESSED Seven Churches

Album · 1985 · Death Metal
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By name dropping the genre in the album’s closing track, Possessed invented Death Metal just as Venom invented Black Metal. The only difference was Possessed actually were Death Metal, through and through.

Naturally, this album is a bit messy, and the production isn’t the best. There are quite a few mistakes from the musicians you can pretty easily pick up on, and many instances where Becerra can’t get the words out in time and just screams nonsense. They were amateurs. But their vision and their passion was incredible, and yes, they created a full-fledged Death Metal album on their first try.

Those buzzsaw guitars were shredding out some seriously deranged, dissonant riffs, and the drums were just smashing everything as hard and fast as they could. It wasn’t that fast, and one might even say midtempo compared to today’s metal, but certainly Becerra’s screaming growl drove all that home and shook any doubts that this was indeed the heaviest music on Earth at the time. Lyrics focused exclusively on Satan, and though they weren’t well written or often intelligible, they never surrendered an inch to worshiping the great evil so necessary to Metal.

POSSESSED Seven Churches

Album · 1985 · Death Metal
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The missing link between thrash and death metal... there are all sorts of elements that fans of those two genres will recognize: riffs that wouldn't be out of place on Death Angel's The Ultraviolence, vocals that are almost growled and certainly heavier than any thrash metal band at the time (barring perhaps Celtic Frost, another genre-defying band), tremolo picking galore, but also Exodus-style guitar dueling solos. Most Primus fans probably have no clue Ler Lalonde used to rip like this. Mostly recommended for fans of early Slayer, Death and Morbid Angel. Also a very consistent album (no filler tracks) with great production value for being a bunch of teenagers in 1985.

Hard to sit still or turn it down once this album starts playing!

POSSESSED Revelations of Oblivion

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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Kev Rowland
Wow, hands up all those who never thought there would be a new album by Possessed? There are many arguments as to whether they recorded the first ever Death Metal album with 1985’s ‘Seven Churches’, but there is no doubt it was hugely influential, but their last album was ‘Beyond The Gates’ in 1987. Just a few years after that and vocalist Jeff Becerra was left paralyzed from the waist down after a shooting incident, and even though guitarist Mike Torrao tried to get a version of the band working again in the Nineties it didn’t last long. But now the band are back – true it is with only one original member, but that is Becerra! He has built a new band with songwritiing partner Daniel Gonzalez on guitar (Nailshitter, Gruesome) plus Claudeous Creamer on guitars (Dragonlord, Serpent, Girth), Robert Cardenas on bass guitar (Coffin Texts, Masters of Metal, Agent Steel, Malice, Engrave), and Emilio Marquez (Brainstorm, Sadistic Intent, Engrave, Brujeria) on drums.

The result is an album of a band reborn. How Becerra can sing like this from a wheelchair is beyond me as he must be using an incredible amount of upper body strength and determination to produce vocals as powerful as he has ever been. I can’t think of another metal band of any style where the singer is constrained to a chair – just go to their site (https://possessedofficial.com/) and check out some of the videos, I have no idea how he manages it. While one is bound to react to a singer in a wheelchair, it is quickly forgotten (I can’t imagine there are many Def Leppard reviews these days which mention that they have a one-armed drummer) as this is all about the music.

This is death metal which (whisper it) also manages to sound quite commercial. Becerra’s vocals are rough and raw, but unlike quite a few within the genre it is easy to understand the lyrics, while the rhythm section pin it down and let Gonzalez and Creamer destroy the riffs. They are joined at the hip, intertwining their lines or supporting each other, allowing the music to build, crash and create hell., I can’t remember I enjoyed a death metal album quite so much as there is a light within it which makes it a joy to listen to. Possessed are back where they belong, at the forefront of exciting metal music.

POSSESSED Revelations of Oblivion

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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Vim Fuego
When Possessed went through their various bust ups, there was a feeling among fans that the band’s true potential was never fully realised.

Through the legendary “Death Metal” demo, the influential “Seven Churches” album (NOT the first death metal album. No, it just fucking wasn’t, even if this site says it is!), the slightly more polished “Beyond The Gates” (which has one of the stupidest album covers ever), and the mellower “Eyes of Horror” mini album, Possessed had created a small, powerful, but occasionally patchy catalogue of evil, high energy thrash.

