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Now THIS is melodic death metal! - 87%

Wra1th1s, April 16th, 2008

I'm not a big fan of the Gothenburg strain of melodic death metal (heh I said strain, like it's a disease) they just seem to lack the DEATH aspect of their name and they're not very melodic. You see, in death metal brutality comes before melody. A death metal band that forgoes that essential component is doomed to failure. Possessed are very brutal yet at the same time very melodic. Peter Tagtgren realizes this and, despite being Swedish, makes a non-Gothenburg melodic death metal album. Of course being ass-raped E.T. probably helped a little bit (well how do YOU explain the remarkably different lyrical theme?).

Peter is also a very in-demand producer in Scandinavia. Just put this on and you'll know why. With brutality in mind, Peter sought out to suffocate the listener by making him feel bombarded by the wall-of-sound. The drums are feckin' LOUD, yet you can hear the guitars and the vox. Speaking of vox, Peter's death vox are one of the finest in the business (not that I don't like Masse). Mikael (or is it Michael) Hedlund's bass is barely there, a trend in pretty much every death metal or thrash metal album. The guitar is really vicious, I want that fucking tone. That tone is pretty much awesometastic(tm) recorded. Though there is a lack of solos in the album, being a guitarist, that's a negative.

The songs themselves are excellent, except of course that intro (why is it necessary for death or thrash bands to start with some useless intro?). "Roswell 47" is a classic, so is "Carved Up" and "THE KILLING ART". "Killing Art" is the song that got me into Hypocrisy, thus it will always have a very special place in my black heart. The other songs are all great but not many stand out. Some are downright bewildering (I'm looking at you "Slippin' Away" and "Drained"). Overall though, the songs are solid and fit well in the context of each other. Besides, the album can be divided to "Roswell 47"-style, which is mid-paced and brutal, and "Killing Art"-style, which is "too fast my ass" and brutal.

Conclusion: A great album for people who want melodic death metal, but dislike melodeath. Buy the re-release, you'll get live cuts of old songs (none of them from this album so it's a little weird).