It can’t be easy being a genuine innovator. Critics like to make a big deal about bands who “forge their own sound”, but once you’ve done that, what are you supposed to do with it? The challenge of maintaining that unique voice without just repeating yourself is one that many bands have stumbled over – and if you manage that, you have to deal with staying ahead of the bands you inspired. Gnaw Their Tongues’ solo artist Mories was among the first musicians to blend Extreme Metal with electronic Noise/Dark Ambient on anything more than a superficial level, and despite the increasing popularity of this combination GTT remain at the very cutting edge of the hybrid genre.
Mories’ response to this problem is to stake claim to a broad territory, and subtly refine the focus of each album, drawing different aspects of his sound into greater clarity. The key elements of Gnaw Their Tongues’ sonic domain – raw Black Metal, “industrial” Drone Doom, alienating Ambient and Harsh Noise with disturbing vocal samples and found-sounds – are present on every album, but combined in different ratios to keep each release fresh and distinctive. On Abyss Of Longing Throats (Crucial Blast), the Metal elements of their sound have been turned all the way to 11, creating what is probably one of their most accessible releases to date.
Of course, this is still Gnaw Their Tongues here – “accessible” needs to be taken in context. The Metal here – whether it’s the howling, repetitive BM of the title track or the almost Death Metal rhythmical pounding of “Through Flesh” and “Up Into The Heavens Down Into The Circles Of Hell” – is always of the most abstract and alienating kind, and constantly drenched in layers of suffocating Noise and distortion. The effect is not a thousand miles away from Aevangelist, a band who were clearly inspired by Gnaw Their Tongues and have perhaps given a little of their own inspiration back.
Abyss Of Longing Throats is both a valid starting point for new listeners and a satisfying new release for existing fans of one of the most genuinely unique and innovative Extreme Metal bands in the world, and guaranteed a space in the End Of Year list of anyone who enjoys their music harsh, disturbing and abstract.