The band first split in 1987, not long after the release of “The Eyes of Horror”, with a variety of fates befalling the various band members. Guitarist Larry LaLonde joined fellow San Fran thrashers Blind Illusion, and then to rock weirdos Primus. Guitarist Mike Torrao continued with the Possessed name, but the band’s reputation had declined to the point where they suffered the indignity of playing support to an up-and-coming unsigned band by the name of Machine Head. Bass player/vocalist Jeff Becerra was shot in 1989 during a robbery, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Swept away in the great metal purge of the early 1990s, it seemed this legendary band had died young and left a beautifully ugly corpse.

But then an unusual thing happened. Possessed came back from the dead. “Revelations of Oblivion” is the result. The wheelchair-bound Becerra decided that 32 years was long enough for the world to be without a new Possessed album, so put together a band, wrote some songs, and recorded this little beauty. It all looks so easy when written like that...

When the creation of this album was first announced, the naysayers were quick to jump in with opinions on how bad it would be. After all, there’s only one original member left in the band, often not a great recipe for success. However, the most important element is the one that’s left – Becerra’s distinct shout/scream vocals. Have you ever tried singing sitting down? No, not just at a birthday party or in church (eek!), but really SINGING. Ever notice that professional singers always stand? Look at opera singers, choirs, and pretty much any band or performer you ever see. Singers stand. Why? Because that’s where the power comes from. Volume and breath control comes from being able to stand and move freely. See where this is going? Jeff Becerra is confined to a wheelchair. Listen to his vocals. The difference between 2019 and 1987 is negligible. Yeah, studios, recording methods, technology and all that shit have advanced immeasurably in those three decades, but you can’t work wizardry unless you have the right noises to work with in the first place. Becerra still sounds angry, evil, and most importantly, powerful. Don’t underestimate the difficulty of what he has achieved here.

And the naysayers can fuck off. “Revelations of Oblivion” finally realises the full potential of what Possessed always threatened. No, this won’t have the impact or influence that the band’s earlier work did, mainly because there’s a shit-ton more top quality extreme metal in the late 2010s than there was in the late 1980s. Extremity has sprouted in numerous black, dead, grinding, and technical directions since that time, and any single release now will have a more specific audience than back in Possessed’s initial run. However, if old school thrash which dabbles in cartoonish Satanic themes is your thing, then you won’t top this.

“Chant of Oblivion” is ye olde traditional spooky intro track. Tolling bells fading in with spooky horror movie orchestration and chants. So far, so clichéd, so fucking good!

And then the album bursts straight into the speedy evil “No More Room In Hell”. The first and most obvious thing is that while the sound is sharp and clear, it’s distinctively Possessed. No one else wrote or played wrist snapping riffs like that. Spiky, sharp guitar riffs, courtesy of Daniel Gonzalez and Claudeous Creamer, fly off each other. And that’s the great thing here. There’s nothing these two do which would have been out of place if done by LaLonde and Torrao. It’s Possessed, done in the style of Possessed.

Drums were always the weak link in the original Possessed line-up. Mike Sus was enthusiastic, but never very technically proficient, and couldn’t quite keep up with the rest of the band. No longer. Well, Sus is no longer in the band anyway, having gone on to become a psychologist, but drummer Emilio Marquez doesn’t miss a beat, which is a dreadfully clichéd way to describe a drummer, but this guy is faultless and powerful, and clichés become clichés because they fit.

Drums and guitars aside though, this is really the Jeff Becerra show. “Damned” has a great vocal melody, with rapid fire rhyming couplets, which gives it a weird evil Dr Seuss feel, but it’s near flawless. “Shadowcult” features a wicked chant. “The Word” blasts in with a great opening riff, but as soon as Becerra’s rasp hits, it’s obvious the guitars are only there as a vehicle for this voice.

In 2006, Celtic Frost surprised the metal world with “Monotheist”, easily their strongest album, a decade and a half past their supposed prime. Strongest, yes. Most influential, no. It was never going to be since times had changed. The same thing has happened here with Possessed. “Revelations of Oblivion” is stronger and more consistent than anything Possessed created in the 1980s, but despite finally realising the band’s full potential. it’s not going to have the impact of the previous albums. Unlike Celtic Frost though, let’s hope Possessed don’t call it a day after this.

POSSESSED Movies Reviews

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