POSSESSED initially breathed life into this new and exciting genre when they started in 1982. Possessed were the first official death metal band created. The now classic record "Seven Churches" established the face of the genre permanently. Even DEATH’s late guitarist and mastermind Chuck Schuldiner who is sometimes credited with creating the genre, was adamant about the album’s influence upon him. Sadly, like with many artistic pioneers, it was very early on in Possessed’s existence that a grand tragedy struck which would put the band on hiatus for almost two decades. After many years of healing, education, renewal, and eventually new writing, there is now a resurgence of life, and the rebuilt, and polished POSSESSED are due to return with their long awaited. As time has passed the line-up for the band has shifted and after tireless striving for perfection, the ultimate combination has been settled upon. POSSESSED is now original founder.
The album "Revelations Of Oblivion" is due out in Spring, 2019 with songwriter Jeff Becerra (Vocals), Daniel Gonzalez on guitar (Nailshitter, Gruesome), Claudeous Creamer on guitars (Dragonlord, Serpent, Girth), Robert Cardenas on bass guitar (Coffin Texts, Masters of Metal, Agent Steel, Malice, Engrave), and Emilio Marquez (Brainstorm, Sadistic Intent, Engrave, Brujeria) on drums.
The album is adorned with artwork by Polish artist Zbigniew Bielak who has created artwork for bands like ABSU, DEICIDE, GHOST, GORGUTS, PARADISE LOST, and the like. The painting on the cover radiates a complex, demonic, hellfire ridden feel. With elements of the actual lyrics strewn throughout, the image tells a very detailed story. Symbolic and abstract images of cathedrals, horrifying demons, and gothic stained glass windows are detailed magnificently.
Co-produced by Daniel Gonzalez and executive produced by Jeff Becerra, the album was recorded at NRG studios, Titan Studios, and mixed & mastered by the likes of Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN, BLOODBATH) at Abyss studios in Sweden.
We got to speak to Jeff Becerra about his upcoming record and more.
TM - What can fans expect from your new album "Revelations of Oblivion"?
JB - I think it is one of our best albums yet. Possessed is a kind of love-hate band, some people love us some people hate us but that is the rate of death metal. Some people do not understand it, as the first death metal band not bragging. I want death metal to be a whole bunch of things, I believe in subgenres of death metal, the wider broader and more versatile sounds. It sounds a lot like our old stuff except it has elements of our new stuff and 2019. I think people will be surprised, we moved the vibe forward and made it a more modern sound I think everyone will like it.
TM - What inspired you to write a new album after 33 years?
JB - I have never stopped writing in many ways, the thing that has kept me alive is getting Possessed back together. After the first guys left me, unfortunately, I got shot a couple of times. It took me seventeen and a half years to get back right, where I felt good to get back again and give it a go again so we waited. Then I wanted to tour the old stuff, so from 2007, we toured for ten years, everyone was living in the possessed skin and it was time to write it out.
TM - You played Bloodstock in 2017, what was your favourite memory from this festival?
JB - The crowd was wonderful, and the set was tight and won the best band of the day. We did some interviews afterwards and I got my kids names tattooed on my wrist. We partied all day and all night with obituary it was fun.
TM - That is so sweet that you got your kids names tattooed on your wrist. I am sure there are some awesome stories from touring.
TM - Your new album was mixed and mastered by Peter Tagtgren what was it like working with him?
JB - Our music was really tight by the time we got in the studio all we had to do was play. All we had to do was hold the controls and it made it a lot easier working with Peter because he knows what he is doing. All we had to do was concentrate on playing and singing he made it really organic and easy.
TM - You co-produced this album with Daniel Gohzalez and you were the executive producer on this album what was it like working with him?
JB - It was wonderful working with him, Daniel is from Venezuela and went to college for engineering and producing, he is always really handy and puts in a lot of work. Daniel is very knowledgeable and makes my job a lot easier. I wrote about half of the music and all the lyrics so the music I co-wrote with Daniel was really organic. I would email him 7 to 12 riffs and he would go through them and make them all right. It is really easy to write and create with Daniel, he came out of nowhere.
I literally never heard of the guy before, it was like some kids that sat in his room and learned how to play engineer and produce. We were holding open tryouts and they happened to know his girlfriend at the time and she said my boyfriend plays the guitar you should let him try out so I flew him down and he blew us all away. He knew 18 songs better than the first possessed guys, he was perfect and played first guitars.
TM - What was your writing and recording process for Your new album Revelations of oblivion?
JB - I can't speak for Daniel he is such a perfectionist, I will tell him to say show me something and of course, it's amazing. I will play a bunch of stuff, listen to it on my laptop and then send it to Daniel. He will sew it together and send it to get the Drums and bass guitar on it. Then we go to my basement set up a studio and do vocals, then we will use that as the basis the foundational scratch truck to trigger effects and use as the foundation of the album we do all the pre-album work in my basement.
TM - Your album seven churches was released over 30 years ago is it surreal to know you have released something with such great impact?
JB - I was 16 on that album so it has become such a cult-like album, it was amazing. I don't know what to say but Thank You to our supporters out there. Originally when we created it I did not know if people would like it or hate it because it has always been a love-hate relationship with the type of people who listen to it Death Metal. It is not universally accepted, some people will say you're singer sounds like s*** and some people will really get behind it. It is a cult album for some people.
TM - How did you come to get signed by Nuclear Blast?
JB - Originally we made the demo just because we were going to start to touring new songs, except then we decided to put it out there and shop it around. We immediately got several record companies interested in us and I was on a European trip and I meet with a few of those people. I met with Nuclear Blast in Germany and we hit it off. We had so many ideas they said we should call it the 8th church. I used that idea along with the "Seven churches" album cover and we discussed it and sent it to the owner of Nuclear Blast. The owner of Nuclear Blast said back on an email, Christmas came early sign possessed. Now Nuclear Blast were behind us 100% 666 percent right from the beginning. They have been very supportive and they have given us a lot of freedom and let us do our thing. It is a dream come true, Nuclear Blast is very into metal and very into possessed, you can tell by the way they treat us. I am not the easiest person to work with
and to deal with me and hear me out that's amazing.
TM - How did you come up with your album cover for "Revelations of Oblivion"?
JB - I wanted to revisit the first album and make it the next chapter of possessed. I wanted to pay homage to the old stuff but also the new Church of possessed and possessed, being a band of the future as well as a band of the past.
TM - What's your favorite memory of watching someone else perform live?
JB - Exodus every weekend, I would sneak out my window. I did not give a fuck about the consequences. I would always go and see Exodus, Cheaptrick, Ozzy Osborne and hardcore underground shows.
TM - Awesome, those bands are all great live. I would also sneak out my window for those bands (laughs).
TM - If you could have any bands play one of your songs which band would it be which song would it be and would it be in your style or their Style?
JB - Chris from Fallen Angel or obituary doing one of our songs in their style or ABBA doing Burning In Hell.
TM - If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and why?
JB - I would love to collaborate with some black metal bands.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
JB - Thank you to my fans in so many ways you kept me, I live in my dark times and gave me the vision to live and bring possessed back. It is good to be alive and they hope they enjoy the new album.