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Gnaw Their Tongues - Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent (2016) - Review

Band: Gnaw Their Tongues
Album title: Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent
Release date: 9 December 2016
Label: Consouling Sounds

01. Hold High The Banners Of Truth Among The Swollen Dead
02. The Speared Promises
03. Frail As The Stalking Lions
04. Your Kingdom Shrouded In Blood
05. Silent Burned Atrocities
06. Hymn For The Broken, Swollen And Silent
07. I Have Clad The Pillar In The Flayed Skins
08. Our Mouths Ridden With Worms

There are many differing opinions out there as to what constitutes 'dark music', but albums such as the latest release from Gnaw Their Tongues, Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent are unquestionably dark. This album is one of the darkest, most depraved shit-fests I have ever heard. There is no way that only one man; Maurice "Mories" De Jong (also of Aderlating, Cloak Of Altering, De Magia Veterum and others) concocted this madness. He was clearly assisted by ominous entities that hail from the dreaded Abyss; where all that is 'good' is mocked, destroyed and inverted. If I was to describe this album in a word, it would be: primal.

The two primal urges are fucking and killing; some would include sustenance/survival, but that is only a means necessary to continue fucking and killing. This album kills everything that it fucks, and fucks everything that it kills. It is the soundtrack to sadism and psychopathy, a roving gang of mutant cavemen committing brutal genocide with the thigh bones of previously slayed and devoured mammoths.

I am not very familiar with the previous works of Mories; except for the odd track here and there, but I know enough to know that this work is a step or two further away from the sensical and the musical, and a step or two closer to the insane and the experimental. There is very little in this album that the average person would be able to identify as music and I'm sure that upon its purchase your name is immediately added to several government watch lists and some of the world's foremost authorities are promptly notified. This sickening broth utilises sounds synonymous with black metal, noise music and death industrial in a unique oppressive way that is Mories' own. The average black/death metal fan would not stand a chance against this chaos and would likely be searching for a change of underpants before the second track has begun. But, for those with the insensitive reptilian brain who are fed up with summoning demons and reveling in the mere satanic; those who find ritualistic blood orgies at the Clinton household just don't 'do it' for you anymore - this is the next step on the road to the true dark enlightenment. The 10th circle of hell has just been opened up where even Dante would not dare venture, and Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent is the Golden Ticket. Access all areas.

Program drums, synths, samples and bass guitar are the main offenders on this album as well as unorthodox song structures with off beat breakdowns and unpredictable drum patterns. There is also an effective use of empty space, dramatic fall aways and dynamic range that make this album stand out compared to other such compositions in the genre that are usually choked up and crammed in mercilessly with no breathing room whatsoever. Listening to this album is a lot like being "waterboarded"; only with something much worse than water that shall be left to the imagination. There are also some unnerving vocal samples used that add to the eeriness of the sound as well as vocal tracks that spit hateful and psychotic/schizophrenic gibberish over excessive and harsh programmed blast beats.

This album I doubt would be an easy listen for anyone and it certainly wasn't for me the first time. Though I did do a little experiment with it on the second listen.

Before writing this review I decided to have a power nap while listening to Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent. Now firstly, I am not exactly a "jumpy" person; in fact I'm pretty much the opposite. Horror movies don't seem to work on me at all and they mostly just bore me to death. Also when people sneak up behind me or jump out from a hiding place to scare me they usually get zero reaction, even when those nearby are scared shitless... it's actually a bit strange. Of course you need a fully functional brain and nervous system for such reactions and I don't really meet the criteria. I also rarely dream, or at least I don't remember and I almost never have bad dreams with the exception of a handful of occasions. However, while listening to Mories' madness while sleeping... I was having a vivid dream that pretty much scared the shit out of me; but in a good way. The sort of way I would sign up for again.

I don't remember much, but I do remember that I was in what seemed to be an old abandoned and dilapidated hospital/morgue and I was with what seemed to be my fellow staff at the hospital (which makes little sense as there were no patients and the hospital was no longer functioning... maybe we were ghosts). I remember the others were able to switch and borrow each others faces and they liked keeping me confused as to who was who. There was a lot of walking around and I was following the other 'staff members' of the hospital around until they stopped, turned around looked at me and smiled. The smiles quickly became a little too friendly. I then realised I could see behind their deceptive grinning which unveiled nothing but malicious intent. Their smiles then became sinister and extremely freaky... even as I write this I am getting goose bumps just thinking about it. Scary shit!

Anyway, this album is NOT for the faint of heart and certainly not for the pure of soul. As the title suggests this album is for the sick. Get a copy from Consouling Sounds and put it on before you have a short nap... I fucking dare you!

Review written by: Evceles
Rating: 6.66/10