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Gorephilia - Severed Monolith

Severed Monolith
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 June 2017, 12:46 PM

GOREPHILIA formed in 2006, in Vantaa, Finland. Their first full-length was released in 2015. Five years later, they present their newest album “Severed Monolith,” which contains ten tracks. “Interplanar” is nearly four minutes of absolute Armageddon. The opening guitar sequence sounds like an alien space craft starting up, heading to Earth for total annihilation of the planet. “Hellfire” is a bit slower, and more deliberate in its crushing of the skulls that litter the little that is left of the planet. The vocals vary between low grunts, and higher screams while the guitars build into a Thrash rhythm at times. “Harmageddon of Souls” is full of climbing riffs and more pig squeals than a slaughterhouse. Some slower passages allow the horror to build, watching said souls enter a firey afterlife. “Words that Solve Problems” is a short, one-and-a-half instrumental with an eerie and haunting sound, building suspense for what is to come.

“Black Horns” is an obvious reference to the protruding collection of tightly woven hairs that adorn beings from the underworld. The steady percussion fuels their rise, in impossibly fast blasts that rattle you from the inside out. “Return to Dark Space” is another pungent track, with a ruthless and remorseless attack. Killing someone is not enough, they want to make sure no one recognizes the body. “Eternity” is the second short instrumental. In keeping with the sort of alien to Earth takeover theme, the finger-tapped guitars sound like the craft entering our airspace, with ominous low notes bringing with it the doom of all. The album cover itself seems to tie in this theme, as it looks like a man in space being zapped by a gamma ray and cooked from the inside, glowing blue with radiation. “Crushed Under the Weight of God” is interesting religious commentary. Metal music has long had religious themes as part of the genre, sometimes questions and other times an outright rejection. The song is nearly ten minutes long but stays grounded in two primary riffs that you can follow. That is at least until the end, where the final three minutes are more submerged and despondent sounding.

“Untitled” completes the trifecta of short instrumentals. I really think that, even in their short duration, they tie in elements and themes of the album quite well. A monolith is defined as “a large and impersonal political, corporate, or social structure regarded as intractably indivisible and uniform. “Severing” this might point to breaking down some of the normative processes and governing architecture that we live under, without question. Would anarchy ensue? Perhaps. In any case, this is an intelligent Death Metal album that, while rooted in the traditions of the genre, has its own unique flavor and personality that will not disappoint you. Add in their attention to themes and how they make those connections, and you have an excellent album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Interplanar
2. Hellfire
3. Harmageddon of Souls
4. Words that Solve Problems
5. Black Horns
6. Ravenous Storm
7. Return to Dark Place
8. Eternity
9. Crushed under the Weight of God
10. Untitled
Henu – Vocals
Jukka – Guitar
Pauli – Guitar
Tami – Bass
Kauko – Drums
Record Label: Dark Descent Records


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