Gojira
Possessed


3.0
good

Review

by Dylan Longstreet USER (4 Reviews)
April 5th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you think Terra Incognita demonstrated Gojira's most straight-forward death metal roots, you haven't heard Possessed.

Before they released their first full-length, these four Frenchman released a trio of demos under the moniker Godzilla. Possessed is the second of these demos, and demonstrates a much simpler, straight-forward approach to death metal than is to be found on any of their full-length albums. There is also a thrash influence that is most present in the tracks “Bleeding” and “Brutal Abortion”, along with some identifiable elements that foreshadow the direction Gojira’s sound would soon take.

Those who have had the pleasure of hearing all of Gojira’s albums have noticed the distinct difference in production quality between their first two releases and their next two. While the production of Terra Incognita and The Link are nothing to scoff at (given the industry standard for early metal releases), it still leaves much to be desired. It comes as no surprise, then, that Gojira’s early demos are of yet even lower quality production. The title track’s rattling and rumbling low frequencies are the first indication of this, but it does carry with it a certain brutal charm and morbid character that fits well with their early sound.

The guitars are heavy, down-tuned and muddy while the drums are sharp and pummeling. Mario Duplantier unfortunately doesn’t demonstrate the unique style and immense skill behind the drums that he so generously does moving forward, but this can be attributed mostly to the stylistic difference between early Godzilla and the broader Gojira sound. The same can be said for the guitars, as the muddy tremolo-picking and palm-muted chugging doesn’t have room to shine compared the the hybrid styles that ultimately developed with their sound.

Vocally, Joe Duplantier strictly adheres to a death metal growling style, although he varies in pitch effectively to accentuate the riffing appropriately and avoid monotony. There are a few instances where vocal layering is used to achieve the demonic effect that appears numerous times in Terra Incognita, but otherwise Joe showcases none of the great vocal techniques he would later use (such as clean vocals, throat-singing and tonal growling).

There are some great heavy riffs to be found in the first four tracks, with the most memorable ones found in the title track and “End of Time”, but one of the demo’s strongest moments is the final track “Mandragore”. This short acoustic piece has string accompaniment and a very sombre yet minstrel quality that is not heard anywhere else in the Gojira discography. I wouldn’t have minded if this track were bit longer and was allowed to more fully develop, especially since we may never hear this style of hauntingly beautiful composition from the French quartet again.

While not indicative of the more developed sound of later Gojira releases, Possessed has an important place in their sonic evolution. The production quality is poor, and the songs are strangely unoriginal for those who are familiar with Gojira’s full-lengths. That said, this is only an early demo, and is still a short and solid collection of songs that gives great insight to their roots.


user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
fr33convict
April 5th 2011


11694 Comments


to italicize use [ i] [/ i] (without the spaces)

bloodsorcery
April 5th 2011


109 Comments


Cool review, gonna check this shit out

LepreCon
April 5th 2011


4144 Comments


Need to listen to these guys more, I like what I've heard so far but there's so little time...

scissorlocked
April 5th 2011


3511 Comments


this must be fun

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things

ButcheredChildren
April 5th 2011


5591 Comments


wth this does not look like a Gojira album, it looks like an Pestilence or Morbid Angel album.

jybt
April 5th 2011


345 Comments


Wow, this isn't even in the metal-archives...

ShadowRemains
April 5th 2011


21077 Comments


this is probably better than all of their later releases

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

ZombicidalMan
April 5th 2011


1871 Comments


Must check this out! Thanks for bringing it to my attention

Wizard
April 6th 2011


19523 Comments


Never heard this before, must check out.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

itchy
April 6th 2011


244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"to italicize use [ i] [/ i] (without the spaces)"

Thanks, I took a guess at the formatting but missed the mark. Novice mistake!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2011


8371 Comments


Good review, I didn't even know this existed. Gonna look into it.

Raz0rGrind23
April 6th 2011


423 Comments


Dang! Great review man. Gonna check this out for sure...

Good to see people tackling some different recommendations. I'm so sick of seeing fucktard sputnickers review Slayer and Converge albums for the fiftieth time over.

itchy
April 7th 2011


244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Razor, I'm glad I could provide some refreshment!

Raz0rGrind23
April 7th 2011


423 Comments


Where can I listen to this?

itchy
April 7th 2011


244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Honestly, that is a good question. I started listening to Gojira when Terra Incognita was released because a friend
of mine knew a man who knew a man in France who was involved with Gojira.

At that time not even France knew of them and their album wasn't sold internationally, but my friend managed to
get copies of the album and copies of some of their demos sent overseas as a favor. Since then, I've enjoyed
the luxury of being able to buy their albums here in the states!

So, there may not be any reasonable way to physically get your hands on a copy. That said, I am sure it is floating
around on the internet somewhere.

Edit: Actually, I just did some digging and found out that they re-released this demo in 2003. Perhaps that release
is something that can be found... although I know not where.

fr33convict
April 7th 2011


11694 Comments


Yeah the internet is sure to have it somewhere. I still haven't looked yet but I really am interested in checking this out. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

Raz0rGrind23
April 8th 2011


423 Comments


Thanks for the update fellas. I'll keep my eyes open.

FatChickIrl
September 4th 2011


4096 Comments


wow i never knew about this ep, definetely getting this

itchy
December 21st 2012


244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

After all these years I still am pretty sure that Terra Incognita is their best record for me.



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