Gorephilia
In The Eye Of Nothing


4.0
excellent

Review

by Fernando Alves CONTRIBUTOR (74 Reviews)
October 1st, 2020 | 64 replies


Release Date: 10/02/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The refined touch of death

At a time when hybrid styles are taking over, there are still death metal bands like Gorephilia that remain faithful to a more orthodox approach, linked to a more visceral side of the genre. This greater conservatism, besides conveying the artist's aesthetic taste, also preserves the legacy of earlier bands that helped to build the foundations of death metal. With their first EP and two subsequent full-lengths, Finnish Gorephilia clearly positioned themselves on that conservative side of the barricade without, however, remaining static. While their debut album Embodiment of Death displayed a heavy, dense sound, sometimes bordering on brutal death metal, their 2017 follow-up Embodiment of Death has already shown a more atmospheric, murky approach. This mutation has revealed an adversity to stagnation that I find quite relevant, showing not only an exciting creative impulse but also a markedly open personality (within the style).

Unfortunately, the band's most recent years were also marked by the suicide of vocalist Henri Emil Kuula (aka Nemesis) in 2018, which led to guitarist Jukka Aho taking over the vocals. Although the band obviously felt the loss of their long-time comrade, the fact that the line-up remained stable for the next two years contributed decisively to the symbiosis present in In the Eye of Nothing. A good chemistry between musicians is an essential factor not only for musical cohesiveness but also for the solidity of the team. I like to feel that I'm dealing with a band, a collectivity, and not with a random set of musicians linked only by circumstances.

The first thing I noticed when diving into In the Eye of Nothing was its Morbid Angel-ish approach, which although not exactly a novelty in the band's signature, it had never felt so strongly. Songs like 'Walls of Weeping Eyes', 'Perpetual Procession', or 'Ouroboran Labyrinth' are fine examples of Trey Azagthoth & Co's omnipresence. However, despite the obvious stylistic similarities, we never feel we're dealing with a cloning, but rather with a student's personal view towards the teacher's work. It doesn't bother me when bands have no compunction in showing their influences, on the contrary, it reveals their genuineness and rock and roll spirit. This complacency for similarity is even more acceptable when dealing with a more conservative style, which rarely presents major stylistic deviations.

In the Eye of Nothing mostly swings between slow and mid-paced tempos, with a special focus on detail. One can safely say that it is the band's most refined album to date. A product of maturity and experience, if you wish. The first two tracks, 'Walls of Weeping Eyes' and 'Perpetual Procession' are both faithful introductions to this more polished approach. Nevertheless, despite its more restrained and cerebral nature, we still find the necessary contrasts within and between songs. The relation between the doom-ish 'Devotion Upon the Worm' and the relentless 'Simplicity of Decay' are a good example of existing contrasts. A song like 'Not for the Weak', with its dynamic riffing and tempo, also illustrates this subtle diversity. It would be excessive to imply that the band has never been so cohesive, given the solidity of their work, however, I feel the lads have never been so focused. Everything seems meticulously thought out and rehearsed. 'Walls of Weeping Eyes', 'Ouroboran Labyrinth', and 'Ark of the Undecipherable' all mirror this refinement splendidly, being probably the album's most emblematic tracks. The blend of early 90's Morbid Angel textures with Finnish old-school death metal, layered by cavern-like filth a la Krypts or Incantation, is the core of a formula that flows smoothly for forty-three minutes. The narrative is always cohesive and coherent.

As I mentioned earlier, the symbiosis among musicians is felt throughout the album, with emphasis on a solid rhythm section that accompanies the guitar dynamics in perfect synchrony. The beginning of 'Not for the Weak' is one of the finest examples of this synergy. Jukka Aho's vocals fit the band's style perfectly, thus proving to be the right choice to replace the late Henri Emil Kuula. Instrumentally, guitar solos are the weakest link, which despite having the proper spirit, do not possess the mastery of guitarists like Trey Azagthoth. Nevertheless, lead guitars are far from being the most significant ingredient in a style focused on intensity and overall atmosphere. Something the band manages to deliver remarkably well. The polished, but not too clean, production fits perfectly with the album's signature, enhancing a flavor that I would say stands between Blessed Are the Sick and Covenant, with a darker, more cavernous touch, reminiscent of the band's DNA.

Gorephilia has never released the same album twice, and In the Eye of Nothing is no exception. With a refined Morbid Angel-esque approach, the band enters the new decade with its most polished release to date. It is a testimony to obscure elegance and an indispensable addition to any refined death metal collection.



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user ratings (33)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great jam. Early 90's Morbid Angel fan squad should check this out.

Full stream:

http://www.decibelmagazine.com/2020/09/30/40062

Tomorrow, the album will be available on Spotify and other streaming platforms.



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DDDeftoneDDD
October 1st 2020


13951 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And there goes another rev

Digging: Blue Oyster Cult - The Symbol Remains

MaryBabko
October 1st 2020


551 Comments


Havent heard this one yet. I'll check it out. Good review

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks

bloc
October 1st 2020


63473 Comments


Album art reminds me of peacock feathers. Therefore, I will check

Digging: Disclosure - Energy

Evok
October 1st 2020


8217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review. I'm really stoked to hear this, as I loved their last two albums.

Digging: The Who - Live In Hyde Park

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


27107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is definitely their best. Great album. Good review, friend.

Digging: Gorephilia - In The Eye Of Nothing

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Evok. Their previous stuff rules.

Who would have guessed bloc had a peacock fetish? ;)

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahah it looks like we posted at the same time Spirit mate.

Agreed, it's their best album to date.

MaryBabko
October 1st 2020


551 Comments


Jammed some of it so far, sounds like it's good.

ShadowRemains
October 1st 2020


25828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules hard, some of the best azagthothian riffs on here that i've heard outside of azagthoth himself

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed hard





ShadowRemains
October 1st 2020


25828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they also don't go overboard with the altars of madness/more thrashy/blackened side either which is nice since a lot of other bands choose to go that route

it's definitely more taking the better parts of blessed, covenant, and formulas adding a finnish twist

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Azagthoth should take a peek at these guys before start writing the next album.

Yeah, the band focused on Blessed Are the Sick and Covenant. Nice choice.

ShadowRemains
October 2nd 2020


25828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the angular riffing in devotion upon the worm almost reminds me of something from here in after era immolation

el_newg
October 2nd 2020


941 Comments


hey Notrap great review! I liked this band's first two LPs, so looking forward to hearing this. Didn't know about their previous vocalist, RIP.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, I appreciate it.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2020


5293 Comments


Great rev, longer than usual for ya!

There are way too many good 2020 dm I need to check

Digging: Georgie Sweet - Misunderstood

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2020


15101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dedex!

I started listening to the album about a week ago, which probably helped to build a longer narrative.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2020


5293 Comments


Nice! You get a lot of promo copies don't you?



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