£12.99One of several side-projects to emerge from the Wolvserpent camp, Aelter is the solo effort of Wolvserpent guitarist Blake Green. With Aelter, Blake explores a similar realm of dark majestic sound to Wolvserpent, with his massive downtuned guitar roar and bleak minor key melodies being the common thread between the two projects. But where Wolvserpent blends this chugging Melvins-esque heaviness and haunting slowcore arpeggios with violins, pounding drums, and a propensity for extended hypno-dirges, Aelter dispenses with the drums almost completely and goes for a more cinematic approach using layered keyboards and gorgeous harmonized voices that reminds me of something you would have heard on Beggars Banquet or 4AD being fused to a malevolent black heaviness. Both of the Aelter albums were only released on vinyl in limited editions of a few hundred copies and are close to going out of print completely, but we have now gathered both Dusk Dawn and Follow You Beloved together in a double disc set.Visit product page →
The first Aelter record Dusk Dawn from 2009 from is now out of print on vinyl and featured two side-long tracks. The first half "Dusk" begins much like something you would hear from Wolvserpent, an eerie guitar figure slowly plucked over heavy, rumbling doom metal chords, the dark menacing sound slowly unfolding in a manner similar to newer Earth but with a much more sinister vibe. But then this gloomy dirge starts to transform into something that is not so much like Wolvserpent as lush gauzy synthesizers wash in alongside ethereal choral voices, the sound drifting and uncoiling without the propulsion of drums or any other percussion, just a cloudy black fog of doom-laden darkwave underscored with those heavy rumbling guitars. This sound is utterly gorgeous, like some strange mixture of Earth's bleak ambient heaviness and the dark ethereal downer pop of Clan Of Xymox or some similar darkwave outfit. The second track travels deeper into this lush shadowy ambience, the guitars dropping out for long stretches of time as gorgeous high-end drones and shimmering dream-pop keyboards. The vocals begin to appear way off in the distance, slowly fading inwards as the guitars again materialize with chugging downtuned crunch and somber minor key melodies unwinding overhead. And when the vocals build into a majestic multi-part harmony, this becomes incredibly beautiful, like some drifting dreampop epic descending into darkness, finally combining with a minimal piano melody at the end.
The second Aelter album Follow You Beloved (released on vinyl in 2011) grows even darker, much of the prettiness from the first album leeched out by the swelling blackness, but still rife with moments of fragile beauty. The drums are also more prominent here, making this the heavier of the two albums by far. The first side is "Beloved", which begins with a solemn organ line joined by equally funereal piano notes awash in lunar glow. It transforms into a desolate guitar instrumental, reverby guitar twang unfolding around delicate acoustic picking and washes of ethereal synth that almost has a Badalamenti tint to it; then the drums come in, heavy and plodding, just as the airy fragile layered vocals materialize and the sound appears as some kind of shadow-cast, doom laden slowcore. It's really gorgeous stuff, moving through passages where everything drops out and just a single electric guitar chimes in the darkness, a simple minor key figure repeated over and over, and spacey orchestral synths gradually drift in as a steady sinister bass pulse echoes through the darkness. Like the earlier work, this makes me think of drone metallers Earth crossed with swirling darkwave pop, heavy and ominous but shot through with gorgeous moody melody. The song finally returns to the dark lumbering heaviness as everything drops back in, sheets of delayed guitar and what sounds like a mandolin swirling around the treacly drums and that central melody that threads throughout the song, turning even heavier and blacker as massive distorted doom riffage slowly pours in and the music slows down, changing into a blackly majestic Western-tinged doom in it's last few minutes.
On the other side, "Follow You" takes us once more into eerie Badalamenti-like haze of sorrowful reverb guitar and haunting droning keys joined by deep bass notes and cello-like sounds, and then suddenly drops into doomed crush, slow ponderous drums and crushing glacial guitars continuing the main melody, distant ethereal vocals layered in eerie harmony behind the grim doom-laden heaviness, eventually flowing out into a mass of choral darkness later in the song when the music drops out and the vocals come to the fore. Later, it transforms back into the heavy droning funeral procession from before, the riff repeating over and over again, a droning, swirling processional dirge adorned with droning keyboards.
