Thursday, July 16, 2020

POSSESSION - "Disentombed Manifestations"

POSSESSION's dawning goes all the way back to 1991, when vocalist Nyk Edinger and drummer Shane Goade approached Shayne Scholl about creating music that would make lasting impact in the metal world. From the outset, the music was meant to be war machine intense while bound together by addictive hooks from which listeners would never be able to totally free themselves. Lyrical themes set out to breathe new life into concepts such as spiritual strife and obsession with the occult with a vocal range that virtually defined the band's identity.

“Have No Fear” was but the very first “manifestation”, shall we say? Two other even more ambitious compositions were written, and the band were scheduled to make a studio recording in August of that same year. It never happened. Shayne, in one swift stroke of supreme idiocy, mashed his left hand in a machine and had to have it completely cut it off.

Five days later a bass player joined. He wasn't very good, but neither was Shayne... now. The only way to turn two negatives into a positive was to pick a very easy song to learn, King Diamond's “Haunted”, and challenge the would-be bass player to see who could learn it first. It didn't go well for the new guy. For Shayne, it was an important first step out of the abyss, and just like before, it wouldn't be learning to play that allowed him to compose. Rather, it would be composing that drove him to learn to play again.

Mike Vinson joined as second guitarist in the spring of 1992, and the two immediately began writing material. Mike was an amazing guitarist whose creativity paid no tribute to genre. One important aspect of his sound, however, was that he was left handed and played right-handed guitar, which, while giving him a powerful reign over the fret board, represented a farewell to “war machine intensity”. Even so, it's best to let the music do the talking on that matter. The two did not always see eye to eye musically, but what made them a strong duo was their constant willingness to make each other's ideas work.

The four-piece entered the studio for the first time in late '92, salvaging “Have no Fear” from the ashes and presenting four new songs. Mike played the bass tracks. Mad Crazed & Violent was released in early '93 on cassette (remember those?).

Lance Whipple joined at this same time and the band immediately began playing live, to audiences that either loved it or were just left confounded. Of course, they'd heard heavy music before, but rarely anything original from their hometown, and never with the kind of vocal onslaught that Nyk delivered. It was Kansas City, during a tumultuous time when the local metal du jour in a land better known for country music and cows was transitioning from hairspray glam posers to the horrific hebetudinous of grunge. Possession forced blistering mayhem upon an unwitting populace, among whom only a select few understood that real metal is not about looking like girls, or like you live in a tent – it's about ripping heads off. It's not about being liked. It's about being hailed or hated, either of which means job well done.

Over the next four years the band self-financed and promoted three more releases, as well as recorded some rehearsal and non-released material, all of which are included in this 2-CD entitled "Disentombed Manifestations" to be released by Xtreem Music in August 2020.

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