Gnaw Their Tongues

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Spit at Me and Wreak Havoc on My Flesh (2006), 6/10
Reeking Pained And Shuddering (2007), 7/10
An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood (2007), 7.5/10
For All Slaves A Song Of False Hope (2008), 7/10
Rend Each Other Like Wild Beasts (2009), 8/10
L'Arrivee De La Terne Mort Triomphante (2010), 7/10
Per Flagellum Sanguemque - Tenebras Veneramus (2011), 6.5/10
Seirom: 1973 (2012), 7.5/10
Seirom: And the Light Swallowed Everything (2014), 4/10
Seirom: I Was So Sad (2016), 4/10
Seirom: Slow Waves (2018), 4/10
Eschatological Scatology (2012), 5/10
Abyss of Longing Throats (2015), 5/10
Hymns for the Broken, Swollen and Silent (2016), 5/10
Genocidal Majesty (2018), 6/10
Kapmeswonden en Haatliederen (2019), 4.5/10
An Eternity of Suffering, an Eternity of Pain (2019), 4/10
I Speak the Truth, Yet With Every Word Uttered, Thousands Die (2020),

(Clicka qui per la versione Italiana)

After the tentative Spit at Me and Wreak Havoc on My Flesh (2006), Dutch one-man band Gnaw Their Tongues (Maurice "Mories" DeJong) elaborated a hybrid of hellish shrieks, doom hypnosis, guitar noise, horror samples, industrial drumming and ambient interludes via the EPs Horse Drawn Hearse (2006) and Die Mutter Wahlt Das Todtenkleidchen (2007).

The EP Dawn Breaks Open Like A Wound That Bleeds Afresh (2007) increased the elements of black metal and of noise. The reissue of Die Mutter Wahlt Das Todtenkleidchen (Universal Consciousness, 2009) includes Dawn Breaks Open Like A Wound That Bleeds Afresh.

Reeking Pained And Shuddering (Paradigms, 2007) turned gross exaggeration into a sophisticated art. A series of nuclear explosions and ugly screams propels the booming chaotic orchestral cacophony of Blood Spills Out Of Everything I Touch . The dynamics is even more disquieting in Utter Futility Of Creation, which is both a piece of dissonant chamber music and a soundtrack to a horror movie. The tempestuous Nihilism Tied Up And Burning unleashes a fury of ear-splitting shrieks, machine-gun beats and extreme guitar strumming. Destroying Is Creating is the ultimate in suspense and terror: slowly-grinding percussion and distortion erode the meaning of the human voice, until funeral bells and desperate screams signal the terrifying end. Transition, instead, wastes too much time in its musical commentary to spoken-word passages. DeJong strives to provide a cinematic quality to his music but the best pieces are rather reminiscent of Bosch's apocalyptic visions. An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood (Roadburn, 2007) perfected the counterpoint of pummeling drums, operatic vocals, electronic glitches, snippets of film soundtracks and orchestral samples (horns, flutes and strings), all wrapped up in a claustrophobic Khanate-like atmosphere. My Body Is Not A Vessel Nor A Temple It's A Repulsive Pile Of Sickness is an avantgarde concerto of catastrophic percussive noise. The confession of a serial killer launches the apotheosis of horror of Teeth That Leer Like Open Graves, in which symphonic prog-rock a` la King Crimson blends with black metal's worst cannibal nightmares. Sawn Asunder And Left For The Beasts is the soundtrack of hell, with Satan vomiting his genocidal sermon amid choirs of black angels and eruptions of putrescent lava. The search of an ever grander sound leads to the agonizing "music" of An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood, basically a series of earth-shaking instrumental hiccups. A similar earthquake is recast into the sparse otherworld of And There Will Be More Of Your Children Dead Tomorrow, inhabited by a mournful choir and driven away by hurricane-like waves of sound until the last harrowing drone, the soundtrack of falling into a black hole. The 2008 reissue appends the martial (and a bit chaotic) ceremony of The Urge To Participate In Butchery. DeJong's gothic cacophony represented a quantum leap forward (towards infernal dimensions) for progressive-rock and doom-metal.

The EP Devotion (2008) was further removed from heavy metal, focusing on noise and drones.

