Alien Sex Fiend returned with the new album "Possessed" after many years, since their last release "Death Trip" was in 2010. Since then all was quiet on the ASF front until news came out that they where preparing something new. But due to some deaths in the Fiend family, one of them being that of their guitarist Simon Doc Milton, work on the new album was delayed. But in 2018 the band finally managed to complete the album which was released on Cherry Red Records.

The legendary band that emerged from the London Batcave scene in 1982, fronted by Mr. Fiend and Mrs. Fiend, have a longevity like no other (only Sex Gang Children are around till this day and Specimen only reunited once). They have been active all these years releasing a long catalogue with their avant garde, post-punk, horror, electronic experimentations. On "Possessed" we once again have an album of pounding rhythms and nightmarish synthesizers, with Nik Fiend’s classic ghoulish artwork on the sleeve.

Their DIY sound and aesthetic are immediately noticed from the opener "Possessed (Intro)", that transcends into the album’s major track "Shit’s Coming Down". An almost cacophony of beats, distorted guitars and fiendish groove. Sounding uncompromising as ever. Next, we experience an eleven-minute epic called "It’s In My Blood". A track featuring Nik Fiend’s unique vocals, noisy guitars, and a trance like feel. The Fiend’s electronic approach, doesn’t follow trends. Their industrial, urban elements where always there, mixed in with their punky attitude and dark macabre aesthetics. The rougher "Carcass", that follows is another stand out. It was the first track of the new material that was heard, since it had been featured on the compilation "Fiendology: A 35 Year Trip Through Fiendish History 1982-2017" a year before. Another lengthy track "Ghost In The Machine" (some resemblance in the title with their first single "Ignore The Machine"), is one of the more guitar driven tracks, backed by drum machine that has a jam like feel and some trippy eastern flickers. The almost instrumental "Amnesia" follows in the same footsteps, with its pounding drums and soaring guitars in the back, while on "Spine-Tingler" things get more spacey with the high-pitched vocals.

Things slow down on "Gotta Get Back". A kind of mutant blues song with a swampy feel to it. With "Invisible (The Beyond Mix)" we get what one could say, the most ‘normal’ track of the record with some pop hints. The instrumental "Neutron" is a nice post rock kind of a track, where the band explores more psychedelic sonic textures. Followed by "Bloody Reprisal" which is nothing other than a reprise of the track "It’s In My Blood". The CD version of the album ends with another mix of "Shit’s Coming Down (Monster Mix)". The 2xLP vinyl edition has a few extra mixes.

I think this album will be appreciated by longtime fans of the band. It sums up all that they have done all these years, sounding up to date. Right after the release of the album, all fell quiet again on the Fiend camp. It was not promoted with any tour or live appearance. Time will only tell if we ever have anything else new from the Fiends. Until then, rot in peace… in true Fiendish style.

Review by Nick Drivas