Canadian death metallers Gutvoid reach through the cemetery soil on new track, “Delivered to the Altar Lich,” off their debut album, Durance of Lightless Horizons. Formed in 2019 out of current and former members of Fumes, Exsanguinate, Grotesque Mass, and Orchidectomy, the Torontonians had already attended classes at death metal’s most elite university’s in the Great White North before Gutvoid’s emergence. Previous outings Four Dimensions of Auditory Terror (2021; Rotted Life) and Forbidden City Beneath the Crypt (2020; Blood Harvest) saw Gutvoid channel an inky, forlorn-style that had its slimy tentacles in Demilich, Timeghoul, and Gorement, while extending bony fingers towards the contemporary in fellow countrymen Chthe’ilist, mountaineers Spectral Voice, and New Jerseyans Funebrarum. This is death metal for the soul, wrought in adoration for the dead and the fog of night.
“Delivered to the Altar Lich” is the follow-up to the previously issued track “In Caverns It Lurks.” Both provide a decaying glimpse into despondent horrors found on Durance of Lightless Horizons, but “Delivered to the Altar Lich” has the heavy burl and woebegone combo on lock. Imagine [Gorement’s] Patrik Fernlund and Daniel Eriksson getting their hooks into Abhorrence’s “Pestilential Mists” and Paradise Lost’s “Frozen Illusion.” The way the guitar work of Daniel Bonofiglio and Brendan Dean intensifies their inspirations is what the post-pandemic needed. Yes, Gutvoid is this: a shot in death metal’s rotting arm by an unlikely tormented team from the wastes of Hogtown.
Says Gutvoid’s Brendan Dean: “When we were writing Durance of Lightless Horizons, we knew that we wanted to have a variety of tracks throughout the album that not only showed our influences but also acted as bridges between the songs we had previously released. ‘Delivered to the Altar Lich’ captures the more upbeat, Demilich-inspired side of us similar to ‘They Came Dripping from the Stars’ (from our Astral Bestiary EP). Compositionally, we wanted a song that slowly builds to a more doom-inspired climax while maintaining high energy throughout: the constantly evolving drums give the whole song a sense of urgency (not to mention drum solo during the bridge), the main riffs being anticipatory in nature, and the rhythms of the chorus following a same theme but with each repetition being harmonically unique, all of these culminating in one of our doomiest outro sections we’ve written so far.
“Following that musical structure, I wanted to write lyrics that were both in line with our horror/fantasy vibe but also fit the flow of the music. So, I came up with the theme of someone being part of a ritual, only to slowly realize that they are the ritual itself. As each chorus musically expands and grows on the last (a definite compositional nod to Rush), I had the lyrics do the same, with our hapless victim understanding their fate as the one being sacrificed with each iteration. The idea of the ritualistic chanting toward the end of the song came to me when driving in my car and listening back to a rough mix after the rhythms were recorded, which added that final doom-and-despair touch to tie everything together.”
Revel in Gutvoid’s flesh on “Delivered to the Altar Lich.”
** Gutvoid’s new album, Durance of Lightless Horizons, is out September 23rd on Blood Harvest. Pre-order CD or cassette from Bandcamp HERE.