Gnaw Their Tongues have delivered another hauntingly mechanized full-length album which will leave a range of effects on all listeners, varying from trembling night terrors, violent fantasies, and an overall coating of uncomfortableness. Mories, the solo conspirator behind Gnaw Their Tongues, holds a huge passion for his musical craft and is notable for stemming multiple side projects (Aderlating, Cloak of Altering, and formerly De Magia Veterum) in a similar vein, which also capture the various degrees of his unhinged fascinations and unnerving themes. The previous full-length release, 2012’s Eschatological Scatology, gained slightly more recognition than most of Gnaw Their Tongue’s previous releases, most notably due to its explicitly foul album cover and ongoing perverse depravities from start to finish. Abyss of Longing Throats contains a formula for something equally sinister, but holds a more sacrilegious essence at its core.
The slow descent into this bleak journey begins with “Lick the Poison from the Cave Walls,” as each sunken guitar note echoes against the gradual rhythm of programmed percussion. Adjoined with Mories’ signature, high-pitched howling and the distant chiming of church bells, all of these key components stray away from stagnancy—its harrowing introduction transforms into that of a horror movie soundtrack. The hair-raising notes heard in “Through Flesh” resemble that of a chase scene in which the protagonist is fleeing blindly in an isolated, pitch-dark forest as time gradually ticks away into an inevitable downfall. Musically and visually, Mories has always been a mastermind at manifesting his distorted visions into reality and projecting them into the individual experiences of his audience—there is always a lingering darkness present in every creation, intended to dismantle and absorb in every minute of the present moment. The suspenseful build-up of the opening half of the album becomes quickly overshadowed by a veil of tense, steel-scraping frenzy. Tracks such as “Abyss of Longing Throats” uphold more of a black metal approach in their structure. In the case of this title track specifically, its cadence is easy to follow even underneath the clashing of machinery and peacefully disguised symphonic substratum. Both of these opposing components make this track stand out as a highlight for me; although most Gnaw Their Tongues releases hold striking similarities in the way each song is composed, “Abyss of Longing Throats” is equally as beautiful as it is blasphemous. Its strident, straightforward approach is intense and luring, despite the use of electronic percussion, which most would be opposed to in black metal. Mories has constructed a method of which this instrument is particularly useful amongst a void of machinery and orchestrated chaos.
Many of these traits are highlighted in individual doses on the album; moments of symphonic, deistic chanting is heard four minutes into “From the Black Mouth of Spite,” while an overflow of serenity seeps into “The Holy Body” from the onset. For some listeners, moments like these tend to become too “droning,” and its full effect does not latch on right away, if at all. Understandably, Gnaw Their Tongues is not for all audiences for a variety of reasons. Whether it is on the noise or black metal spectrum, the iron blanket of unconventionality only covers the surface of what beautified decay is buried beneath it. Abyss of Longing Throats disseminates a cacophonic grasp in all directions in order to promulgate its own pulse, drawing those who are willing into its lingering darkness.
01) Lick the Poison from the Cave Walls
02) Through Flesh
03) Abyss of Longing Throats
04) From the Black Mouth of Spite
05) The Holy Body
06) And They Will Be Cast out into Utter Darkness
07) Up into the Heavens Down into the Circles of Hell