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Possessor - Damn the Light Award winner

Damn the Light
by Barbie Rose at 10 November 2020, 6:58 AM

London’s POSSESSOR's "Damn the Light" opens with “Bloodsucker” - and it starts with an aggression similar to Alice in Chains’ “Them Bones” - but the accents of drummer Nathan Perrier reinvent this age old theme a’new.  The chainsaw sound of Graham Bywater’s guitar is like an electric wire grinder via drill scraping away at rusty metal. Even Ollie Isaac’s bass grinds with distortion.  I hear the rage of Tom Warrior from Celtic Frost - as Graham Bywater’s leads defer melody and abstain from all forms of pretension to increase the absolute repugnancy of heavy metal rebellion through this song.

The musical skill of Nathan Perrier fills the absence of rhythm guitar through Graham Bywater’s “Bloodsucker” guitar solo.  Who needs overdubs or a second guitarist? In lieu of a guitar solo, Ollie Issac plays a bass solo (replete with distortion) in “The Strangeness” - what welcome sounds - fresh, original, and perfectly raw. This is metal performed with a synchronistic aggression like none other. “Razorback” & “Fresh Hell” may seem the closest to thrash - but unlike so many other bands - POSSESSOR never endeavors speed they cannot handle - but rather play slowly, gravely and with a grim heaviness.

“Damn the Light” opens almost like a ballad - reminiscent of Rush.  Until Graham’s guitars enter–but there is never a solo effort here - the performances of Graham, Ollie, and Nathan convey seething brutality. “Scalpel” opens with a phone call reminiscent of King Diamond’s “Them”. POSSESSOR as a band has the originality & intensity that King Diamond crowned throughout the nineteen-eighties.   Classic metal without the all-too-common sacrifice of speed for heaviness & heaviness & ferocity. Where has this band been all my life?

Concomitant with the influence of King Diamond & Mercyful Fate - “Return to Slaughter High” opens with the faint sound of a rain storm. I am a fan for life. My only concern - more for them, is that Graham Bywater as a vocalist, sounds more like a rock singer than a metal singer–that might not fit the haunting evil sound that the band conveys.  I simply can’t praise them enough. If POSSESSOR were to hire a singer, perhaps like that of Steve “Zetro” Souza - considering his efforts in Tenet’s “Sovereign”, they’d crown heavy metal for the next century.

Songwriting 10
Musicianship 10
Memorability 10
Production 10

5 Star Rating

1. Bloodsuckers
2. Coffin Fit
3. Take It to the Grave
4. The Strangeness
5. Razorback
6. Damn the Light
7. Fresh Hell
8. Confession
9. Scalpel
10. Return to Slaughter High
Graham Bywater - Guitar / Vocals
Ollie Isaac - Bass
Nathan Perrier - Drums
Record Label: APF Records


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