Nightmares are a hard thing to quantify. As they happen without any control or uniformity. The terror invoked can be quite real and seem silly later when described out loud. This is a problem many musicians have in trying to deal with dark, evil or, dare I say, nightmarish sounding music. Since the early days of metal (and possibly earlier) musicians have almost relied upon trying to create or recreate these thoughts with varying degrees of capability. Where as Alice Cooper talked about his nightmares and made a stage show out of it musicians of death and black metal sunbgenres have, on occasion, flirted with the subject never fully embodying the feeling of a nightmare fully.
This is where Gnaw Their Tongues comes in. Mories, the sole member of this project has for the better part of the 2000's has dealt within that context almost stringently. Giving a soundtrack to nightmares or possibly Marquis De Sade's wet dreams. There is something disheartening and sickening about the sonic battlefield that is portrayed within Gnaw their Tongues music and aesthetic. Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus can be roughly translated to mean "with blood and whip, we worship the dark". This feels appropriate as The record delves into dark atmosphere without ever getting ridiculous. While the music in generally described to be of the black metal variety it also shares a kinship with the industrial genre. This comes across due to a reliance on sampling and drums machines. Where as some bands use these techniques merely to help themselves sound more "modern" gnaw their tongues wields these as weapons with which to disturb and upset the listener.
Each song uses these as a focal point sampling everything from dialog, screams, and strings all helping to serve the main purpose.
The nightmarish quality is helped by the production as the vocals are set slightly lower in the mix acting as another instrument as opposed to a focal point. this gives a more desperate and eerie feeling to the songs as a whole. As mentioned before each piece helps to define and refine the whole making for a record with a strong sense of clarity without giving anything away.
Is there a concept to this record? It ceases to be important. it is more important that one immerses themselves within this record staying in the dark with headphones preferably at night. This only helps to further the atmosphere of this record. The fact is Gnaw Their Tongues is certainly not for the faint of heart. If you need something disheartening that will instill fear and discomfort within you or other listeners this would be the record to play.
8.5 / 10
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