On November 29th internationally, comrades Invictus Productions and Iron Bonehead Productions will simultaneously release split EPs from Belgian black/death masters Possession, both on CD and 12" vinyl formats: Invictus will release Passio Christi Part I / (Beyond the) Witch's Spell with America's Spite, while Iron Bonehead will release Passio Christi Part II / Necrophagous Abandon with France's Venefixion. Both counterpart recordings are a blood pact in both thought and deed!
By now, Possession should need little introduction. Since 2012, these stalwarts' ascent from the depths of the underground has been fiery, to say the very least. Organic but never exacting, their steady stream of short-length releases have revealed stark and horrifying truths, culminating in 2017's modern classic Exorkizein debut full-length, released jointly by Invictus and Iron Bonehead.
Continuing to strike while the iron's hot - RED fucking HOT - Possession are releasing two separate split EPs, in complementary fashion, with likeminded hordes Spite and Venefixion. Passio Christ Part I, their split with Spite, sees them flexing more deathly muscles, hammering with unrelenting bestiality but putting forth a classic and most-ancient touch of Metal of Death. Spite are suitably matched here: not only because they've kept a patiently spare release rate, as well as their debut album - 2018's masterful Antimoschiach - being released by Invictus, but mainman Salpsan similarly pursues a uniquely idiosyncratic vision of black metal. Here, between one new track and a cult cover of Manitú's "Cruel Creator," Spite travel fleetly through the dungeons with a shimmering, haunting sort of glory. Drawing together the totality of this release is an eerie, mood-setting intro courtesy of Possession.
By comparison, Passio Christ Part II - Possession's split with Venefixion - sees the Belgians swarming from the start, exhibiting a stridently militant aspect that segues into hypnotizing madness, later downshifting into a death-march but with swirling leads atop like so much sulphur. As such, Venefixion are ideal counterparts: although their catalog is still sparse, with the Armoricon Deathrites EP being released by Iron Bonehead in 2016, their recordings are inversely potent in relation to their brevity and frequency. Here, with Necrophagous Abandon, Venefixion set the mood for more sulphur (Possession also have their own similarly eerie, mood-setting intro) and then proceed to flay the listener alive with a crisp-yet-cutting display of red-eyed DEATH METAL madness.
In these days of haphazard, poorly-matched "split" releases, Possession in conspiracy with Spite and Venefixion collectively conjure forth the format's original magick with Passio Christi Part I / (Beyond the) Witch's Spell and Passio Christi Part II / Necrophagous Abandon! Respective covers and tracklistings are as follows:
Tracklisting for Passio Christi Part I / (Beyond the) Witch's Spell
1. Possession - Intro
2. Possession - INRI
3. Possession - Temptatio
4. Spite - Beyond the Witch's Spell
5. Spite - Cruel Creator [Manitú cover]
Tracklisting for Passio Christi Part II / Necrophagous Abandon
1. Possession - Intro
2. Possession - Crux Immissa
3. Possession - Stabat Mater
4. Venefixion - Egregore
5. Venefixion - Necrophagous Abandon
6. Venefixion - Ripped From The Cross