Damn The Light has a great, old school horror vibe that really settles in at this time of year. Due to be released just before All Hallows Eve by APF Records, the fifth full length from London trio Possessor looks to take the Electric Wizard blueprint of stoned doom into a more upbeat and nasty territory. Written and rehearsed almost entirely via voicemails and phone videos due to lockdown conditions, the fact that this album is here is credit to the band’s dedication.
The thrashy, sludgy energy of opener Bloodsuckers lays the groundwork for an album that is very much a hybrid of styles. I’ve seen it described as ‘proto-metal’ but I feel that doesn’t really give enough credit to the nuance on display at times. Thick, filthy basslines that Lemmy would be proud of, coursing through each track is a glorious thing indeed, and accompanied by a powerful roar from vocalist Graham Bywater definitely gives us a feeling of a ‘building blocks’ album. But this feeling of primality is not the same as those distortion drenched raw black metal bands. There’s a hardcore crunch to Take It To The Grave that has a nice turn of pace too, a bit like Neurosis and Discharge had a kid and it was born with a Pentagram shirt on.
Thick, filthy basslines that Lemmy would be proud of, coursing through each track is a glorious thing indeed…
It isn’t all driving forward though, see the stoner psychedelia that takes over Razorback about halfway through, and the humming melodies that climb us into the driving seat of the title track. Nothing is forced, everything feels like a natural progression. The haunting interlude of Confession is a nice touch to ramp up that horror styling, sounding like an excerpt from some old Hammer Horror film. It sets the place for the precise thunder of Scalpel and then the grinding, fuzzed out brutality of closer Return To Slaughter High.
Damn The Light is an album that tries very hard to avoid every pigeonholing attempt other than ‘heavy music’. Sure, it’s a little bit thrashy, a little bit sludgy, a little bit stoner and a little bit doomy. What it definitely is, is an album that has a single focus on being weighty, being heavy and not caring exactly how they come to that conclusion. We need more bands like Possessor out there doing that.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson