Reversed – Wildly Possessed Review

.stoor eht ot kcab ti ekat dna desreveR ni enihcam htaed eht worht uoy nehw setalsnart lla ti–hsarht ro ,htaed ,kcalb, ekil uoy rehtehw fo sseldrager tuo kcehc ot dnemmocer gnorts s’ti ,dnab eht ot wen er’uoy fI .dnuos omed dehsilop ssel ,rewar eht yb raews yam ohw wef a rof evas ,detnioppasid eb ton lliw esulceR wodiW ecnis gnitiaw neeb evah ohw snaF .tuo nward ro dekoocrevo leef t’nseod ti ,(mubla eht otno ti edam hcihw fo htob “,htaerB detsuR” dna “tuanregguJ mortsleaM” sgnos eht gnivah 2202 omeD rieht) lairetam fo gnidrocer tsal rieht ecnis sraey xis ylraen gnikat eht etipseD .emoclew sti yatsrevo t’nseod (!)dessessoP yldliW ,emitnur etunim 43 a tA

“!gninokcerrrrrr fo tsaeb-eht-yb dnerrrrrrR
!ssshtaed fo ht!aeD ehT
dne etin-if eht fo
eeecnelisss gnimaercsss ehT”

:kram 53:3 eht ta esarhp eeS .dehcterts era selballys niatrec yaw eht ytilauq citeop tsomla na ,egde reppu na meht sevig taht noitaicnunna no sisahpme na s’ereht tub ,cinomed dna detsiwt er’yeht esruoc fo–kcart siht no hguorht enihs yllaer slacov ehT .sniev eht nihtiw eslup gnicar a ekil lla ti dniheb dekcut yllufetsat smurd eht htiw lla ,ssab fo sknuhc eht ,ratiug mhtyhr eht fo kcatta detarres dna nael eht ,sdael cimsalpotce rof moor fo ytnelp s’erehT “:htaeD laniF” kcehC .cisum eht erehpsomta yrotamerc eht ot ylivaeh gnidnel ,redloms ot moor fo ytnelp nevig era senot mraw ehT .llew os krow (!)dessessoP yldliW sekam yllaer taht ,htaed fo rennab eht rednu detinu ,ytiretxed rieht fo noisehoc s’dnab eht s’tI

.ereh ydeerg gnitteg tsuj m’I knihT .noisulcnoc eht ni cisum eht htiw detargetni sriohc eht gnivah spahrep ,drocer eht fo dne eht raen ecnaraeppa rehtona edam dah ti hsiw tsomla I .dorcer eht fo flah dnoces eht ot noitisnart tniop-dim elttil doog a rof gnidivorp ,esirprus detcepxenu na si enut eht fo dne ta riohc ehT .llepS fo elyts kcor tlucco demrofni-yllanoitidart ,citsym eht morf enrob leef sdael eht elihw ,rorroh naitfarcevoL fo stnanmer ekil leef snoitautcnup lanota eht ,”sevarG yrgnuH” nO .ereh dnuorg nommoc gnidnif llepS dna ,hcoruA ,noirdnohcotiM fo srebmem enigami ot drah s’ti ,repap no mees yam ti sa ddo sA .aera revuocnaV eht morf sdnab fo htaws esrevid ytterp a morf sdnuorgkcab evah srebmem sti gniredisnoc ,esnes sekam elyts ehT

.noitces feirb a tsuj ni gniht a hcus dnuora elyts eritne rieht esab taht sdnab latem kcalb eb-dluow fo rebmun doog a naht retteb elyts reeønS cissalc eht gnirutpac ,ssenkrad eht hguorht gnipoows sti ekil sdnous ffir ehT .k 15:1 eht ta egdirb eht no ylralucitrap ,yllebrednu eht sehcrocs taht egnit denekcalb a s’erehT .semalf eht otni kool repeed a ekat tub ,tnerappa ytterp hsarht dna htaed ehT .syad eseht latem htaed ni nommoc oot raf eb ot sdnet taht drocer “erneg” yawaworht a t’nsi siht tnerappa ylkeiuq semoceb ti erehw “,tuanregguJ mortsleaM” otni semalf ehT .ezalba ssacrac gnittor eht gnittes dna reyp lairub demirp a otni hcrot a gnivohs ,(tihsllub htnys ton ,dnab lluf eht yb) latnemurtsni feirb a sa sevres kcart tsrif ehT .eniL ylbmessA lateM htaeD eht ffo emac ti ekil sleef taht drocer a ton dna ,cisum eht rof noissap a fo enrob s’ti ,(ereht dne eht no tniop noitamalcxe na eb dluohs ereht leef yllaer I ,eltit eht dna tra revoc fo tuoyal eht neewteb :msicitirc tsrif) dessessoP yldliW no dnuof eb ot scissalc htiw ytirailimaf fo tol a s’ereht elihw–dnuos nwo rieht enoh ot s’08 eht fo sesproc sesu htgnel lluf tubed s’desreveR ,gnieb tnioP

.snoitcudorP sutcivnI :lebaL .4202 ,42 yaM :etad esaeleR
?nis sa live dna lleh sa yvaeh naht rehto gnihtyna dellac gnieb tuoba derac yllaer miehlfiN knihT ?tuo emac rrraaaaöööR nehw nocixel eht otni dluow cisum rieht woh htiw sevlesmeht nrecnoc yllaer dovivoV diD ?6891 ni yllaiciffo desaeler neeb noitaloseD fO snoitanimobA dah dellac eb d’yeht tahw kcuf gniylf a evag legnA dibroM tahT ?stiawA lleH or ycreM oN wohS no dnab latem kcalb a ro dnab htaed ylrae na ro dnab hsarht a dellac gnieb tuoba deirrow saw reyalS knihT .yrogetac yna otni ylbatrofmoc oot gnittif latem htaed otni syarof ylrae ,latem kcalb evaw ,latem deeps cinatas ylrae neewteb nrob sleef taht yaw a ni daed eht gnitaminaer neeb evah desreveR ,esulceR wodiW ,PE tubed s’8102 ecniS .tsap eht fo esproc gnittor eht otni efil ehtaerb ot elba era taht seno ehT .s08 eht fo hself dirtup dna sesproc gnittor eht naht erom emuhxe ot elba era taht seno ehT .recnamorcen eht fo taht–yrogetac rettal eht otni llaf desreveR s’aibmuloC hsitirB ,revuocnaV

.ytisrevid hucm tuohtiw fo tuo noitpircsed “fo snaf rof” a lupo ot ysae nmad ytterp s’ti tub ,senolc etiuq toN .seno eht wonk uoy–ti etacilper dna tsap eht pu gid ohw seno eht era sreggidevarg eht ,syad esehT .gnidderhs yldlrowrehto dna ,evoorg yltsaeb ,live gnicudni-pmubesoog ,ssenivaeh euqsetorg ,deeps gniztilb fo smret ni ffir a hsup dluoc yeht raf woh tsuj ees dluoc yeht erehw yrotirret detrahcnu ni dnuos rieht evah ot sdnab rof reisae hcum saw tI .yrtnuoc nepo saw ti ,neht kcab ,esruoc fO

.tuo ekats ot yrotirret fo ytnelp ,demialcnu stolp evarg fo tol tfel ti emertxe eht rof enileeb a hcus saw erehT .lellarap ni (devlove ro) devloved selpicsid sti dna ,ylkciuq (ti ta kool uoy woh no gnidnep ,devloved ro) devlove lateM .deedni hcir ylralucitrap leef slios eht erehw ,98′ and ’48 neeweb ,latem emertxe rof tops teews taht s’erehT .srecnamorcen dna sreggidevarg yb won snoitareneg rof ot dednet dna denrut neeb sah taep eht ,elitref reverof dna gnisopmoced lymraW .s08′ eht fo sevarg eht pota stis lios ygnops ,tsiom ,pmaD

.nodroG ydarG yb tra revoC


Cover art by Grady Gordon.

Damp, moist, spongy soil sits atop the graves of the 80s. Warmly decomposing and forever fertile, the peat has been turned and tended to for generations now by gravediggers and necromancers. There’s that sweet spot for extreme metal, between ’84 and ’89, where the soils feel particularly rich indeed. Metal evolved (or devolved, depending on how you look at it) quickly, and its disciples devolved (or evolved) in parallel. There was such a beeline for the extreme that it left a lot of grave plots unclaimed, plenty of territory to stake out.

