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Vôdûn: Possession

Stoner gospel renegades assume the juxtaposition

Vodun cover

There are several moments during Possession when it feels very much like being in the congregation at some perverse stoner rock gospel choir recital.

Vôdûn singer Chantal Brown (formerly of transient berks Do Me Bad Things) has a truly extraordinary voice: strong, soulful and with lashings of bluesy pathos, she scampers across the octaves with the skill of a veteran, injecting vulnerability into every flurry of vibrato. It makes for an initially jarring combination, as the band’s proudly fuzzed-up riffs and loose-hipped swagger point to a natural affinity with Fu Manchu and Kyuss rather than anything more profoundly vocal-orientated.

A few songs in, it all starts to make sense and the richness of this slightly off-kilter hybrid audibly blossoms. Bloodstones and Mawu are particularly exhilarating, their Sabbathian structures and subtle undercurrent of dark funk conjuring precisely the kind of spectral menace that this album’s title implies.

The galloping Minos Army adds another shade to the palette, evoking Purson’s lurid psychodramas while remaining firmly glued to the cosmic bong.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.