Gnaw Their Tongues is an act that genuinely lives up to the stereotype of metal being scary. Returning with his 10th studio album, the man behind the madness, Mories, sets out to unnerve once more with ‘Hymns for the Broken, Swollen and Silent’. Fresh from his collaboration with death metal monsters, Dragged into Sunlight, and having wowed crowds with a series of live shows, his material sounds reinvigorated and more potent than ever.
The intensity of the build-up in atmospherics for opening track ‘Hold High the Banners of Truth Among the Swollen Dead’ is made creepier still for the inclusion of a soundbyte of a child enthusiastically shouting “we say yes to you, Lord! We give you praise, we give you honour!” This slow, sinister soundscape makes ‘The Speared Promises’ all the more jarring. Mories’ harrowed shrieks make their first appearance of the album, alongside some primitive, horrifying sounding organ and violin music – it’s like listening to a more disjointed version of the shower scene music from Psycho.
While the wheelhouse of Gnaw Their Tongues revels in the darkened terror of heavier music, an interesting and fairly fresh inclusion for its overall sound is a foray into power electronics. There are loops of cloying feedback, crackling synths and ambience aplenty. It works well with the existing heaviness and lends a lofty grandeur to some of the songs, making them sound as though they wouldn’t be out of place on the score of a trashy, modern day vampire flick.
There’s plenty to get your head and ears around on this release and this is possibly some of Mories’ best work to date. Further proof that you don’t need relentless blast beats and pigs’ blood to be truly scary.
(8/10 Angela Davey)