(Prosthetic Records, 2015)
Dragged Into Sunlight came into my attention with their first full-length of 2009, “Hatred For Mankind”, which seemed like a fresh breath of total and honest aggression and hatred among all the trends going on in the Black and Death Metal undergrounds. Taking elements of indeed Black, Death and Doom Metal, spiced with elements of Grindcore, Noise, Sludge and other extreme styles of Punk, Metal and Electronic music, the band has been continuing along the path started by that particular album. The band has vast amounts of experience from previous musical projects as well as playing live, and this experience and dedication for creating and performing this extreme form of musical art has been present in all their doings. Now, about three years after their last release “Widowmaker”, the time has at last come to unleash yet another chapter in their great work, a chapter passionately anticipated by many.
Gnaw Their Tongues is the main project of Mories (originally from Suriname, now residing in The Netherlands), who has about forty releases under this name, also (like Dragged Into Sunlight) mainly focusing in harsh horrific marriage of Black Metal, Noise and other extreme styles. I have only seldomly touched upon his stuff with time, but have always acknowledged the man’s capabilities of creating truly disturbing audial visions of dread.
This collaboration-album was apparently at first revolving around an idea to create a new version of classic Industrial Metal (as begun by Godflesh’s “Streetcleaner”), which can still be heard in the material, not necessarily in the performance of the music itself, but rather in the production. Justin Broadrick (and another profilic producer Tom Dring) has also given his finishing touches to the production of the material. The three hours of material initially recorded for this released has been stripped down into about 33 mins of polished substance.
With about four years in the works, the material has indeed been most likely refined numerous times into this perfect symbiosis of (quite technical) Black and Death Metal as well as Noise (mainly). Besides the production, there is a certain Industrial feeling in the material considering the usage of electronics in a sampled and looping kid of way. Also some effects used in a percussive way give the Industrialized synthetic atmosphere to the otherwise quite organic stuff.
The amount of different soundscapes (and layers) of noises and samples behind the main tracks of clanky but pounding drums, Metallic guitars and distorted screaming vocals is also vast. In fact the material often feels like moving from a room, chamber or other similar space to another, with each having a unique horrific nature and atmosphere of its own, like different kinds of crime scenes. Spoken samples of different murderous themes spice up the already anxious and disturbing spectacle.
The Metallic parts of the material are again mainly a mixture of Death and Black Metal with elements of Grindcore, familiar from the previous work of Dragged Into Sunlight. The guitars are shredding, damping and howling like crazy most of the time, being usually technical (but not too much) rather than melodic. The basses and drums are played with experienced and “relaxed” hands, besides being performed with great skill and imagination, giving the positively human touch to the otherwise inhumane experience. The riffs and general parts of the songs switch from good idea to the next naturally and with ease. The vocals are screamed through the usual Dragged Into Sunlight amount of distortion. The overall mix, which is quite harsh and sharp but otherwise not by any means without low frequencies, is also put through filters of cool reverb. The quality and attitude of the material on the album stays pretty much the same throughout the five songs, resulting at the first listen in the songs drifting by without any clear changes in music, but being so utterly full of detail and entertaining in their horror, it is clear this album has tremendous re-listening value.
To the unexperienced, I’d say this album serves definitely as a better introduction to the music of Dragged Into Sunlight, rather than Gnaw Their Tongues, but if you are already a fan of both acts, you will not be disappointed by this release, guaranteed. In general, this album is a brilliant display of masterfully performed aggression, frustration, and disturbing soundscapes to anyone into the extreme styles such as Death and Black Metal, Grindcore and Noise. A highly recommended album.