After 33 years, Possessed has a new album called Revelations of Oblivion coming out on May 10th via Nuclear Blast. This superb new album has everyone at Metal Wani excited. When given the chance to talk with lead vocalist Jeff Becerra, we jumped right on it.
Word of Possessed starting to working on a new album has been circulating since 2012 and finally, we have the new music at our door. We asked Jeff what led to the delays in getting the new album released. “We kinda jumped the gun in saying the summer of 2018. Initially, if you say 2012…we were saying we were going to write new material. Originally we were just going to play live new material.” Jeff added, “Once we made the demo, we were like, kind of on a whim, we’re like let’s shop it around and see what’s going on.” Continuing Jeff said “There is a lot of gearing up. Instead of reaching thousands, you try to reach millions.”
The new music on Revelations of Oblivion retains that burning speed and viciousness that made Seven Churches such a classic metal album. While many death metal bands now embrace the guttural vocal technique, Jeff maintained his mid-range sharp rash. I was curious if Jeff thought about experimenting with the more guttural vocal approach. “I always try singing in my normal voice, you know. I like being me. I don’t like being somebody else.” Jeff then shared a story about when Possessed first started “When I first came out to the mic, I was like BURARRAHAR! You know super low like GRRRARR. And it was so overpowering. The guys I could see the guys weren’t digging it…their eyes were like f*cking plates. They were like, um trying to be nice and not hurt my feelings, “Jeff maybe if you tone it down by like half of what you know”…and I was like “Really, I thought that felt good”.
The song “Abandoned” is a bone-crusher that races along at neck breaking speeds. There are plenty of hellishly heavy songs on this album such as “Ritual”, “The Word”, and “Damned”. I asked Jeff what the writing process is for the band. Jeff explained that for a song such as “Ritual”, he came up with the riffs and created a scratch demo on guitar which is then given to guitarist Dan Gonzalez. Dan works his magic adding his guitar. The tune then makes is way around to the other members to flesh out a demo.
The artwork on Revelations of Oblivion is intense. A ton of amazing detail with the overall image invoking the concept of darkness as suggested by the album title. Asked Jeff if he provided any direction to artist Zbigniew Bielak when you approached him to do the artwork? “Bro, you don’t know me very well (with a laugh). Dude, I’m so bossy. I’m f*cking balls deep in everything.” He continued “What I wanted to do was build on the foundations of the old.” He added “The original Seven Churches album was a church. A very remedial and sh*tty version of the one that Z did, but it got declined” Jeff continued “I was always kinda irked, even though with 20/20 hindsight the black simple version of Seven Churches is heavy. So since this is both a building on the foundation with respect to the old, and you know my old guys, and very much bringing Possessed to be a 2019 band. So I laid that kind of speech on Z (Zbigniew Bielak).”