Review Summary: Dragged to Heck.
The story of Jeff Becerra is one that is truly inspiring. Reading Decibel’s cover story about how many physical hardships this man has overcome is absolutely astonishing. The fact that he hasn't thrown in the towel and retired from metal is amazing in it’s own right. Now, decades after Beyond the Gates
was released, Possessed is back and, as that article would have you believe, ready to kick ass and take names. Unfortunately for both the credibility of Decibel’s taste and my eardrums, this was far from the case. Revelations of Oblivion
, to put it bluntly, is far from passable and proof that inspiring stories don’t always have happy endings. Not to say that this record is awful in a particularly interesting or shocking way, just awful in a pretty boring way.
Revelations of Oblivion
is just one of those comeback records that spits in the face of legacy while folding under the weight of its own flaws. The production, for example, is as Nuclear Blast Records as an album can get. For those not in the know, this entails extremely gritless, lifeless, and powerless production and mixing. Here, the drums sound paper thin, the guitars sound plastic and sugary, and the vocals are way too present in the mix, overpowering everything else. The vocal performance, too, is a pretty big problem with this one, as Becerra's shouts and yelps are goofy at best and painfully obnoxious at worse. Also, because of the much clearer enunciation, cringeworthy lyrics that might have slipped under the radar are now front in center, free to be mocked and berated.
Performances across the board are surprisingly weak, with a former Sadistic Intent drummer and members of bands like Gruesome (ugh), Coffin Texts, and From Hell. Songs like “Demon” and “Shadowcult” proudly display wasted talent with blandly composed thrash leads and mindless drum fills. Revelations
ends up feeling like a record trying desperately to call back to the old days of early death metal and romping thrash, but it lacks any interesting song progressions or ideas. It’s the nostalgia obsessed thrash that plagues the metal scene and, unlike its old school death metal cousin, often misses the mark by a mile and a half.
Revelations of Oblivion
is just a sad record to listen to. A band like Possessed, once at the helm of a brave new world of destruction and satanism, now seems much more content to lay on cheesy compositions and uninspired (unless you count yesteryear as inspiration) meanderings. The record reeks of over-produced studio recordings and generally intolerable calls back to the “good ol’ days.” There’s a real dissonance in how I feel about modern-day Possessed, due to how much respect I have for Becerra's attitude and determination, but how little tolerance I have for the fruits of that labor. As much as I want be happy for him finally being able to make the follow-up to Beyond The Gates
that he wanted to, this sucks shit through a straw (pardon my french).
At least he had fun, probably.