Gnaw Their Tongues – The Cessation of Suffering

· by Laurent Bellemare

Gnaw Their Tongues is the expression of black metal through an experimental noise lense. For almost two decades, musician Mories has been honing his sound, releasing one album after another at breakneck speed. This zeal raises a few eyebrows, as the Dutch entity’s fifteenth album is an unsurprising addition to an already clogged discography.

In The Cessation of Suffering, all is darkness and depravity. Gnaw Their Tongues makes the most of digital tools to create a soundtrack based entirely on dark, macabre atmospheres. The noisy textures and industrial ambience are exemplary, likely to make more conventional metal bands envious. Indeed, Mories manages to subtract human performative elements from his music, evoking a gloomy chaos without the usual instrumental codes. Even the vocals, distant and treated with saturation and delay, are otherworldly, blending into the abstraction of the rest. Listening to this new opus, like its predecessors, provokes the cinematic sensation of being entranced in a sonic nightmare. Aesthetically, the album also takes a few detours, as with the shoegaze of “Vengeful Spit” and the vocal mantras of “Dreamless”.


What the album gains in atmosphere, it loses in the development of its musical ideas. With each track no longer than five minutes, The Cessation of Suffering is a highly compartmentalized proposition. There is little room for progression within a single track, making the album a collection of relatively static, compact embryos. The urgency is felt in the composition of these tracks, and one regrets Gnaw Their Tongues’ first decade of activity when the pieces stretched out over time and demanded patience. A sufficient album to reaffirm Mories’ unique vision, but one with a sense of unfinished potential.

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