For All Slaves A Song Of False Hope (Burning World Records, 2008) is a more balanced work that nonetheless achieves an exorbitant sense of emotional exhaustion. For All Slaves A Song Of False Hope I is melodramatic and disjointed chamber music bombarded by drums that exhibit no sense of rhythm (just of destruction). The Uncomfortable Silence In Between Beatings was unusually varied and articulate, as it ranged from sparse laments to apocalyptic choir. A Fiery Deluge opts for the massive wall of screams, noise and drones. By comparison the vortex of drones of My Womb Is Barren And I Want Revenge sounds like relaxing ambient music. Aderlating is a powerful theatrical act that relates a soundscape of laments, an evil tide of noise, and a gentle drift of drones. Surprisingly, the album ends with something that actually approximates a song, For All Slaves A Song Of False Hope II, a frenzied black-metal anthem that displayed a melodic theme. DeJong had mastered the technique of collating symphonic snippets and brought it to new artistic heights by combining it with sheer noise.

Rend Each Other Like Wild Beasts, Till Earth Shall Reek With Midnight Massacre (At War WIth False Noise, 2009) contains three lengthy symphonic pieces. The extended format allowed DeJong to use the variable of time in a more creative manner instead of simply packing as much action as possible in a few minutes. A rumble and a siren begin the crescendo of Rend Each Other Like Wild Beasts, Till Earth Shall Reek With Midnight Massacre" , that proceeds towards percussive spasms and neurotic dissonance. Layer after layer, the center of mass becomes more and more blurred. There are screams, thunders and clangors that are generated from multiple sources and all collide against each other, indifferent to any sense of harmony other than the collective effort to create a sense of shock. The orchestral cacophony prevails in the first minutes of Then Shall They Come Oh Master Shrieking From Red Battle Fields To People Thy Dark Realms", but this time the voices emerge from the dense bacchanal as if they were surfing it; and then drowning into it. The mess of symphonic collages, strident noise, booming percussion and witchy shrieks in In Sullen Silence Stalks Forth Pestilence represents a new rabid form of gothic industrial music.

All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity (Crucial Blast, 2009) was unusually fragmented.

L'Arrivee De La Terne Mort Triomphante (Burning World, 2010) is musically friendlier but emotionally even more hostile than the previous albums. Demonic screams are submerged in the pompous procession of hysterical voices and martial drums of L'arrivee De La Terne Mort Triomphante. Wagnerian choirs rise and fall like devoured by seismic chasms and hurled into space by volcanic eruptions. The military overtone is even stronger in the even more turbulent Les Anges Fremissent Devant La Mort, drenched in catastrophic drumming and buried by a wall of distorted instruments and vocals. It's s protracted agony of sounds that seems to escoriate even the inner layers of flesh. Less ear-splitting but even more chaotic, La Mort Dans Toute Son Ineffable Grandeur suddenly stops and lets something that was hidden come to the fore: a melancholy melody played on an old instrument by an old crackling turntable. Searching for ever more grandiose and intense emotions, DeJong reaches the dilapidated shores of Le Chant De La Mort, in which the terrifying hysteria and the symphonic surges of the first part merge in the second part in one obsessed stream of consciousness. The album closes with Le Trone Blanc De La Mort, an apotheosis of pure suffering that piles up all the elements of the previous tracks evoking a colossal Bosch fresco of damnation.

Aderlating, a side-project by "Mories", sounds like a continuation of the Gnaw Their Tongues project but a bit more fragmented, improvisational and lo-fi on Devotional Hymns (Shadowgraph, 2010) and Spear Of Gold & Seraphim Bone Pt 1 (ConSOULing Sounds, 2012).

De Magia Veterum, another side-project, released Verus Diuinus Magus (2008), Migdal Bavel (2009), The Divine Antithesis (2011) and The Deification (2012).

Gnaw Their Tongues stuffed a myriad events into the gruesome visions of Per Flagellum Sanguemque - Tenebras Veneramus (Crucial Blast, 2011) in a somewhat desperate attempt to achieve a form of super-horror that neutalizes the senses.