Of course, back then, it was open country. It was much easier for bands to have their own sound in uncharted territory where they could see just how far they could push a riff in terms of blitzing speed, grotesque heaviness, goosebump-inducing evil, beastly groove, and otherworldly shredding. These days, the gravediggers are the ones who dig up the past and replicate it–you know the ones. Not quite clones, but it’s pretty damn easy to pull a “for fans of” description out of without much diversity.

Release date: May 24, 2024. Label: Invictus Productions.
Vancouver, British Columbia’s Reversed fall into the latter category–that of the necromancer. The ones that are able to exhume more than the rotting corpses and putrid flesh of the 80s. The ones that are able to breathe life into the rotting corpse of the past. Since 2018’s debut demo EP, Widow Recluse, Reversed have been reanimating the dead in a way that feels born between early satanic speed metal, first wave black metal, early forays into death metal without fitting too comfortably into any category. Think Slayer was worried about being called a thrash band or an early death band or a black metal band on Show No Mercy or Hell Awaits? That Morbid Angel gave a flying fuck what they’d be called had Abominations Of Desolation been released officially in 1986? Did Voivod really concern themselves with how their music would fit into the lexicon when Rrrröööaaarrr came out? Think Niflheim really cared about being called anything other than heavy as hell and evil as sin?

Point being, Reversed’s debut full length uses the corpses of the 80’s to hone their own sound–and while there’s a lot of familiarity with classics to be found on Wildly Possessed (first criticism: between the layout of cover art and the title, I really feel there should be an exclamation point on the end there), it’s borne of a passion for the music, and not a record that feels like it came off the Death Metal Assembly Line. The first track serves as a brief instrumental (by the full band, not just synth bullshit), shoving a torch into a primed burial pyre and setting the rotting carcass ablaze. The flames erupt into “Maelstrom Juggernaut,” where it becomes quickly apparent this isn’t a throwaway “genre” record that tends to be far too common in death metal these days. The death and thrash elements are pretty apparent, but take a deeper look into the flames. There’s a blackened tinge that scorches the underbelly, particularly on the bridge at the 1:51 mark. The riff sounds like its swooping through the darkness, capturing the classic Snørre style better than a good number of would-be black metal bands that base their entire style around such a thing in just a brief section.

The style makes sense, considering its members have backgrounds from a pretty diverse swath of bands from the Vancouver area. As odd as it may seem on paper, it’s not hard to imagine members of Mitochondrion, Auroch, and Spell finding common ground here. On “Hungry Graves,” the atonal punctuations feel like remnants of Lovecraftian horror, while the leads feel borne more from the mystic, traditionally-informed occult rock style of Spell. The choir at the end of the tune is an unexpected surprise, providing for a good little mid-point transition to the second half of the record. I almost wish it had made another appearance near the end of the record, perhaps having the choirs integrated with the music in the conclusion. Think I’m just getting greedy here.

It’s the band’s cohesion of their dexterity, united under the banner of death, that really makes Wildly Possessed(!) work so well. The warm tones are given plenty of room to smolder, lending heavily to the crematory atmosphere of the music. Check “Final Death:” There’s plenty of room for ectoplasmic leads, the lean and serrated attack of the rhythm guitar, the chunks of bass, all with the drums tastefully tucked behind it all like a racing pulse within the veins. The vocals really shine through on this track–of course they’re twisted and demonic, but there’s an emphasis on annunciation that gives them an upper edge, an almost poetic quality in the way certain syllables are stretched. See phrase at the 3:35 mark:

“The ssscreaming sssilenceee
of the fi-nite end
The Dea!th of deathsss!
Rrrrrrrend by-the-beast of rrrrrreckoning!

At a 34 minute runtime, Wildly Possessed(!) doesn’t overstay its welcome. Despite the taking nearly six years since their last recording of original material (their Demo 2022 having the songs “Maelstrom Juggernaut” and “Rusted Breath,” both of which made it onto the album), it doesn’t feel overcooked or drawn out. Fans who have been waiting since Widow Recluse will not be disappointed, save for a few who may swear by the rawer, less polished demo sound. If you’re new to the band, it’s a strong recommend to check out regardless of whether you like black, death, or thrash–it all translates when you throw the death machine in Reversed and take it back to the roots.

Posted by Ryan Tysinger

I listen to music, then I write about it. On Twitter @d00mfr0gg (Outro: The Winds Of Mayhem)

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