Possessed Credit: Courtesy the Artist

Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, this show has been postponed until a date to be determined in the future. Contact point of purchase for refund or exchange information.

Are Possessed a band or a hive of slavering meat puppets inhabited by time-traveling demons from the future? The case for the latter is strong. The Bay Area band’s 1985 classic, Seven Churches (Relativity/Combat), was death metal before death metal had chewed its way out of heavy metal’s womb. With thrash speeds, crude punk-crust-vomit production, and Jeff Becerra’s pioneering esophagus-rupturing growl, Possessed created an unholy, scabrous adrenaline rush dedicated to an apocalyptic millennium of hellfire and amphetamines before splitting up in 1987. Nearly 35 years later, Possessed’s monstrous vision is still tattooed on many metalheads’ brains, and their music sounds more relevant than any metal from the 80s has a right to. Becerra was paralyzed from the chest down when he was shot during a robbery in 1989, but he began performing again under the Possessed name in 2007, assembling a backing band from members of Los Angeles death-metal crew Sadistic Intent. Last year the group put out their first album in more than three decades, Revelations of Oblivion (Nuclear Blast). Becerra no longer plays bass, but he still does a fine imitation of a man with wolverines climbing out of his throat. And the latest incarnation of the group—drummer Emilio Marquez, guitarists Daniel Gonzalez and Claudeous Creamer, and bassist Robert Cardenas—delivers the same leather land-speed thrill as the original lineup. Whether shredding through tunes from Revelations of Oblivion or blasting through their back catalog, Possessed still sound like they’ve bargained with Satan for an eternal, festering youth.  v