Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus

by GNAW THEIR TONGUES

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about

Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus. Roughly translated, "with blood and whip, we worship the dark". This is the latest collection of atrocities from Gnaw Their Tongues, an eight song investigation into the rites and rituals that emerge from the copper-scented frenzy of the serial killer, the obsessive acts of death worship enacted by those that live on the edge of abyss, the limits of experience sought by black cults. The sound is, as always, immensely heavy, with fractured drums and thunderous tympani skins reverberating within a maelstrom of seething black doom, screeching classical strings, horns, piano, and some of the most vomitous vocals imaginable. However, Per Flagellum Sanguemque is marked by the most frenetic percussive attack that we have heard from Gnaw Their Tongues, with volleys of chaotic drumming, fractured blasts, and maniacally complex patterns that sometimes seem to border on free-jazz drumming.

The band has rarely sounded as nauseating and depraved as it does on the opener "Hic Est Enim Calix Sanguinis Mei", where putrid bass riffs and lurching double bass drums spasm and thunder over the harrowing tension of atonal strings and the layered screams of the eviscerated; when the chaos suddenly drops out and we are left alone with the sounds of a woman gagging as somber strings slowly rise from below, it is one of Gnaw Their Tongue's more unsettling moments. The classical elements take over on "Human Skin For The Messengers Robe", where pleas for mercy are drowned out by blasts of evil, dissonant piano, demonic bloodlust-driven shrieks, and halting, lumbering percussion that eventually leads into the terrifying wail of choral groups rising out of the guts of Hell.

Conversely, the soaring harmonies and strings that take form on "Urine Soaked Neophytes" allow for brief moments of reprieve from the surging black chaos, breaking into shafts of heavenly glory that pierce through the evil cacophony for a moment before being swallowed back up by the lurching amorphous doom. French horns and Wagnerian strings dominate "Tod, Wo Ist Dein Licht", and on "Fallen Deities Bathing In Gall", the strings rise in series of high drones like some horrific Bernard Hermann nightmare as monstrously distorted over-driven bass crawls and buzzes and the drums are whipped into a frenzy of rolls and fills, fractured blastbeats pounding against the background and a jagged blackened anti-groove takes shape and claws it's way into a field of mangled, mewling black ambiance. The remainder of the album offers no relent from the pain; "Bonedust On Dead Genitals" is an agony ritual fueled by industrial clank and the slow pound of a kettledrum as death-chants, blow-out doom bass and wild beasts roar and gibber in fury, and on "The Storming Heavens As A Father To All Broken Bodies" we are thrown a curve ball when the song immediately lurches into an assault of fucked-up industrial black metal with blastbeats chopped up and splattered across the orchestral insanity in a manner reminiscent of electro-death mutants Whourkr. The album ends with the stentorian brass fanfare and hellish descent of the title track, a nearly ten minute exercise in grueling horror where chains meet flesh, throats are torn on the torture wheel, and a female voice recites lines from Charlotte Mew's death-poem "The Quiet House".

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released 08 November 2011

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