Behold, the Severed Monolith: Gorephilia’s Latest, Reviewed

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In the words of the last great American poet Randy Savage “space is the place.”

This is a sentiment that has certainly caught on in metal in the last year or so. 2016 saw a number of releases dealing with the inky vacuum of space, from Aureole’s frigid black metal concept album Aurora Borealis to the interdimensional weirdness of Blood Incantation’s Starspawn. Metal has seen fit to embrace the themes and inherent weirdness of the final frontier. Though they don’t reside in the center of this swirling solar storm of metal, Gorephilia’s latest shows that they’re at least drifting on the outer fringes.

The cover art shows as much, with a ghastly being being torn asunder by a lightning strike in the depths of an unknown galaxy (hat tip to artist Raul Serrano for the striking cover art). Space manifests itself more in the themes of the album than the instrumentation itself though. While the cover and some song titles lean Voivod, the music itself is far more Morbid Angel or Immolation than the NASA bits would lead you to believe. They may leave some looking for the next twisted death metal group a tad disappointed, but Severed Monolith is still a necessary journey for fans of all things death.

2016lineup

Tracks like “Black Horns” and “The Ravenous Storm” offer some fantastically meaty stop/start riffs and reverb drenched leads that scream to be heard at maximum volume. “Return to Dark Space” leans heavily on unusual riff structures and becomes one of the standout tracks for it. A verse riff will jump from a steady tremolo to swift, complex chord structures before everything comes to a halt for some pinch harmonics that hit with the force of an elbow drop.

Those tracks are great and “Return to Dark Space” is certainly a standout, but it’s the grand finale that will really open your eyes to what Gorephilia can do. Though it comes in at a hefty 9 minutes and 45 seconds it isn’t exactly a free-form jazz odyssey. It starts with a mid paced tremolo that is a pitch perfect Morbid Angel riff that they must have forfeited when they decided they wanted to be Radikult. Whatever the circumstances, it serves these Finnish riffsters perfectly. The Morbid vibes continue into the halfway point of the track before a sudden stop. After what I can only assume is the sound of a vuvuzela in space, the band kicks things into high gear. A militaristic snare roll accompanies a rolling guitar riff before relaxing into a death doom crawl that slowly evolves into an off kilter harmony. If the first half is complacent in its homage, the second half can’t assault you with variety fast enough to escape it.

In 2016 death metal was a force to be reckoned with. Seemingly every month had a handful of stellar releases, and it was borderline impossible to keep up with every release. 2017 looks like it will keep that momentum up, and Gorephilia’s Severed Monolith, with a mix of familiar riffs and strange song structures, is an early entry in the list of “damn fine death metal.” It may not take you to a different galaxy, but it’ll launch you out of the atmosphere.

3.5 Out ov 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

Severed Monolith comes out March 3rd via Dark Descent Records. You can order it here and give the band a like on facebook here.

  • Rain Poncho W.

    Now I just want to hear a vuvuzela in space.

    • Rain Poncho W.

      In space, no one can hear you vuvuzela.

      • Óðinn

        You can watch vuvuzela porn with the sound up. True story.

        • Rain Poncho W.

          This is good news for all the singles this Valentine’s weekend, I guess?

          • Howard Dean

            Single on Valentine’s Day? Advice from the man himself:

            http://i.imgur.com/y9I8672.gif

          • Rain Poncho W.

            Get you a bottle of wine and some fancy-ass chocolate and treat yo’self.

          • Waynecro

            When I was with my ex, Valentine’s Day was our anniversary. Since I got dumped, I’ve been able to keep all cash I would have spent on romantic gifts. I have indeed bought myself a bunch of fancy supermarket chocolates this year.
            Cashier: “Awww, look at all these chocolates. You’re so sweet!”
            Me: “No. No, I’m not. These are for me.”
            Cashier: “Oh. I’m sorry.”
            Me: “Don’t be. I love fancy-ass chocolates.”

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            This is good advice. Thanks Macho Man!

          • Damn, Lord Alfred Hayes haircut looks like a rugby helmet.

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          What? I don’t know what that is.

          • KyleJMcBride

            Awesome.

          • Óðinn

            Google it.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Macho Man quote, must be a Leif article.

    • Sid Vicious Promos

      I miss Randy Savage.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        So say we all.

        • KyleJMcBride
          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Will check when I can

          • KyleJMcBride

            iz gud

          • NDG

            Hey, this one is pretty old…like 2007 or 2008 old. Good release though. I played on the same bill as them a few times. Dude’s voice is solid.

          • KyleJMcBride

            The release date says January 2017 but I’ll take you at your word. Songs often kick around for a while before seeing a release.

          • NDG

            Pretty sure I still have the CD at home from the launch although it may have been culled in the great CD purge of 2012.

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        here’s 42 promo vids for you to reminisce with – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG1FR8PFlGPU15R5m5mfa5cFRQDQiDeWX

      • Óðinn

        Work on your aim, JJD.

        • KyleJMcBride

          OUCH.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            I dont get it.

          • KyleJMcBride

            No worries.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            What a maneuver!

    • Howard Dean
    • tigeraid
      • Sid Vicious Promos

        I teared up watching this. RIP to that poor little hamster and Randy Savage.

        • SEVERAL HAMSTERS WERE BRUTALLY HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS 7-SECOND VIDEO CLIP

    • Leif Bearikson

      I am nothing if not predictable

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Excellent review Mr. Bearikson! I’ve seen this cover a number of times now and can safely say that it is my favorite album art so far this year.

  • Howard Dean
  • Loafy D

    mezmerizing

  • CyberneticOrganism
  • I’m not up on my death metal, but the Morbid Angel influence is very apparent on the featured track here.

  • This is doing it for me.
    What is the “it” that it is doing?
    Whatever it is, it is NSFW.

  • Album cover, band name, and embedded track are fucking on point. Nice!

  • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn

    Randy Savage has come to my woods to lay to his final rest, and in doing so has become a tree so that he may live forever in the shade and sunbeams.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      *sheds a tear*

  • JWG79

    In the words of the last great American poet Randy Savage “space is the place.”

    Funny, I thought that was Roy Langdon (Spacehog).

    Further evidence that I’m old, and had weird musical taste in the 90’s.

  • Waynecro

    Damn, this jam rocks hard. Thanks for the stellar review, Mr. Bearikson!

  • atchdav

    Space is the place
    https://youtu.be/6k4S3v21amc