Maurice DeJong was also active as Seirom, opting for a dreamy, metaphysical, but no less intense, form of music on the download Eremitic (2011), the EP Seiromistkrieg, the EP Forest, the EP Sparkle Night (2013) and finally on the double-disc 1973 (Aurora Borelis, 2012). The album opens right away with a peak of poignancy, Strands of Golden Light (7:48), a wail a` la Robert Wyatt wrapped in loud tragic romantic electronic cacophony that towards the end reveals a streak of monk-like invocations. Never So Lost (6:09) delves into a harrowing Gordon Mumma-esque maelstrom of distortions, still roamed by helpless vocals. As Hills (6:57) stages a drunk invocation smothered in a million whirling buzzing Tibetan prayers and then ripped apart by a drumming apocalypse. An even more frantic rhythm, a cosmic gallop of sorts, propels 1973 (4:35) before a girl's voice commands quiet and nostalgic drones, but the percussive fury soon resumes unabated like a force of nature crashing on a lone soul. A plaintive sense of existential powerlessness also exudes from the brief symphonic and vocal overture Forever (3:22), a sort of collective gospel hymn with no drumming. There is a prompt return to chaos with the dissonant pulsating My Dear (5:41). On the other hand, pastoral sounds of nature percolate into the psychedelic jungle fresco of At Night (6:02), one of the album's more contemplative moments. Ocean waves set the stage for the impressionistic shoegazing elegy of November (6:08). The second disc opens with the brief cosmic vortex of Disappear (3:29), releasing ecstatic and desperate voices from distant galaxies; This segue into a more vibrant version, Never Want To Feel That Way Again (7:25), that adds frantic drumming and (alas) some spiritual spoken word. Deep Still Silent Earth (7:48), however, is another tour de force that restores the powerful tension of the first disc with intensely hypnotic shoegazing distortion and drumming. Another spoken-word piece, Change (4:26), is rapidly drowned by a cold wind of distorted drones and anguished vocals. Another detour into ambient music yields the blurred evanescent vision of Nur Dast Bist Du (6:55), the musical equivalent of a Monet waterlily, but with so much "dirt" buried under the vivid colors. Crickets inject a nocturnal feeling into the delicate psychedelic filigree of For Black Hearts (8:39) that eventually slides into a dervish-tinged crescendo. The ending is Experience the Light (6:05), a madcap dance pierced by the usual volley of fibrillating distortions with the usual ambiguous desolate/celestial overtones that, after a brief spoken-word intermezzo, turn positively catastrophic. The end of the journey is not what one was hoping after the first song's intimate confession. DeJong's philosophical music floods the listener with questions about the human conditions and drains the mind of all possible rational answers.

Seirom never matched that artistic peak again. And the Light Swallowed Everything (2014) is rather bland cosmic ambient music for cinematic soundtracks. I Was So Sad (2016) failed to coin a new form of bombastic symphonic melodies. The eight songs of Slow Waves (2018) sound like unfinished variations on the dramatic wall of sound of opener Christmas.

Meanwhile, "Mories" had also launched Cloak Of Altering with the albums The Night Comes Illuminated With Death (2011), Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids (2012), Plague Beasts (2014) and Manifestation (2015).

Unfortunately, Gnaw Their Tongues soon became a mass producer of fairly tedious albums: the amateurish Eschatological Scatology (2012), originally recorded in 2009, the monotonous Abyss of Longing Throats (2015), despite the industrial nightmare of Through Flesh, Hymns for the Broken, Swollen and Silent (2016), which simply repeats stereotypes of death, black, industrial and dark metal as if programmed on a computer, Genocidal Majesty (2018), which disposed of the ambient element and instead injected power electronics into black metal (Ten Bodies Hanging, The Revival of Inherited Guilt), Kapmeswonden en Haatliederen (2019), which sounds like an early recording in his original black-metal style, An Eternity of Suffering, an Eternity of Pain (2019), probably a collection of leftovers, and I Speak the Truth Yet With Every Word Uttered Thousands Die (2020), which abandoned black metal and focused on painting terrifying soundscapes with noise, starting with the wall of noise of Abortion Hymn and the horror mayhem of Purity Coffins.

The various collaborations were no less insignificant.

Maurice De Jong also released two albums as Caput Mortuum: His Sombre Wrath (2015) and Cold Winds On The Bare Mountain (2017).

Clearly indifferent to the quality of his recordings, Maurice De Jong started releasing an avalanche of recordings under several different monikers: De Magia Veterum, that returned with Naked Swords Into the Womb of the Enemy (2017); Cloak Of Altering, that returned with I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth (2017) and and Zero Devil (2018): the Black Mysteries, that released Lemegeton (2018); Hagetisse, documented on the cassettes Godendraak (2018), Werg Devoot (2018), The Sinister Flight Of Cursed Souls Through Eternal Night (2018), De Reis Van Vernielde Zielen (2019) and The Seven Sorrows Of The Virgin (2020); Golden Ashes, that debuted with Gold Are The Ashes Of The Restorer (2019) and In The Lugubrious Silence Of Eternal Night (2020); the Night Specter, that released Eternal Dark Splendour (2019) and They Leaned From The Heights Of Cloud To Direct The Way Of Swords (2020); Vetus Supulcrum, that released the trilogy of From The Land Of Shadows (2019), Ravenforest (2019) and Songs Of War And Lamentation (2019); and maybe many other monikers.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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