‘I Speak the Truth…’ is Dutch one man band Gnaw Their Tongues’ 14th full length album – that’s a release for almost every year since its inception. Stemming from black metal roots, Mories has pushed the envelope with every opus, always with the aim to unsettle his listeners and plumb the depths of despair and depravity, with topics spanning everything from sexual deviance to disease and extreme torture. His latest effort is his most intense foray into the noise genre yet.
A densely textured soundscape of dread and pure malice is laid bare across eight tracks of undiluted atmosphere, layering seizure inducing electronics over ambient drone and Mories’ trademark agonised shrieks. Despite Gnaw Their Tongues’ best efforts to ignite fear in the hearts of its listeners, there’s something about this album that feels hollow – perhaps the shift into entirely electronically produced music has left a void impossible to fill without actual instrumentation. The long stretches of minimalistic samples and effects often feel too sparse.
A Gnaw Their Tongues album will always be more a test of endurance than a listening experience and this feels like the most experimental evolution of the project’s sound yet. The complete lack of discernible structure makes ‘I Speak the Truth’ sound more chaotic than foreboding and it constantly feels like it’s building towards a climax that never fully arrives. It’s lacking the fortitude of a usual Gnaw Their Tongues record and comes off as a little sterile as a result.
(6/10 Angela Davey)