You need to have a strange type of darkness about you to get fully immersed in the sounds of Gnaw Their Tongues, but in the same breath there is a bizarre therapeutic feel to listening to Maurice “Mories” De Jong’s creation.
Right from the opening note of the Dutchman’s latest offering, Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent, there is a feeling of uneasiness about it. It has been just over a year since Abyss Of Longing Throats and this new full-length is just as haunting and terrifying.
Even though Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent has a huge layered feel, it is actually just Mories who performed, recorded, mixed and mastered the whole thing, which is a credit to his odd and unorthodox creative mind.
For something which just started as a studio project has since evolved and with this evolution has come a pure evil and nightmarish sound that could only be pulled off by the black metal outfit. Adjectives like “oppressive”, “bleak” and “claustrophobic” are thrown around all the time when describing Gnaw Their Tongues music, but to the untrained ear it could just be considered purely demonic in the best way possible. The records tone is best summed up within the first 30 seconds after pressing play.
‘Hold High The Banners of Truth Among the Swollen Dead’ begins with just a droning tone which can only signal that something horrifying is about to come out, and when the vocals kick in, that assessment it correct.
What makes Gnaw Their Tongues an even more uncomfortable listen then it already is – this is by no means a bad thing – is the length of the songs and the pace they are played at. Not that you can call of bands songs “bangers” but tracks like ‘Frail As The Stalking Lions’ and closing song ‘Our Mouths Ridden With Worms’ provide a bit more of a structure and purpose to what they are trying to convey. However, it is during ‘Silent Burned Atrocities’ that the pace finally picks up a little bit, but it doesn’t last for long.
Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent is a record which is haunting, but in the most beautiful of ways.
Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent is out via Consouling Sounds on December 9.