April 10, 2008

Friday Flashcard : One Man Metal Bands Are The New Black.

To keep things interesting I have decided to alter the usual Friday Metal post and profile a band beyond their font.

Not only is this one of the best graphic design like logos for any metal band ever but Gnaw Their Tongues ruminate the most menacing music I have heard in my 36 years on this planet. Each song makes me fear for my life and look over my shoulder because I am certain death is coming. The entire schizophrenic catalog offers the greatest psychological thriller ever to be digested through the ears.

Gnaw Their Tongues is a one man band from the Netherlands whose wound to the world began to take shape in the earlier part of this decade. Moires, the man behind this orchestrated apocalypse composes layers upon layers of blood curdling sounds and the final outcome is stunning aural paintings of the damned.

Where did the band name come from? The most evil book ever written, the bible.

"Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl
on the throne of the beast,
and his kingdom became full of darkness;
and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.
They blasphemed the God of heaven
because of their pains and their sores,
and did not repent of their deeds."
(Rev 16:10-11)

The best way to get a sense of this man's nightmarish creations is to listen to his music. (links are at the end of this post)

The second best way is to read this quote from an interview Moires gave in January of this year.

"I get bored easy. So I try not to make my own music boring. Also I've been doing this for quite some time so I know a thing or two about composition and how to build some tension. I also listen to all kinds of music. Lately to a lot of avant garde/20th century composers; Schnittke/Sjostakovich/Luciano Berio/Bussotti/Varese/Boulez. That shit really give me goose bumps or/and scares me to death. And yes I try to make it as oppressive/intense as possible, that's how I like it to sound. I like things to sound as if there is no more room for any more sounds and yet the sounds keep piling up. Plus I put no limitation on myself in anyway. Metal people always tend to look at metal only and say..oh this band is so radical they got this instrument this kind of structure/rhythm or what ever. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't mean shit. There is so much more music, scarier music than metal. I mean some stuff of Coil for example is so much more 'evil' than all black metal combined. Not to mention a thousand times deeper."

Metal as a genre, be it doom, black, drone, experimental, noise... has morphed into some of the most interesting and creative sounds being recorded today. Black metal is colliding and collapsing into other styles of music ranging from folk to classical to shoegaze to baroque to garage to avante composers to the depths of the earth's core to deepest and darkest pockets of outer space. There isn't much new music I find myself truly fascinated and surprised by, so as crazy as it sounds black metal and all it's Medusa like heads take my listening experience to new places. Hearing something that makes me feel uncomfortable and threatened interests me and keeps me captivated. I know these records aren't exactly yoga class friendly or baby making music but I find this attack on my senses is thrilling; something I can't say that about the new REM record or The Breeders. There is something genuinely cathartic about listening to a record that taps into your greatest insecurities, fears, and nightmares.

The ironic thing is I am not a fan of horror movies, gory films, or slasher flicks yet you give me a record that sounds like zombie cannibals vomiting the rotting corpses of Nazi war criminals and you have my attention.

Gnaw Their Tongues has a blog.

Their MySpace page has tons of samples of his music as well as reviews of his records and a complete discography. Warning - many of his releases are very rare and long out of print.


  1. Great, thanks, now I'm hooked. At least I barely ever buy CDs so I won't start buying rare, limited edition CDRs.

  2. Amazing right? Collectible CDRs - clearly I have problems, ha!