Possessor – Damn The Light (APF Records)

Remember when you first heard Kvelertak?

Was it AC/DC covering Gorgoroth you were listening to?

Or was it Thin Lizzy jousting with Metallica?

Well in the same way that the Norwegians take every heavy metal fuel rod they can find, chuck it into their fusion reactor and harness the energy to their own ends, Possessor manage to stamp their own identity on a molten ball of influences.

On their fifth album, the horror-obsessed Londoners play around with galloping NWOBHM, punky thrash, proto-doom, stoner hooks and New York noise rock a la Unsane.

And the whole thing works a treat.

Much of that is down to guitarist/vocalist Graham Bywater, who seemingly spits, shits and spews titanic riffs by the dozen.

Check out the slayerized beast which comes hurtling out of Take It To The Grave, or the Matt Pike-style behemoths which stomp all over the title track, if you don’t believe us.

But Bywater has been pumping out infectious fretwork for years, with the raucous, Orange Goblin-esque onslaught of 2019’s Gravelands particularly impressive.

A new chapter for Possessor…

What separates Damn The Light from its predecessors are widened sonic horizons… and the formidable talents of new drummer Nathan Perrier, whose swinging grooves and deft touches kick songs like Scalpel and Razorback into the stratosphere.

The guy has played with the likes of Capricorns, 11 Paranoias and Satan’s Wrath, so it’s perhaps no surprise that he’s turbocharged Possessor, and helped take this act to another level.

Given that this was written entirely from the band’s homes during Lockdown One, it’s surprising just how coherent and focused Damn The Light is.

However, like all good power trios, there’s a seemingly telepathic connection between Possessor’s members, a spooky synergy that makes for glorious, gutsy heavy metal.

So yeah, we may be entering another lockdown in the UK.

And it sucks.

But at least we’ll have this gargantuan record for company.

Photo credit: Ryan Whitwell, Shotison Media.