Think about anti-music and a lot comes to mind. Perhaps anti-music deconstructs traditional music, dispersing its basic elements into an irreversible chaos. Anti-music could simply negate music, “equal but opposite,” inverting all guidelines of rhythm, time, harmony, symmetry, etc. Or it could reject music, relying on antithesis. Something like a hideous collage of static and distorted voice sampling and intermittent jungle drumming. Something an unprepared ear would immediately reject as racket.

This is right where Gnaw Their Tongues fits in, along with their new single “Silent Burned Atrocities,” streaming below. If this track were a medical condition, it’d be schizophrenia; architecture, brutalism; weather phenomenon, tornado. It’s unclear whether Gnaw Their Tongues rejects music or negates it. That’s your interpretation -- let’s call it postmodern -- yet there is usually some meaning or method to the madness.

“Silent Burned Atrocities” is pandemonious, but not indescribable. Gnaw Their Tongues isolates and intensifies the building blocks of metal. In place of accustomed vocals are gut-shredding wails, jammed through harsh post-processing. Orthodox guitar riffs are nonexistent, substituted for distorted ambient noise. Haunting spoken word and hymnal passages litter the soundscape, abstract interjections are the norm.

Then, high-volume cacophony explodes without reason or warning, usually accompanied by mechanical blast beats, flashing on and off in unpredictable intervals. Waves of disorienting sampling come and go, dotted with club-dragging beats and the harrowing integration of a choir’s howl. If you wanted to discover the underside of music, here it is, in all of its savage and impenetrable beauty.

Background: Gnaw Their Tongues is a solo project by “demon channeler” Maurice "Mories" De Jong, also of Aderlating, Cloak Of Altering, and De Magia Veterum. Prior releases are numerous and go back to 2006. Compounded, this “library of abstraction” represents an impressive accomplishment for a solo musician.

Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent releases December 9 on LP via Consouling Sounds and cassette via Tartarus Records. Stream “Silent Burned Atrocities,” the album’s fifth track, below.



—Andrew Rothmund

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