Possession injects some venom into Valentine’s Day. February 14 is usually a time for lovers, but what if that love turns sour, toxic and highly poisonous a week or so before the special day? The tunnel of love used to be a happy place, frequented by cozy boats, tight cuddles, bubbles and springing bunnies with wide, innocent eyes that repeatedly gushed the words I love you, but it’s now turned into a dark, slightly claustrophobic chasm that leads one way and one way only: into the jaws of emotional hell. The chocolates have melted; not only that, they’ve passed their best-before date. It’s a one-way ticket, and Possession is more than happy to supply you with one.
The cold trinity of Jason Corder (offthesky), Cody Yantis and Carl Ritger (Radere) yields little in the way of comfort. It’s atmospherically cold, and as unforgiving as a jilted lover. Razor-sharp electronics scissor the drones in half, cutting through them with a violent vengeance. The drones hang by the threads of malign puppeteers, upheld by a cruel deity. The drones stalk the shadows. The creaks in the distance unsettle, and they jolt you. It’s a sudden reminder that the restraining order expired last week. It’s a slow-burner, and as such it’s highly effective. The five pieces on Possession brood and creep through the shadows. Static threatens to take control, but the drones are stronger. The record is cohesive, and because of that it weighs a ton. There’s not really much respite once you’re in the midst of the music, so the intensity levels remain very high.
The tunnel of despair hides a labyrinth of possessive thoughts that always seem to simmer and surface in the middle of February. But a soft, almost sweet guitar line – clean and light – shines a light on the love that used to glimmer; perhaps there’s still some affection underneath the betrayal. But the faded brickwork is now filthy, and in some places the bricks have been worn away by the jaded promise of love. Carved hearts are left to rot in the damp cement. Sirens blare; the experiments cry out. It may just be that this tunnel houses an old, unsolved murder. Yes, today is the anniversary; it was the front page headline in the paper. A cold blast of air hits you, and soon after the old, skeletal drones rise up. The music lies close to the edge, torn between the possibility of a nervous breakdown and an approaching psychotic episode. This tunnel is much more than urban legend. This is a real life event. The yellow and black lines of police tape have long been removed – they used to sprinkle this place like confetti – and no-one’s returned. The push of the play button, however, sends us back to the scene of the crime. (James Catchpole)