All Hallows Eve is finally upon us, and in accordance to tradition, the time has come for everyone to indulge in various forms of media most ghoulish, terrifying and violent. One band who have devoted their entire career thus far to creating work perfect for such an occasion are London metal rippers Possessor. Forged from a shared love of all things visceral within contemporary pop culture, the hopped up horror metal trio have become beloved mainstays of the nation’s underground metal scene for quite some time now, boldly earning themselves a level of infamy not unlike that held by the killers that once prowled London's streets before. With a reputation still to be upheld during these surreal times, the metallic Cerberus is back once more with their new long play Damn The Light, a record that’s set to seal their reputation with gore and gusto.
Written and recorded at home during the initial acceleration of the pandemic, whilst the background of the record is a touch of a contrast against the “forged in the fires of Hell” promo tag, Damn The Light is still a cavernous crypt inhabited by filthy overpowered riffs, detached ghastly bellows and metallic mayhem. Once again devoted to telling tales of utmost horror and depravity, Damn The Light revels in a blood moon lit aesthetic ambience that’s easily comparable to the work of Rob Zombie, Venom and even fellow labelmates Video Nasties, especially with the way it joyously celebrates the jubilation of abhorrence.
Like all the best slasher flicks, this record isn’t one of delicate subtleness, with such a trait becoming immediately paramount. Opener ‘Bloodsuckers’ bursts through the iron chained gates with a brawling assault before crashing headfirst into the graveyard of groove that is ‘Coffin Fit’ and the oxidising metal fight for survival that is the ‘Take It To The Grave’. Throughout this introduction, one that gets the blood and adrenaline pumping before Possessor spill it, samples from horror media float in the background, classic tropes that are used with consideration and remain effective in enchanting the atmosphere.
Whereas many fans and press folk alike will quickly dub this record as being proto metal, something many have done with the bands previous releases, such a label will only be allocated out of sheer convenience. Damn The Light is affluent with both depth and range, with doom, stoner, sludge and speed metal piercing through it’s jagged hide. The stampeding iron rush of Motörhead and the red-eyed heft of both Kyuss and High And Fire serve as the main bulk of this record, but there’s far more dynamism to be found than what the record initially suggests. All of the aforementioned traits are unionised in a hybridisation of monstrous proportions. ‘Razorback’ sounds like a three-way clash of Cancer Bats, Conan and Brighton stoner doomers InTechnicolour, albeit with the exotic warmth of the later being subsidised for callous cryptid savagery, and in relation, the centrally placed title track toys with meldodeath melody, Celtic Frost-esque bloodlust and even a bit of rugged Baroness progression. Like Frankenstein’s monster, this record is far more than it’s parts and stands a unique creation, one furiously breathing steam with propose and malicious metal intent.
Throughout all of this however, Damn The Light is constantly charging with a hellbent pace. Whereas many horror orientated metal albums may dabble in slow melodics in an attempt to crate a sense of creeping foreboding, Possessor keep the thrills constant and coming all throughout this record and never once relents. Like a masked maniac chasing one through unmapped woodland, the ride is rough, filthy and thrilling - something encapsulated by the thrash metal race of ‘Fresh Hell’ and the perverse diesel clad ripper of ‘Scalpel’, a track where frontman Graham Bywater lists his instruments of torture throughout a suitably hooking chorus. The production of the record plays a significant part in ensuring this energy, primarily due to it's raw and unfiltered approach and ensuring a live feel is paramount.
Despite all of this however - the savage intent, the callous venom and the devotion to heart shuddering energy - Damn The Light stays true to what horror should be above all else; fun. In an age where so many bands are attempting to appear authentically malicious towards listeners, this is the sound of a band creating rip-roaring fun metal ragers to drink and headbang away to – and in time such as this, it’s hard to imagine anything else more crucially required. Regardless of your disposition, if you ache for a Hell raising good time with a touch of welcome dynamism that’s devoted to getting the blood and adrenaline pumping, look no further for Damn The Light is what you require.
Damn The Light is released October 30th via APF Records.