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Jaws of the Earth - 80%

Neheroth, January 13th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, Cassette, GoatowaRex (Limited edition)

Created from the shreds of countless mortals and formed together in the shapelessness of pure chaos comes the colossal entity that can only be described as the Flesh Megalith. Ensorcelled from the blood, tears and spirits of a million mortals; Burier has created a viscera smeared incantation with this new entity of crushing power and eldritch bloodlust. Released as physical artefacts by the glorious Goatowarex cabal, Burier has also supplied his own self-made artefacts of gore spattered shell and heart shattering tape.

Flesh Megalith’s self titled debut incantation is a gargantuan construction; primordial of sound and punishing of composition, this entity of pure cavernous death is a sluggish fabrication of mortal body horror. Acolytes who feed upon the constructs of Rigor Sardonicus, Asphyx and Mortiferum will find similar spells to reconfigure their own forms with here - flesh bent and remade by the audial hypnosis the swamp spirit has conjured from his surreal waking nightmares.

A ritualistic aura permeates the whole of the incantation. Right from the first hammering dissonant chord - after the brief introduction spell, with its harmonious melodies, that only hints at the hulking sound to follow - “Ophidian Giant” wastes no time in drowning the listener in a simultaneously claustrophobic and vast atmosphere. Deep bass driven guitar lines, sparse suggestive blood drum patterns, nuanced samples of dripping flesh and cavernous vocal oratory earth gut growls; all of these combined make up that which coalesces and crawls with its belly upon ancient stone.

It is the crawling nature of the guitar, both in construction, tone and execution, that elevates the monolithic edifice of foetid gore to frightening heights. Composed of simple and spacious riffs that drone on into folds of dead skin, most spells follow this pattern; using the guitar to create a clammy atmosphere of sickly dread. However, this is not the only method of which this instrument is employed; occasional flashes of solo virtuosity, like that found around a third of the way through, “The Howling Dark”, or the infectious riffing that dominates, “Fossil”, show that Burier has taken great care to ensure there is much to find beneath the scum drenched depths of this new incantation.

The percussion of Flesh Megalith is a physical exercise that can be felt in the chest, bringing levels of animal anxiety to the fore of the mortal mind. The drumming style takes the same approach as the guitar, preferring to work in tandem with those colossal chords, crashing down heavy with each strum of human gut strings. The most ghoulish addition to this, however, is the almost mechanical drum sections that can only be described as the heart beat of sensual flesh being of void gore fusion. The opening to “Ophidian Giant” displays this percussive feat best and, united with the rest of the ritual percussion, creates a driving force that propels even an entity as monstrous in size as Flesh Megalith.

Trapped within the cavernous organs and orifices of a membranous deity, screams swallowed whole by the perpetual movement of alien fluid, it is difficult to escape the atmosphere Burier has ensorcelled around this incantation. Much of this had to do with the same style of slow build up that Burier employs in his principal entity of the same name, allowing spells to fully blossom at the exact right moment. He also constructs each of the spells in such a way that each feels separate from one, but still connected to the greater magic of the incantation as a whole. The bridge of diseased samples between “Ophidian Giant” and “The Howling Dark” is the perfect example of this, as well as the masterful employment of damp, carnal and subversive samples he deploys throughout the incantation.

The ancient sigils Burier has used to form the thematics etched into the skin of Flesh Megalith is a powerful sorcery in its own right. Spell titles evoke imagery of slithering masses of unknown intelligence, yawning underground chasms of sweltering shadow; as well as the more marshland evocations of nature that have crept into the spellcraft Burier instinctually scribes into all of his works. The visual illustration that represents the incantation is also beautiful and truly conjures those same themes mentioned prior, instantly allowing any acolyte to view its ruined visage, to know that they are drinking in the corruption of the Flesh Megalith through their ocular globes.

Flesh Megalith is a stark symbol of conjoined bodies shaped into spellcraft that is awe inspiring to behold. Carnal, cavernous and crushing in its execution, acolytes that are on the swampy borders, fearing the transformation that would take place upon experiencing Flesh Megalith in full, hesitate no longer - your flesh may regret the choice, but your mind will not. Burier has once again forged an entity that is both a hallmark of his style, but fresh enough of construction and inspiration to stand alone in his swamp possessed realm of haunting misery.

Born of blood, born of flesh and born of swamp. That which stands above reaches deep below. Skin stretched and torn, bone shattered and broken - mortal wishes weaved into that which looms over the endless boglands. A megalith of flesh, dug up by he who buries, one tooth among many in the jaws of the earth. The flesh lives. The heart beats. The skin crawls. Hypnotic sound emitted, blackened fen grows in power, the Burier continues his work, night after night, day after day, he works - until he has buried us all.

Orginally published for GLOOMHAMMER Digital