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A Good Beginning for a Great Band - 90%

vargvikernes2, January 9th, 2012

Severed Savior, from San Francisco, California, play a bass-heavy style of brutal death metal that combines the heavier slams of Malignancy with the technicality of Deeds of Flesh. Their sound is very focused around down-tuned guitar riffs and growled vocals, trademarks of the brutal death metal style which Severed Savior have tempered and fine-tuned for a unique and profound expansion on the genre’s well-known motifs.

Formed in 1999, the band was originally known as Christ Denied. In 2000, they self-released Puddle of Gore, a 5-song demo that introduced them to listeners and labels (they have had releases put out on Unique Leader Records, Disfigured Records and Willowtip Records). The brutal death metal scene was beginning to gain notoriety when this demo was released, with groups like Nile, Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation receiving attention and acclaim. In this context, Puddle of Gore fits in as a good introduction to the band it helped make famous, and showcases a young Severed Savior experimenting with the formula they would help to perfect.

Puddle of Gore starts with the song “Fecalphiliac,” a morbid ode to a man’s proclivities towards combining excrement, sex and murder. While the lyrics can come off as a bit campy and childish, the music itself reflects an understanding of death metal; the song progresses from a breakneck tempo to a slower passage where the guitarist utilizes his lowest strings for a sonically crushing effect. “Fecalphiliac” is the song on this demo that is most indicative of the band’s talent, with its technical passages, heavy bassline and guttural vocals.

“Bury the Whore” follows, starting with a tremolo picked riff and a series of cymbal crashes which escalate into the first main riff of the song. “Bury the Whore” centers around the guitarist more than anything else, with his parts compromising the main attention in the piece; the drummer and bassist echo the guitar passages, and the vocals are an addition that complement the rest of the music.

The title track comes next, and this song serves to introduce the bass player as an important member of the group. His playing is deliberate and pronounced, accounting for a good deal of the song’s prominent features. “Puddle of Gore” is a very brief song, accounting for only 2:13 of the album’s 14 minute runtime. It does set the stage nicely for “Steel Toe Abortion,” which starts off and follows a similar pattern as “Bury the Whore,” but at a faster tempo.

“Molesting the Dead” finishes the demo off, and it combines several elements of the previous 4 tracks, acting as a summary and a conclusion. It progresses at an accelerated speed, and employs guitar slams that accent the vocals nicely. "Molesting the Dead" is a fitting finish for the demo, and makes evident that the track order is intentional and important.

While all the songs on this demo were rerecorded for Severed Savior’s 2001 debut EP Forced to Bleed, they are presented on Puddle of Gore in their early, pristine glory. While the demo doesn’t have the production values or instrumental technicality of Servile Insurrection, it does provide an important starting point for the band, and is very indicative of the good things that came afterward.