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Swing of the axes - 95%

Felix 1666, December 11th, 2014

Allow me to welcome to you to this masterpiece of metal. It starts with a throaty cry of Jeff Beccera that leads to the fantastic verse of "Confessions". While leaving the seven churches behind and dwelling beyond the gates, the band lets you take a look through "The Eyes of Horror". The opener is a straight up-tempo thrasher, equipped with the power of a pretty horrifying melody. It shows the best side of Possessed, that already offered a perfect and surprisingly mature performance on their unbelievable debut. How good it is to hear that the musicians had not yet forgotten how to create a malicious and absolutely stirring record. Thanks to the fact that they skillfully mixed up-tempo tunes and heavy sequences, this EP shines with an immaculate flow. It´s definitely not just a question of its brevity that I want to hear it again as soon as its last tones have faded. There are other good reasons for this.

For example, the guitar work is excellent. The riffs immediately take possession of the listener while having a long-term effect. No, I must correct myself; it is an ever lasting effect. I am not exaggerating when I say that the solos and the guitar lines represent the benchmark in terms of early thrash metal. The guitars combine the slightly technical approach of albums such as Toxik´s debut "World Circus" with the unbridled energy of angry adolescents. The songs themselves are always the main thing, the guitar wizardry does never appear as an act of musical masturbation. Drums and bass guitar do their job in a technically flawless manner, too. The production of Joe Satriani is more or less perfect for that time. Honestly, this was a matter of urgency after the shocking sound disaster of "Beyond the Gates". Carl Canedy, I still hate you for that!

The five songs offer a great variety of metal. Only the ingenious title track follows a similar concept as the opener. "The Eyes of Horror" features inter alia thrilling solos (at the beginning as well as during the middle part) and a very intensive ending. Apart from these tunes, Possessed also offer slower parts and almost melancholic melodies. Just listen to the first tones of "Storm in My Mind", it surprises with a different atmosphere without hurting the homogeneous overall impression. Finally, "Swing of the Axe" delivers the most bulky riffs of the album. Possessed manage them well. Despite the fact that the track was well known because of its first release on "Metal Massacre VI", it added value to this EP. The same can be said about the stereotyped yet phenomenal cover artwork. Therefore, do yourself a favour and listen to this outstanding output, it is much more than the short reverberation of the first two albums of the band.