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Shakma - House of Possession

House of Possession
by VR at 13 May 2018, 10:53 AM

Formed in 2014, SHAKMA, is a Norwegian Thrash Metal entity and they churned out a demo in 2016 called “Night of Torment”. Their debut album, “House of Possession” released via Duplicate Records in 2018, is steeped heavily in the horror genre. Combining terrifying horror imagery with lightning fast Thrash/Speed Metal riffs, the album is just over the 41-minute mark. The band came together in Haugesund, on the west coast of Norway, and recorded their first demo only to give it away to 30 lucky fans in the first edition of the local underground festival Heavy Nights. The band also managed to completely sell out their demo tape and began to rehearse and write new material in 2017 which led to their debut album. They made their live debut supporting SEPULCHER and Swedish thrashers INSANE and played at the second Heavy Nights edition.

Blood Ritual” is the first song off the block and it is a scorcher. An apt introduction to the album, the song starts off with an ominous warning before the main riff jumps into the fray. Immediately you are transported to the 80’s with the vocals resembling Cronos from VENOM. The pounding jackhammer drums never do let up throughout the song. “Spectres of Death” and “Deadly Spawn” pretty much follow in the same vein of the preceding songs. “Midnight Mass” is a slightly slower song and groove-filled that could well remind listeners of early SEPULTURA. Nevertheless, this is the stand-out track of the album for me. “House of Possession”, the title track is another barn busting track. Rapid and relentless, the track is just shy of 5 minutes in run time. With tracks like “Ruthless Defiler” and “Night of the Coven”, the band has kept the music running at full speed right from the start.

There are no filler tracks in the album. Full throttle Thrash Metal melodies that leave the listener gasping for breath after they lay waste to your ear and, presumably, your neck. What works for the album is the intensity and tempo of the songs. What doesn’t work is some of the songs sound repetitive. The lead guitar solos sometimes seems a little amateurish and do not really compliment the song. The drummer, however, is a revelation. To keep pace with such frenetic guitar playing is not enviable and Runic does a competent job of it. The vocals are furious and are actually not sung but in fact, spat out. The raw aggression of the vocals keeps the listener hooked to the song, A lot like early SLAYER, KREATOR and SEPULTURA. The production value of the songs also seems to be from the 80’s to lend credibility to the tracks. These guys are definitely on to something and for fans of the early 80’s era of in-your-face Speed/Thrash Metal; this album will definitely hits the spot.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Blood Ritual
2. The Mummy’s Curse
3. Spectres of Death
4. Deadly Spawn
5. Midnight Mass
6. House of Possession
7. Ruthless Defiler
8. Knife of the Prowler
9. Into the Fiery Death
10. Night of the Coven
S. Golden – Bass
A. Runic – Drums
L. Udjus – Guitar
M. Runic – Vocals, Guitar
Record Label: Duplicate Records


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