Gnaw Their Tongues – “An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood”

Published by The Metal Observer:


Scary music: how do we define it? It seems that all sorts of music can be disturbing. For Metal, there are those albums that we are afraid to listen to in the dark, such as Sunn O)))‘s Black One or your favorite Darkspace album. Blut Aus Nord also comes to mind, a band often compared to Gnaw Their Tongues in terms of dissonant fright.

Yet why are the two bands compared? The Work Which Transforms God is a cohesive, structured Black Metal album, while An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood seems more an amorphous cacophony of what I’ll define as Industrial Noise Doom. What merits the association, actually, is the emotional disturbance both albums bring upon you. Dissonant tones come in cold waves. The human presence withers away into deathly terror.

People have compared this album to a horror movie soundtrack. I disagree because a good horror flick is more subtle than violent. This album slogs through an ocean of chaos. Noisy walls of distortion wash over you at the behest of a deep bass and sparse mechanical drumming. Screams from the back of your brain slowly erode your sanity, as a demented orchestra plays a requiem of hellfire. The symphonics on this album appear frequently, often as string overtures and brass fanfares. Subtlety is spared for down tempo bombast.

For Metal fans, the first listen is exciting. But with repeated listens the novelty wears off. Either you abandon this one trick pony or you challenge yourself to finding the deeper meaning, a regulating force to this anarchy. Personally I’ve concluded that there is no solution to this puzzle. It’s really one big messy experiment, an alternative experience. This is geared not at a Metal-oriented audience as much as towards those who pursue whatever’s least accessible. Gone are the safety nets of conventional music: discernible tempos and rhythms, melodic themes, and any sense of order. You’re missing the point if you try to focus on these things. Take it for what it represents: the dark uncertainty of our existence, that there is no governing force in this cold universe, no Platonic good to strive for. Perhaps this is why the music seems so disturbing, that the natural harmony of music is only a human perversion of the cosmic static.

( Online September 8, 2008 )


One Response to “Gnaw Their Tongues – “An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood””

  1. I love this review. Spot on.

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