Gnaw Their Tongues - Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus

To be honest, I had gotten a little bored with Gnaw Their Tongues.  2009's All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity was the last GTT album that really struck me as something that presented Mories at the top of his game. Needless to say, then, I was not expecting a whole lot from this new album. And I'm pretty glad to be wrong.

This is a really great record that sees Gnaw Their Tongues return to top form - the best GTT material since 2007's An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood, which is hailed by many as the best GTT album. Nothing has changed a whole lot - Mories is still doing what he has generally done very well, presenting dramatic, noisy metal of varying paces laced with heavy, distortion-laden electronics, symphonic elements, and dark, eerie samples. The production has gotten a bit cleaner, which might derail many projects like this one, but it works for these songs, as it allows all the different elements, which often barrage you all at once, to stand on their own while at the same time combining to make the listening experience all the more intense. So somehow, the cleaner production actually allows the album to be heavier and more filthy, but somehow more... grand, perhaps for lack of a better term.

Especially early on, the album feels like it could almost be the soundtrack to a demented film, as the songs (I'm talking specifically about tracks 1 and 2, "Hic Est Enim Calix Sanguinis Mei," and "Human Skin For The Messenger's Robe") don't feel particularly structured, and the keyboards provide an epic and dramatic atmosphere. This wouldn't be a horror-film soundtrack, though; it would have to be something more serious, more emotionally fulfilling than that. Perhaps this isn't even fitting for a film soundtrack... indeed, it's probably best suited for a journey through a victim's frail, damaged psyche. But by the end of the record, even though you're spent and exhausted, you'll feel vindicated, satisfied in the hope that the victim has achieved some sort of catharsis through your presence.

A terrific album from start to finish, and as I said, a triumphant return to form for Gnaw Their Tongues. You can buy a digital download or stream the album here, or buy the digipack CD along with a t-shirt, from Crucial Blast, here.

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