Written by Alex Stojanovic
Chant Of Oblivion
No More Room In Hell
Temple Of Samael
Release Date: May 10, 2019 / Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Jeff Becerra - Vocals / Emilio Marquez - Drums / Daniel Gonzalez - Guitars / Robert Cardenas - Bass
Claudeous Creamer - Guitars
Getting this unholy party started is "Chant Of Oblivion", an eerie instrumental which starts off with a bell chiming in a dark tone, accompanied by the low gargling whispering voice of Satan in the background, and is followed by the haunting "Satanus" chants from the choir. I like to refer to this track as the soundtrack to The Omen that never happened. Honestly, this track has "demonic movie soundtrack" written all over it. "No More Room In Hell" then kicks things off with an onslaught of blistering riffs from Daniel Gonzales and Claudeous Creamer, and the great voice of Jeff Becerra. His voice is clear and sounds just as lethal as on Seven Churches and Beyond The Gates. This track sets the tone for the album perfectly, and is a great indication of what's to come.
There's a total of twelve tracks, but if I had to pick one that would be my favourite, it is "Abandoned", without a doubt. The section that starts around the 2:14 mark gets my adrenaline going every time I hear it. The fast sixteenth-note chugging pattern, with quick 32nd note gallops thrown in makes this section a must for headbanging and fist-pounding. Other highlights include "Shadowcult", and the album's fastest cut "Graven". Every song is fast, but each one also has room for some slower and mid-tempo sections that keep things interesting rather than just focusing on speed all the way through. "Omen" in particular seems to focus on groove a little more than speed, but the speed is still there.
While an amazing album, there are a couple of flaws that need addressing. The first one is in the vocal department. While being one of the originators of the death/thrash vocal style, and for having one of the best voices, the issue is that Jeff Becerra only stays in one area of his vocal range and doesn't really add any highs or lows for dynamics. "Dominion" is somewhat an exception, because of the ever-so-slightly lower tone in his voice during the verses, but he could've done it a little more throughout the record. Staying in one vocal range for an entire album tends to add tediousness to the songs. Plus, there's a lot of vocals on this album. It's almost wall-to-wall on the vocals.
The other issue is that musically, some of the songs tend to mirror each other. While I wasn't wishing for experimentation, I do wish that there was little more variation between the songs. By the time we hit the mid-point of the album, things start to sound a little same-same. Some of the songs are even over 5 minutes long, with one song being over 6.5 minutes. With the little variation to be found, I felt like some of these songs in particular overstayed their welcome a bit. I think if they were shortened with some of the riffs and sections being trimmed down, they would've popped out much more. Now, they're not bad songs, because even if the songs don't grab you entirely, they each have a couple to a few riffs that keep the songs afloat. Aside from these flaws, the production is stellar, the songs are furious, and because of that, many people are going to really enjoy Revelations Of Oblivion. An essential release of 2019.
Having not been alive yet when Possessed released Seven Churches, Beyond The Gates and Eyes Of Horror, I obviously can't say that I've been waiting 30 years to hear new music from them. However, I can say that I've been waiting quite a few years to hear new music. All us fans, young and old, were wondering whether Revelations Of Oblivion would be worth the wait. The answer is a resounding "YES!" Fans who have come into the Possessed fold, whether in the beginning, in the 90s, 2000s, or the more recent years, will find plenty of moments to headbang furiously to. This is certainly a celebratory moment, because after more than 30 years of no new music, Possessed triumphantly return from the depths of hell with an incredible new slab of thrash/death metal that shows that they still have a lot to offer, and one that is guaranteed to send fans into a headbanging and moshing frenzy, and might I also say.... scare the hell out of the overly religious. HAIL SATANAS!
Highs: "No More Room In Hell", "Abandoned", "Shadowcult" and "Omen".
Lows: Limited variation in Jeff Becerra's vocals. Could've used some highs and lows for dynamics. Little hard to distinguish some of the songs.
Final Rating: 8/10
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