"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Possessed

Formed: 1983
From: San Francisco, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Regrouped

Possessed Interviews and Features

Below are our features and interviews with Possessed.

Interview

Talking Death Metal With Possessed's Jeff Becerra

Death metal is now one of metal's most famous sub genres. It's such an integral part in fact that some non metal fans erroneously believe heavy metal itself is death metal, arrogantly dismissing the music as "that shouting stuff" or in the case of The Simpsons, even labeling Judas Priest as death metal, (don't worry, Bart apologised for this on the chalkboard a week later.) But where does the genre come from? While it may be a matter of debate for some people, all roads lead to a band from the Bay Area, who amongst the emerging thrash metal scene, wanted a tag of their own, much like Venom had done with black metal, and so decided to call their first demo, "Death Metal" in 1983. That band was Possessed and last month they unleashed, "Revelations Of Oblivion," their first album in thirty three years, the relentless energy of which proving any doubters wrong.

This past week, the band, still led fiercely by vocalist Jeff Becerra, embarked on a headlining tour of Europe, beginning appropriately enough on June 6th in London. Before the show started, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff to discuss the new album, his intentions and visions for death metal, his courageous journey after twice being shot and the awesome new video, "Graven," featuring renowned character actor Peter Stormare. You can check out the interview in full below, while an excerpt reads as follows:

Diamond Oz: Obviously what everyone's talking about right now is the new album, "Revelations Of Oblivion." It's a relentless album, like a mugging.

Jeff Becerra: Yeah, that was us holding back!

Oz: It's a Possessed record and I think that's all anyone wanted. It might seem like a silly question but how do you see the album and how proud of it are you?

Jeff: Well I'm really proud of it. I got to write a lot of the songs and really show what my role in Possessed is and of course it's an honour working with Daniel Gonzalez, Emilio Marquez and just a fantastic bunch of guys.

Oz: Cool. One thing which is really striking about it is the artwork, who drew it?

Jeff: You know what, I know I'm going to pronounce his name wrong but it was Zbigniew Bielak, but every time I got near Poland or the Eastern Bloc, he'd come out and bring out these works and I had no idea who he was. But I loved his stuff, the structure of it. I knew I wanted to do a church because the original "Seven Churches" album cover was declined, it's really hard to do churches without making them cheesy so it was important to find somebody that was able to do that and Z is just a fantastic artist.

He's done work for Ghost and loads of other phenomenal stuff, I think he did Kreator... But that was a project in and of itself and I almost had to let him go towards the end because it wasn't finished and so we made a second one from the guy that did the Slayer cover, but Z said "Give me one more week" and two weeks later he came back with the finished product, so we've shelved the other one for later. He was really keen on seeing the lyrics in the song ahead of time and incorporating the lyrical structures and the hidden meanings into the structure of the church, which I thought was really cool, it's kind of like a Satanic "Where's Waldo?" so it's kind of fun. I think it's a masterpiece.

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