Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.
Gnaw Their Tongues: “L’Arrivée de la Terne Mort Triomphante”
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Gnaw_Their_Tongues_LArrivée_De_L.mp3|titles=Gnaw Their Tongues: “L’Arrivée de la Terne Mort Triomphante”]
L’Arrivée de la Terne Mort Triomphante is the new five-song full-length under the Graw Their Tongues moniker, the creation of Mories, a man with a history in the Dutch extreme-metal scene dating back to the early ’90s. From the start, it intends to put listeners on edge by presenting sheer sonic terror — towering, string-infused sheets of noise, riffs, and chaos, with just enough melody lurking beneath it all to make it especially uncomfortable.
As with Circle of Animals last week, this is a collection of sonic paintings rather than songs proper. Though an initial comparison to black-metal noise weirdos like Abruptum and Blut Aus Nord is unavoidable, there is quite a bit going on here that is not captured in those references. There is a penchant for nightmarish horror that is also present on Cold Meat Industry releases. However, Gnaw Their Tongues is, at most, a second cousin to these other black-metal, industrial, and power-electronics projects. It shares many surface-level characteristics, but the overall feeling is significantly, albeit subtly, different.
The way that Mories manipulates layers of sound creates a truly chilling effect. One can describe the sinister swells of strings and choirs, eerie piano lines, thick, buzzing bass, and shrieked vocals, but that only begins to explain the compositions on this album. His greatest success lies in the inspirational transitions that he creates amid the celebrations of entropy. Suddenly, everything will integrate into a plodding, sludgy bass line, or the atmosphere will lift for a second to reveal a brief synth melody. These melodic passages are some of the most moving sections on this release.
At its most pristine moments, L’Arrivée conjures images of snow-covered forests in a way similar to the last track on Sort Vokter‘s LP. At its ugliest, one can’t help but think of basement torture chambers and blood-stained plastic wrap. These divergent scenes are deeply intertwined in Mories’ illustrations.
Though some may cringe at the hideousness of Gnaw Their Tongues, this represents an accurate depiction of the goings-on in a significant chunk of our world. This is not melodramatic, nor is it cartoonish. This is a sonic portrait of horror in all of its beauty.