Gorephilia ‎- Severed Monolith LP (Black vinyl)


I grew up on death metal. I played death metal. I grew out of death metal. So it goes, as you get older and your choice of music styles change. I still listen to some of the old staples and favorites of my youth, such as Nile, Morbid Angel, Immortal, Suffocation, Incantation, etc. If I listen to much newer death metal, it typically comes from Dark Descent, like the much-lauded Blood Incantation, Zom, or Maveth (save for Dead Congregation - those guys are absolutely brilliant but not a DD band). Which brings us to Finland's Gorephilia.

I'm unfamiliar with their first album, but "Severed Monolith" is the first complete death metal album I have listened to in I don't even know how long. The album is simply perfect. The production is without flaw, swampy enough to be a Dark Descent staple but still clear enough and brutal enough to hit everything you need.

Stylistically, these guys have a big Morbid Angel influence going on but they add a bit of a darker element, especially in the vocals and the way the guitars harmonize themselves. The guitar solos jump right out at you as Trey Azagthoth-inspired, but aren't quite so cosmic as Blood Incantation manage. The music is both fast and sludgy, and maintains your attention and engagement throughout with changes coming at the right time. The music isn't too jumpy, nor do they dwell too long in one area. The way they wind the riffs around each other is brilliant, and their drummer is incredibly talented. What I find most thrilling is that they can have a song that is mostly blasting, like the opener, and have it still be engaging. Behind the drums, the guitars entwine themselves into dark corridors of harmony. Meanwhile, you have a track like the album closer "Untitled" which could be drawn straight from Domination-era Morbid Angel sludgework.

This is a brilliant album. It doesn't sound so much like typical Finnish death metal, but it takes the Floridian paradigm of blast-happy bands like Morbid Angel and Diabolic and adds just enough spice and variation and darkness to keep things incredibly fresh.