The man known as Mories may be one of the greatest musicians on the planet. Time and again, over countless releases and through countless monikers (Gnaw Their Tongues, Seirom, Cloak of Altering, It Only Gets Worse, De Magia Verterum Aderlating, and many more) he has proven his utter mastery over not only the aural arts and multiple genres of music, but of the understanding and manipulation the human psyche. The guy knows what makes people tick, and knows how to use it to his advantage in his compositions. Despite the rare trek into more mournful or even peaceful pastures of the mind, nine times out of ten this wicked sorcerer is using his talents to terrify. And terrify he does, but none of his numerous bands project this terror and unholy fervor quite as magically or fully as the writhing, black industrial beast that is Gnaw Their Tongues.
Despite a slew of high profile collaborations and the first handful of live GTT shows, and a release of a two-disc compilation album earlier this year, the forthcoming Abyss of Longing Throats will be the first new Gnaw Their Tongues full length in three years. Those of us who have been fans of the Dutch blackened noise master for some time have been anxiously waiting during these three years for the confirmation of this new tome of misery. As we wait our ranks have swelled, Gnaw Their Tongues recent touring activities exposing its devilish form of audio torture to more and more masochistic listeners, ready and willing to subject themselves. Our waiting has paid off. This newest chapter in Mories’ nightmarish legacy is a brilliant one indeed, fully capitalizing on everything that he has done so well on past Gnaw Their Tongues releases while greatly expanding upon some of the elements that have been deftly and subtly introduced in more recent releases.
Label: Crucial Blast Records
Like most Gnaw Their Tongues releases in the past, the core of Abyss of Longing Throats is composed of gritty, harsh black metal and pounding industrial electronics. Interlaced with these key elements are grandiose orchestral pieces and choral vocals that provide an eerie ballast through the cacophonous storm. This whirlwind of blackened beauty is painted against the backdrop of droning soundscapes alternating between the harshest of noise and bleak, cavernous ambience. All of this is further punctuated by field samples and aptly used sound bites from serial killers, cult leaders and religious zealots. A sound formula for a beauteous and horrific bit of music. There are two key things (among many others) that have long separated Mories from his contemporaries in this field: the first is that he knows where to put what and how much of it to use. As I mentioned earlier, Mories seems to have an uncanny knack for knowing how to terrify people. His compositions, while chaotic and cacophonous, never seem slapped together or without some kind of direction. He knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to do it, and he executes it to perfection. The second thing is that Mories is never complacent. While it is true that the key elements of Gnaw Their Tongues sound have remained relatively consistent throughout it’s lifespan, every release expands upon a separate element or brings something new to the table. Each album, split, single, EP, etc. has a unique identity that makes it immediately discernible, yet that familiar nightmarish quality that makes it obviously Gnaw Their Tongues.
Abyss of Longing Throats expands upon several elements in Gnaw Their Tongues repertoire. Notably, the album shows the best of Gnaw Their Tongues doom/drone style compositions without over-committing and sacrificing to many of it’s other elements to the monolithic style. Tracks like the opening dirge ‘Lick the Poison From the Cave Walls’ are perfect examples of this hybrid style, capitalizing on the suffocating ambiance but not losing any of the fear of fury. Mories also uses this album to build on some of the more experimental electronic sounds touched upon in some of the recent releases such as the 2014 EP Wir Essen Seelen In Der Nacht and in the past in releases like the hard to find cassette release Tsutomu Miyazaki. Each song has a chaotic wash of suffocating electronic crunch that adds an icy edge to the burning fury of the black metal assault and the overbearing power and grandeur of the orchestral pieces. This wash comes to a head and is truly potent on tracks like ‘Through Flesh,’ where the chaotic crunch permeates the whole track and overpowers it as the rest of the music and noise fades. Despite the horrific black whirlwind of noise contained in this album, perhaps the most notable addition in this Gnaw Their Tongues installment is the addition of more melodic passages in the songs. While that statement sounds utterly blasphemous when examining Mories’ general style of, well, blasphemy, it is a stroke of genius that makes the bleakest parts of the music even bleaker by comparison. These snatches of melody add a kind of eerie light to the songs, a mournful beauty, fleeting through the decay. Moments like these are personified on songs like the title track, where halfway through the song the mournful strains begin and build along with the horror, crashing to a truly striking and powerful head as the song concludes. Lamenting and sobbing, rather than just shrieking and retching, Mories is no longer aiming to just make us scared, but to make us depressed as well, and he is doing it oh-so-wonderfully.
‘Abyss of Longing Throats’ will be released via Crucial Blast Records on August 7th.