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  • Years Active: 1980s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Never all that successful to begin with, New Haven, CT heavy metal group Obsession have gradually faded even further into hazy memory, as a backdrop to the wider exposure achieved by their singer, Mike Vescera, after he moved on to work with several higher profile bands. Originally founded in 1982, Obsession gained their first taste of national exposure via that same year's Metal Massacre, Vol. 2 compilation (also featuring first gasps by future luminaries such as Armored Saint and Overkill), going on to sign with its parent label, Metal Blade, for the next year's release of their debut EP, Marshall Law (as in Marshall amplifiers). As was the case with most of America's underground metal bands of the early '80s, this was roundly ignored because it offered little more than a less vivid carbon copy of the British trad-metal of Judas Priest and not a trace of the rising thrash or glam styles that would dominate the continent's landscape over the ensuing decade. Metal Blade certainly came to that conclusion, and declined to pick up the band's option, thus freeing them to sign with the less successful Enigma label for a pair of increasingly competent but still very nondescript albums in 1986's Scarred for Life and 1987's Methods of Madness. The latter witnessed the sundering of Obsession's long-tenured lineup of guitarists Art Maco and Bruce Vitale, bassist Matt Karagus, drummer Jay Mezias, and of course, the aforementioned Vescera, who was soon to accept an offer to front Japanese heavyweights Loudness during their ill-fated attempt to crack the American market. Two ineffective albums later, Vescera parted ways with Loudness and was given a turn on the singer-for-hire merry-go-round that passed for Yngwie Malmsteen's band before his own, inevitable ejection after another pair of LPs, at which point he retreated primarily to session work, interrupted by the occasional solo album or guest appearance. Meanwhile, most of his former Obsession bandmates languished in their post-music day jobs and no-hope club bands, so drummer Jay Mezias was only too happy to heed Vescera's call when the latter decided to record a new Obsession album -- 2006's Carnival of Lies -- alongside guitarists Joe Stump, Robert Marcello, and bassist Chris McCarville. And, despite deafening public indifference, this was followed by an eponymous album featuring new six-stringers John Bruno and Scott Borland just two years later, signifying that Obsession are certainly alive, if not necessarily well.