Artist: Gnaw Their Tongues
Album: Wir Essen Seelen In Der Nacht
Record Label: Self-release
Release Date: 1st November 2014
One man BM project's latest offering is strong at conjuring horrible atmospheres, but not so strong at conjuring memorable tunes
In an age where experimentation in music is consistently taking on a more extreme course, artists like Maurice De Jong (aka Gnaw Their Tongues) could reserve the right to feel slightly gratified. Although Gnaw Their Tongues' appeal has always been confined to those reaching for the most unpleasant depths of the underground, years of hard-graft and boundary-pushing sonic brutality have meant his presence and influence have not been wanton.
On "Wir Essen Seelen In Der Nacht", a typically understated 4 track release that's hard to track down anywhere besides GTT's bandcamp, De Jong seems more keen to emphasise his artistic expressionism over writing anything that one could really sink their teeth into. The resulting produce is one more categorised by its atmospheres than by craft. Opener "A Calm Friday Night in Hinterkaifeck" broods with a metallic film-score menace, more of a nightmarish scene-setter than a song. The title track starts off like a true psychopath's re-interpretation of the original "Nosferatu" soundtrack before descending into the absolute skull-fucking chaos of improvisational bass flourishes and horrific screams.
"The Gate of Death" is much more considered in its psychosis; there are waves of tuneless static surrounding a mid-paced bass drum boom that recalls The Haxan Cloak. The closer "Droom Van De Rattenvreger" is where the atmosphere is at its most-horrific. Blastbeats and distortion provide a back-bone for the odd-ball, nerve-wracking male & female opera vocals, whilst its final two minutes are the most musical the EP has to offer.
Although commendable for its audacity, this is music with shock tactics used purely to be torturous; by no means a new trait of extreme metal, but ultimately deducing any real soul other than a black pit of attention-seeking noise in "Wir Essen..." is problematic.
Key tracks: "Droom Van De Rattenvreger"
For fans of: Pharmakon, De Magia Veterum