At some point, one of four things happened: either (a.) everybody decided industrial music was lame, (b.) everybody decided that neither they nor anybody else could do it as well as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Rammstein, (c.) nobody outside the American Midwest and Germany was actually that angry enough to require it, or (d.) everybody decided that girls didn’t like it and it wasn’t good background music for Katy Perry make-out fests in yoga pants.
Possessor plays as a sort of eternally fun and dizzying mad scientist concoction, the Longview, Texas producer teasing us with his dabs at reviving industrial, only to jerk the yoke back toward synthy dance house or Fu** Buttons territory, the vocal usually residing somewhere between that and death metal. “Garruth,” which kicks things off after a two-minute introduction about murderous Satanic rites performed by teenagers, begins with a bona fide pretty hate machine of deep, amped up and revved up guitars, but with one key difference: live-sounding snare set in rapid rhythmic fire, instead of the typical robotic electro programming. Whether it’s GosT’s intent here to actually invent a new genre of music (which in a way he does) or simply just avoid being industrial is unclear, but part of Possessor’s fun is the seeming foolishness with which he switches between styles, always keeping things rhythmic and rapid but very sonically intense.
One important accomplishment of Possessor is structure — both the structures of the songs themselves and in regards to the track sequencing. Any album that opens with tales of teenagers killing each other in strange fiery circles out in the woods should be inherently disorienting and Possessor’s got your disorientation by the lot full here, punching you in the mouth first with this all-out death metal squall before unveiling, shockingly, a real knack for techno songwriting. “The Prowler” is an electronic instrumental which will maybe call to mind something like Chris Clark on coke, giving way then to the album’s first true gem, “Sigil,” which crafts chorus vocals of sacrifice which have the ear-catching cheesiness of Ian Curtis and, more importantly, the intimidating, visceral musical backdrop to grant them an ample platform for ruminating on death. “Loudas Deceit,” though, is the real showstopper, taking the tempo down a notch in beautiful form a la The Knife’s “Marble House” or HEALTH’s “Before Tigers” and materializing as a full, anthemic albeit instrumental pop song whereon we get touches of both trap (cut and spliced snares) and industrial (throaty bass synth dominating the sound), before a full on plunge into loud, intense house rapture. Other key moments on Possessor include “Legion” with its Sunn O)))-approximating metal introduction and the defiantly and penultimately roaring “Malum.”