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Gnaw Their Tongues > Horse Drawn Hearse > Reviews > oneyoudontknow
Gnaw Their Tongues - Horse Drawn Hearse

No ‘serial killer album’… sorry… - 80%

oneyoudontknow, April 3rd, 2008

Beyond the characteristic elements of the music from Gnaw Their Tongues (GTT), there is an aspect that needs further emphasis: the samples. Why? They vary … in content. Serial killer ones can be found on Die Mutter wählt das Todtenkleidchen, Reeking Pained And Shuddering and An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood, while religious ones are presented on Dawn Breaks Open Like A Wound That Bleeds Afresh and on Horse Drawn Hearse; to present to the potential reader a range of different release.

Features a sermon on hell; bible book revelations; and death.

Their influence varies on each album; short phrases or whole passages are cited in terms of religious influenced parts. Murmurs, screams, spoken performances, GTT tries to vary a lot in terms of the way they are expressed. Each of them has a different impact on the music and so is their share in the song they appear in. In respect to Horse Drawn Hearse there is one longer part on Horse Drawn Hearse and it forms a breaking point in the entire album. A long citation in a sermon-like fashion is a clear contrast to the harsh screams and ‘brutal’ arrangement of the guitars and it may be seen as a counterpoint towards the aforementioned and for GTT so very characteristic ‘audible terrors’. Yet the very instant the vocals vanish, the torment starts anew, just as if it wants to gain a superior influence over the atmosphere again, whereby all ‘positive’ facets of life have to be annihilated and the listener finds himself confronted with an eternal nightmare again; like it was described by Dante in his book Divina Commedia and in which the divine enchants sound like hypocrites. Never to escape, never to be relieved… an eternity of the most gruesome facets of what man can imagine; this is what the art of Gnaw Their Tongues is about. Music for sinners, whose souls will never find relief and who want to have their burden reflected in the art they confront themselves with.

Like slowly beating bodies to a pulp and really enjoying it.

Five accords of an extreme distorted guitar hammer at the beginning of The behemoth crawls ashore nails into the feeble soul, who is crying desperately and in despair as the last one of them finally enters the weak spirit, which can hold the pain no longer. Yet after a short pause the torment starts anew and without any sign of mercy nail after nail is pounded into the hollow body again. Slow and hardly progressing is the music. A sick and sinister Funeral Doom bastard haunts the listener on this release. Unintelligible screams and babbling is present in the background and finally the typical distorted high Black Metal voice enters; a hellish symphony. The drums, except for the cymbals of course, sound very alike the guitars, such distorted are they and it happens that the listener has some difficulties in recognizing what instrument is playing currently.

Gnaw Their Tongues is different… this should have been obvious to the potential reader of this lines already, but it is not an easy task to describe their music. Unlike a lot of or better said most of the bands, this Dutch one avoids the use of song-structures in the common sense: verse – chorus – verse – verse – chorus – end. Linear, in the sense that each composition has a beginning and an end, would be a more adequate description of them, but despite this rather simple kind of arranging the songs, they are pretty ‘interesting’ or fascinating as they are full of elements; samples, noise, various vocals etc. All together they create in the mind of the listener a feeling of being on a trip in which horrible entities are passed, torments have to be endured and perhaps at the end a state of salvation is achieved.

Extreme slow droning funeral doom with paranoid shrieking on top.

In the music of GTT there is always something that tries to grab the attention of the listener. Never is there any complete silence in the dark atmosphere. Never does it calm down to a state in which the listener would be able to draw some breath over a longer period of time. One of the facets of GTT’s art is always present and tries to progress the music towards the next violent eruption (made of guitars and drums), which are so characteristic for this band. On this album the amount of distortion and layers is not apparent in the amount in which it can be on later releases. Somehow it is astounding to hear where the band has started and also how ‘calm’ the music has been once. Even though the music is quite sinister and very slow, there are clearly recognizable melody-structures. Also have fewer layers been used and also is there little noise present over the whole length of Horse Drawn Hearse; beyond the distortion of the guitars. Nevertheless is the sound a little bit noisy, whereas the ears have to get used to the style in which Gnaw Their Tongues performs their art.

A short description of each track:

The behemoth crawls ashore
A slowly progressing and extremely sinister song, which combines the slowness of Funeral Doom with the extreme vocals of Black Metal. Samples, noise and ambient parts complete the impression of a glimpse that is shed on the utmost horror.

Horse drawn hearse
Again is the tempo on a very slow level and the song is hardly progressing. A lot of different layers of noise have been used. In the middle of the track a narrative part has been added together with some organ ambient sounds in the background. Later evolves the song into Black Metal with the typical GTT noise and ambient characteristics.

Another study in bleakness and despair
The song starts with a narrative part and ambient/noise textures and progresses into a mixture of Black Metal/ Funeral Doom. Unlike on the preceding songs are clean vocals and screams woven together here. The whole song is kept quite simple in terms of the structure, but fascinating due to the elements which appear now and then.

Final comments

This is a fascinating release. Sinister and disturbing is the here offered art and it shows the potential of this Dutch band. What Mories, the person behind Gnaw Their Tongues, is able to achieve when the elements are put in the right constellation, can be perceived and ‘enjoyed’ on this record. The dark and disturbing atmosphere legions of Black Metal bands try to achieve and create so desperately, is being done here in a way and with a nonchalance that is amazing. This is one of the best releases from Gnaw Their Tongues and it is recommended to everyone who favours dark and sinister music.

Performance: sinister Funeral Doom combined with noise and screams.
Production: Due to the amount of distortion, guitars and drums show some resemblance.
Song-writing: Linear composed songs, which are peppered with a lot of elements though.
Positive: Atmosphere, arrangements in the songs, combination of elements (noise, samples)
Negative: Too calm recording, lack of catchiness, linearity of compositions.
Booklet: none
Length: 27:58 minutes