Released: 2003, Metal Blade
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Now that Johan Lindstrand is back in The Crown, we are treated to the first album with the reformed band, POSSESSED 13. It is a welcome return to the heavy sound of 2000’s DEATHRACE KING and 1998’s HELL IS HERE, since CROWNED IN TERROR seemed to take the band in a slightly different direction. Granted, a new vocalist (even one as mighty as ex-At The Gates barker Tomas Lindberg) will change any band’s sound but POSSESSED 13 seems like the next natural step after DEATHRACE KING.
As I said, this album is heavy. It’s not just heavy…its blow your hair back, tear your face off, knock up your sister, HOLY FUCK THAT’S HEAVY heavy!! The guitars are fast and furious and Janne Saarenpaa somehow manages to keep up on drums (listen to his mini-solo around the 3:35 mark of “Kill ‘Em All and you can’t help but be reminded of Slayer’s Dave Lombardo at the end of “Angel of Death”). “Face of Destruction/Deep Hit of Death”, “Natashead Overdrive” and “Kill ‘Em All” show that Lindstrand hasn’t forgotten how to scream during his time away from the band. “Bow To None” has a cool bass intro and some punishing lyrics. “Kill ‘Em All” is an obvious nod to Metallica as the first verse is very close to “Whiplash” with a bit of the riff from “The Four Horsemen” thrown in. “Morningstar Rising” has a cool riff as well and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. What also stands out is the inclusion of two instrumental tracks: “Dream Bloody Hell” and “In Memoriam”. Both are perfectly executed and “In Memoriam” is a haunting finale to the album.
The album’s packaging is unique in that it is laid out like a horror movie. The cover looks like a movie poster with the band and songs listed like a movie’s credits. The inside of the booklet features some cool sepia-toned photos and band photography by none other than Snowy Shaw, the current drummer for Dream Evil and formerly King Diamond. A limited-edition 2 CD set is also available which features the band’s first 2 demos as well as a Bathory cover and a raw mix of the track “Rebel Angel” from their DEATHRACE KING album. All in all, you get ANOTHER 13 tracks on the bonus CD!
While the Tomas Lindberg-era of The Crown was short-lived, if anything, it gave the band a kick in the pants and showed them what they were missing in Lindstrand. For Lindstrand, it gave him time to gather his thoughts and realize that his place is with The Crown. Fortunately for the metal world, the band has delivered POSSESSED 13, a heavy slab of speed, thrash and death that is one of the most triumphant returns in years.
KILLER KUTS: "Face Of Destruction/Deep Hit Of Death," "Morningstar Rising," "Kill 'Em All," "Natashead Overdrive"