Gnaw Their Tongues

Abyss Of Longing Throats

The latest missive from the pit where Gnaw Their Tongues lurks gets at once medieval and modernist on every square centimetre of the willing supplicant’s disease-ridden flesh. Taking up the challenge so successfully laid by the likes of Khanate to make listening to music as actually unsettling and terrifying an experience as being immersed in a brutally realistic horror film can be, GTT’s torturer-in-chief (and indeed sole member) Mories lays out his latest master plan for the subjugation of humankind.

While there’s plenty of metal squatting and thrusting at the heart of Abyss Of Longing Throats, from frenetic blast beats to the occasional grind of what might be sampled guitars, Mories also draws on an unholy and unheimlich alliance between the full-spectrum crushing breathlessness of doom and the mechanised clang of industrial beatings, but of the purer Neubauten and Throbbing Gristle strain rather than anything involving Nine Inch Nails’ pop metal with ‘roid-rage approach. Leavened with harsh martial percussion and brooding orchestral swarms, the sound is thick with menace and heavy on the misery quotient. When one nihilist assault ends another flensing of the ears awaits; the pressure is both relentless and structured so as to maintaining the listener’s attention, like a ball gag and spike-lined gimp suit and with about as much room to breathe.

This suffocating mood of bleak malevolence is of course already familiar from a thousand black metal opuses, and anyone who regularly finds themselves with Bathory’s ‘Equimanthorn’ as a welcome earworm should feel, if not at home, then in uncomfortably familiar surroundings at least. Mories has been refining his particular ingredients through a long apprenticeship in the disquiet arts, and with a host of alternate, often surprisingly beautiful alter-egos such as Seirom to assuage his happier side, can be grimly satisfied with the rich seam of mire and murk that Abyss Of Longing Throats proffers so convincingly.

As with the deeply harsh films of Jörg Buttgereit or Nagisa Oshima, it’s necessary to step into Mories’ world of biblical brutality and let go so completely that disbelief is dropped like a dead weight, never mind merely suspended, in order to take in more than just the battering schlock effects that Gnaw Their Tongues could be presumed to deliver while actually delivering so much more beneath the skin of the hardcore horror show. Just as Buttgereit’s anti-hero(ine)s’ activities in the Nekromantik movies are depicted with such convicting realism as to make for utterly uncomfortable almost-snuff viewing, or Oshima’s similarly transgressive yet tender brutalities in Ai No Corrida (In The Realm Of The Senses) are inflicted with a politicised nihilism that stretches well outside the film’s boundaries, so Abyss Of Longing Throats seizes the listener’s gaze and demand either full and rapt attention, or to be left in the darkness to its own nefarious devices.

It’s this uncompromising attitude which makes Mories’ oeuvre so disquietingly satisfying. While being cast into the inferno for all eternity would be insufferable torment in the extreme, at least if the devil may have all the best tunes, then Gnaw Their Tongues has devised the most suitable soundtrack to a season – or more – in hell.

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