War Possession: Through the Ages

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War Possession: Through the Ages
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War Possession: Through the Ages
Black Metal, Death Metal
Hellthrasher Productions
November 15th, 2012
Release length: 21:57
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War Possession is an underground Black Metal meets Death Metal group from Athens, Greece. The obviously war themed four piece formed back in 2008, the same year that saw their debut demo recording. Four years and five new songs later, the group signed to Hellthrasher Productions to issue their follow-up release, an EP titled Through the Ashes. But, is this an effort that will stand out among the heavily saturated soil of Metal’s underworld, or will it crush under the weight of the fan’s expectations?

As one would expect, Through the Ashes is definitely more along the raw side of things, but not in the best of ways. The music sounds a little too open and restrained here and there, though thankfully not always. The guitars have a mild buzzing to them that sounds muffled and oddly clean given the rougher production sound, and the bass doesn’t leave that strong of a mark in the mix due to a lighter tone coming through from time to time. The drumming isn’t bad though, having a mixture of hollow and tighter snares with some varied levels, cymbals that are pretty obvious in the mix, and again a bit too crisp for the overall audio standards of the release. The bass kicks, however, have a very rich and deep click that is a lot more stern than anything else here. The rougher guttural approach does match the atmosphere being created by the levels and rawer output, sitting at about the same level as the snares and bass kicks without being drowned out too badly.

Unfortunately, with that hollow sound to the rawer production, some of the bite is definitely removed, but it’s far from absent entirely. “In the Shadow of the Ancient Gods” kicks things off with a very slow chugging approach with some haunting lead riffs in the background that act more like a solo before crashing into full speed about fifty five seconds in. The additional pace shows off the group’s energy, and the blast beat style to the drumming does increase the intensity a bit. The song does still seem held back a bit, even during the simpler, and far heavier sounding slower passage towards the two minute mark that will certainly have you banging your head along if you haven’t already started doing so by that point. This track is a great start, but pales in comparison to the aggression captured on “World War Domination.” The tighter performance throughout makes much of the song come off richer, and even deeper in the bass guitar. Furious drumming blasts through many verses, while the music has no problem shifting to a slower pace to incorporate some glorious leads in the distance to give things a bit of an epic tone despite the grim environment.

The rest of the EP is well worth experiencing too. “A Taste of Things to Come (Chaos awaits)” doesn’t quite have that furious speed, but the riffs are definitely catchy and bring a burdening environment with them. It also shows off some deeper output from the music, both in the slower areas with notes, as well as the somewhat more complex sections. “Medieval Bloodlust,” however, mixes the aforementioned speed with plenty of slower areas that push the track length past six minutes, working out to create enough of an ominous atmosphere throughout, and keep the listener satisfied as it carries on until the bitter fading out conclusion.

Through the Ages by War Possession is a nice little hidden gem of an EP that does a great job of introducing the band to a larger audience. While a debut full-length would have been great, these four songs, and enjoyable outro track for what it is, may not have the strongest impact, but at times can definitely increase in heaviness, and alter the environment right before your very ears. Fans of the bleak Black Metal musical landscapes against crushing Death Metal aggression can certainly find plenty to talk about with Through the Ages.

01. In the Shadow of the Ancient Gods – 3:50
02. Medieval Bloodlust – 6:09
03. World War Domination – 5:34
04. A Taste of Things to Come (Chaos Awaits) – 4:13
05. Deathmarch (Outro) – 2:11
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Engulfed (band)
Engulfed

Physical review copy of this release provided by Hellthrasher Productions.