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Gnaw Their Tongues: An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood

There’s no name for music like this, and it should stay that way. To name it is to acknowledge the existence of unfathomable evil, the kind of evil that whispers and lures and seduces. An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood is just too hideous and nihilistic a piece of work to coexist with peace and happiness and other things we humans ought to seek. In fact, it’s probably best not to listen, just in case something about it resonates with you. That would be too frightening a thought to confront.

For those of resilient spirit, or spirit already damaged enough to stare into this pit of blackness head on, the second full-length album by the one-man Dutch band Gnaw Their Tongues (a.k.a. Mories) may just be the headfuckiest record of the year. The constituent elements of “And There Will Be More of Your Children Dead Tomorrow” — orchestral strings and choir samples, scraps of movie dialogue, distorted bass and drums, creepshow keyboards, indeterminate howling — matter far less than how they’re all swirled together into fetid clouds of ambience. “Teeth That Leer Like Open Graves” directs symphonic funeral doom straight into the sewers, with a mix that poisons its epicness with suffocating dissonance and reverb.

The claustrophobia of black-metal artisans Xasthur and Leviathan is a definite reference point for Epiphanic’s dank mood, but the album has just as much in common with 2oth-century modernists like Charles Ives in the way that it snatches up bits of everything and commits to none of them. It’s an album of half-remembered nightmares, a reminder of the parts of ourselves we would like to think didn’t exist. And considering that Gnaw Their Tongues has already released two split albums and an EP in the five months since Epiphanic was given its original limited vinyl/CD-R release, it would seem that Mories has no interest in letting us forget.
review c/o Tiny Mixed Tapes.

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