Always evolving… Ever crushing: Gnaw Their Tongues-Abyss of Longing Throats
It’s hard to talk about Gnaw Their Tongues in musical terms, because nothing about this Netherlands based project of the enigmatic Mories is in any way normal. Taking from the harshest noise music, the most sinister ambient, the heaviest doom metal, the most frigid black metal, and a ton of alien sampling, GTT is truly a sonic monstrosity. Mories is still just as determined to be the most industrious person within the darkest reaches of the extreme metal underground. Since the 2012 release of Eschatological Scatology, he has contributed to a split with Ancestry, Don Yule, and Alex Mein Smith, collaborated with Alkerdeel, and released two EPs and a 15-track compilation. With this 37th release, Mories shows that he has no intention of slowing down. Abyss of Longing Throats certainly packs a punch. It takes cues from Eschatological Scatology, in that there are more elements that can be directly associated with metal without having to bring up “noise,” or “experimental” first. Abyss of Longing Throats might be a bit less perplexing than previous works, but is no less punishing.
The purpose of this album is clear: to take black metal and doom metal to the farthest extremes possible while maintaining distinctive characteristics from those genres. Does that mean Gnaw Their Tongues sold out? Hardly. But when you compare Abyss of Longing Throats with All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity it becomes clear that Mories has become more calculated in his methods of sonic dismentation. For example, hearing what sounds like a guitar instead of souped up bass on opening track “Lick The Poison From The Cave Walls” didn’t make the song less GTTish as much as it made it more identifiable as a slow-motion black metal song. In the same way, the blast beat that opens the title track provides familiarity as bass and synth create a misshapen atmosphere. For every soul crushing noisescape, there’s a mournful melody to remind you that what you’re actually listening to a song. However, it would be unwise to assume that this would make these songs listener friendly.
Those who are crazy enough to enjoy Gnaw Their Tongues’s back catalogue (like me), can rest assured that Abyss of Longing Throats won’t be an album you’ll break out for a headbanging good time. Mories still brings top tier vocal torment, and it’s higher in the mix than usual. This gave me newfound appreciation for his voice and how much character it can have. Complete with unnerving samples from God knows what, off kilter sound manipulations, and grating harshness amidst all the crushing metal, this album delivers plenty of what GTT is known for – complete pandemonium. Just when a song seems to be going somewhere (dare I say it) conventional, it drops into that maddening racket that has become so polarizing in the metal community. While there are more things for the less experienced noise monger to grab hold of, Abyss of Longing Throats will still send the faint of heart running for the hills.
I know it’s a melodramatic thing to say, but I would say that Mories has created the most compelling work of his career with Abyss of Longing Throats. The added musicality doesn’t take away from the harshness, and actually adds to the emotional weight of the album. Longtime fans will be as satisfied while the less initiated listener could find a way to “ease” themselves into this style of music.