Finland’s Gorephilia return with their second full-length album, after 5 years. Their first official release was the outstanding Ascend to Chaos ep in 2011, which they bested a year later with their debut album, Embodiment of Death. Severed Monolith has a very Morbid Angelish sound to it. I am reminded of Morbid’s Blessed are the Sick and Covenant, especially in Gorephilia’s guitar sound. I am fine with this homage to Morbid Angel, since those are classic albums.
“Interplanar” opens the album with Nemesis laying out a killer vintage David Vincent like growl with some guitar riffing, a bit peculiar in nature, which I love. Before long the song is blasting you over the head with pummeling blast beats. So rather than having a sound similar to other Finnish death metal bands, Gorephilia is more influenced by early 90’s American death metal. Figure, Morbid Angel/Brutality type of sound. Fast riffing, a ton of blasting, but with enough mid-paced sections to keep things interesting. “Hellfire” has a killer mid-paced opening with an outstanding catchy guitar riff. The 1 minute part with the isolated guitar part and then bursting into the vicious blast beat is your Holy Shit part, truly a monstrous part.
“Black Horns” opens with a nifty little riff, leaning towards a black metal melody with some nice layered screaming atmosphere in the background, before Gorephilia rips into a nice blast beat with the blasting getting slower, then speeding up. This is creative and the groove that comes in around the 2.45 section is awesome and nice guitar solo coming in about 30 seconds later. Double bass is fast and sounds great. 4 minutes into the song we’re treated to a monstrous growl which goes into a slower part that is fantastic and then into a blast beat equipped with a cool guitar solo, layered over the blasting. The rhythms during the blasting are outstanding. I appreciate Gorephilia going for a classic long tune, with “Crushed Under the Weight of God”. A 10 minute monolithically heavy number with killer riffing, some nice bass lines and double bass. The beginning mid-pacing actually would create some nice goddamn pits. The band injects some atmosphere in the middle, and the song comes back and has some deep spoken words moments towards the end with death snarling and the song is a pretty damn epic death metal song with a little doom thrown in, just to keep you on your toes.
Severed Monolith has a classic early 90’s death metal production in terms of sounding more organic, which of course, I appreciate to the fullest extent. It’s a wonderful sounding recording, harkening back to a time, when death metal was still in its infancy, but had all the charm in the world. The snare, could have possibly been, turned down slightly during the mixing process. It’s a great snare sound, however, it could have been scaled back a little bit during the slower parts. Since I love classic Morbid Angel, the guitars are a highlight for me, if You love the Morbid Angel albums I mentioned, you will love this guitar tone. I also enjoy the vocals, snarled, growled, vomited, but real throaty and you can understand a good portion of the lyrics.
The album cover has some skeletonized silver surfer dude, who I guess is the Monolith, getting Severed in space by you guessed it….a Lightning Bolt!! Planets and space nebula shit surround the background. Have not seen an album cover like this recently. Not the most artistic album cover, but if there was ever an album cover to replicate the album name perfectly, this SOB is it. I love the colors used in this painting.
So there you have it folks. Yet another strong release by Gorephilia and on the best record label, Dark Descent Records. Severed Monolith has a classic organic death metal sound and there is enough original moments on this record that makes it stand out from other underground death metal releases. Get this NOW!![Visit the band's website]