Possessor – Stay Dead EP


Less Hammer Horror, more Texas Chainsaw Massacre…

Review by Gary Cordwell

Independent Release

Release date: 10 July 2015

That old abandoned cabin in the woods…you know the one, teens go there quite often – odd how you rarely see them come back though. There’s a chainsaw mounted on the wall and all those weird old books, especially that one written in what looks like Latin and bound in wrinkly old leather. And all those brown stains… if I didn’t know better I’d swear it was blood. Anyway, I hear it’s not entirely abandoned – there’s a band who rehearse in the basement, that basement with the padlocked trapdoor and all the scratchmarks on it. What is it they call themselves? Possessor, that’s it!

The Cumbrian occult metal trio who formed in 2013 have already recorded an EP and LP (the brilliant Electric Hell) and now here comes Stay Dead, their second EP and hopefully LP the second won’t be far behind because this is a ghoulishly tantalising taster! The rev of a motorbike gets things started, quickly followed by a scruffy rock ‘n roll riff and Ministry style head-in-a-cardboard-box vocals. The solo is short and sweet and then we’re off into a Slayer chug. I found myself nudging up the volume until it was into tinnitus levels – this really does demand to be played LOUD!

‘Night Of Venom’ is 2 minutes of booming, sludgy metal-riffage – no abject, doomy self pity here – this is huge and muscular. The relentless pace and massive guitar sound continue with ‘Cobwebs’. Groove and heaviosity are clearly much more important than frilly, girly solos, there is a rough ‘n ready punk energy and attitude. It ends on what sounds like a guitar being dropped and left to drown in a pool of its own feedback while in the background chains clank and some poor unfortunate screams at their atricious demise.

We finish on ‘Lights Out/Crypt Of The Sorceror’ which heads off into a misty graveyard of echoey psyche vocals and Sabbath dirgery until a guitar shrieks and the song shifts gear – roaring into a piledriving, bass-heavy riff (step forward Marc Brereton), the band switching on a dime between retro fuzz and technicolour streetwise Metallica roar. And out it fades…hopefully to reappear on their second (and now keenly anticipated) LP.

Their promotional bumpf describes this EP as being “recorded horribly” but that’s simply not the case. Maybe they don’t have big label backing but this is the equivalent of a classic low budget video nasty – short on bucks but crammed full of restless energy and hungry creativity – less Hammer Horror, more Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And a band this good would sound great recorded in a phone box – guitarist Graham Bywater in particular is surely a name to look out for, his sound and tone is just immense! So, nuff said, put down that machete and shuffle off to Bandcamp… you need this.

Possessor – StayDeadEP8.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Lucifer Stay Dead
  2. Night Of Venom
  3. Cobwebs
  4. Lights Out/ Crypt Of The Sorceror