Possessed by Metal at the Whisky: Apparently it’s metal season in Los Angeles at the moment. In recent weeks, we’ve seen death metal titans Brujeria, Suffocation and Death to All (former members of Death), LA’s own Bitch, and Bay Area thrashers Vio-Lence. It’s enough to make your neck ache, and on Tuesday night the Bay was back in SoCal in the shape of Possessed.

While they were a part of the Bay Area thrash scene of the ’80s, Possessed were on the more extreme end of the metal spectrum, crossing over into death metal territory. Some say Possessed was the first death metal band, though the lines are blurred so nothing is exact.

The list of ex members is long, and in some cases distinguished. It includes celebrated Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde, as well as Fear Factory/Soulfly man Tony Campos. The current lineup includes Emilio Márquez (drums), Daniel Gonzalez and Claudeous Creame (guitars) and Robert Cardenas (bass). At least, we think it does. It seems to shift a lot.

Fronting it all is the metal hero known as Jeff Becerra (because that’s his name). Becerra was the victim of a failed armed robbery in ’89 that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He’s been rocking a wheelchair ever since (although he recently posted footage online of him walking with robotic legs, which is fucking awesome).

The wheelchair is the only clue that Becerra is paralyzed though. The man is an inspiration, because he fronts the band with more energy, power and charisma than most people with full use of their legs. He never lets up.

The Whisky was heaving on Tuesday, the circle pit chaotic even for the multiple opening band (we caught Dark as Death and they were fun).

But when Possessed took to the stage, it stepped up a level. There was barely an inch of floor space that wasn’t circle pit.

They blasted through songs from all three of their full length albums, including 2019’s Revelations of Oblivion. Of course, everyone wanted to hear the tunes from debut masterpiece Seven Churches, and they got plenty.

Possessed 2023 then — this band has faced many obstacles and negotiated them all. They’re still here and they’re still awesome. All other bands have no excuses.

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(Brett Callwood)

Possessed by Metal at the Whisky























































































































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