While most black metal and outsider folk outfits don black robes and gain a predilection for the wilderness to increase their obscurity, Gnaw Their Tongues cuts right to the chase and let the listener know what they?re in for with disturbing cover art and ridiculous song titles. And this self-awareness isn?t just for show; the goods are delivered in full. Harsh industrial noise mixed with outlandish screams live up to the phrase ?Sawn Asunder and Left for the Beasts.? By itself I would consider the blown up titles and serial killer sound clips heavy-handed or try-hard for an adverse reaction, but when combined with complex song structure and ambitious composition, the result is larger than life. While the eloquent song titles come off as gimmicky, they siphon out the unprepared or skeptical; don?t get it twisted: under all the cinematic intent and surface gloss, ?Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood? contains truly beautiful moments underneath the yawning layers of black metal ooze and serrated orchestral guitars.
The disc?s content matches the larger-than-life facade and each song overflows with divergent sounds and a cinematic tinge that offer a touch of class to the grime-covered noise. This sounds like a film score for executions, screams intermingling with sobs and shrieks of tape hiss and pounding death drums. ?My Body is not a Vessel, nor a Temple. It?s a Repulsive Pile of Sickness? opens with howling banshees supported by a bizzaro orchestra of shrill winds and apocalyptic percussion that transition into a barren soundscape of outsider ambience. The whole disc is enveloped with an unpredictable tension which disorients audience expectations: fractured drum blasts and WOLD screeching are just as likely to pop up during samples of a serial killer narrating his murders as they are during wandering hazes of instrumental ambience. Chock full of clashing organic sounds, songs like the CD-limited ?The Urge to Participate in Butchery? summon comparisons to a Leatherface slaughterhouse; the collection of chainsaw feedback with the pitter-patter of dripping oil ends in a beautiful denouement, signifying the girl who escaped the terror. But like a traumatic event this record stays with you, with either brow-raising astonishment or head-shaking disbelief. There is no escape from Gnaw Their Tongues. 8/10 -- James Anaipakos (20 May, 2008)