2. Follow You
£11.99Though Gnaw Their Tongues has hardly been quiet of late, what with recent collaborations with Alkerdeel, the release of the Collected Atrocities compilation and high-profile performances in the US at Maryland Deathfest XIII and Apex VI, it's been a good three years since the last full-length album from this Dutch nightmare machine.Visit product page →
But with Abyss of Longing Throats, Gnaw Their Tongues returns in full ravenous glory, offering another hellish cacophony of mangled industrial black metal, lurching heaviness, twisted electronic carnage and bombastic orchestral power that sounds like no one else. From the frenzied, black swarms that sweep across the doom-laden death industrial of opener 'Lick the Poison From the Cave Walls' that eventually resolves into a glacial haze of bleary, blasted bliss, to the hallucinatory black metal of 'Through Flesh' that fuses staccato violins, terrifying choral singing and grueling mechanical doom into one of the most emotionally stirring sequences yet heard in the band's catalog, Abyss continues the evolution of Gnaw Their Tongues'sound.
There's plenty of the grueling, industrialized heaviness and violent orchestral sounds for which the band is known, but this new material also expands upon the filthy, blackened doom at the heart of Gnaw Their Tongues'music with those moments of striking melodic power'moments where all the horror surging through these songs suddenly transforms into something hauntingly elegiac.
Brief passages of tragic beauty, scattered throughout an abyss roiling with relentless programmed blastbeats, somber chamber strings hovering mournfully amid tortured shrieks, harsh clanking percussion and blasts of raging orchestral chaos, all writhe together in another exhilarating descent into total demonic delirium from this monstrous outfit.
£11.99Picking up where 2008's An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood left off, Gnaw Their Tongues is back with nine new tracks of fearsome blackened orchestral chaos and abstract horror that still sounds like little else out there.Visit product page →
On Dread, we're feeling an even heavier bass-assault compared to the other releases, and this is easily the heaviest Gnaw Their Tongues release yet. This monstrous, noxious bottom-end roar that skulks and slithers throughout the album suggests a foul fusion of Abruptum (which is still the closest reference point to Gnaw Their Tongue's black chaos) and Leonard Rosenman's most nightmarish film scores, piled in towering heaps of sadistic noise, warped orchestral strings, degraded samples, shrieking voices, and punishing lurching doom draped in suffocating atrmosphere.
Hyper-abstract black metal sound-collage? Wagnerian avant-doom psychosis? That's one way of putting it, but Gnaw Their Tongues is ultimately impossible to pin down, defying simple categorization as this album plunges even deeper into a black pit of total cinematic horror, sexual perversion, and shapeless heaviosity.
1. My Orifices Await Ravaging
2. Verbrannt Und Verflucht
3. Broken Fingers Point Upwards In Vain
4. The Stench Of Dead Horses On My Breath And The Vile Of Existence In My Hands
5. L'Ange Qui Annonce La Fin Du Temps
6. Gazing At Me Through Tears Of Urine
7. Rife With Deep Teeth Marks
8. All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity
9. The Gnostic Ritual Consumption Of Semen As Embodiement Of Wounds Teared In The Soul
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Sought-after early material and rarities.
For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black / doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues'named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book of Revelation'has infected the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing malevolent, rumbling doom and rabid, noise-damaged aggression with blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music of Gnaw Their Tongues defies easy categorization.
It's the sole work of architect and madman Mories, also known for his work in Cloak of Altering, Pyriphlegethon, De Magia Veterum, Aderlating, Mors Sonat, Pompidou, Dimlit Hate Cellar and others. In 2007, before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut, An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood, Gnaw Their Tongues crawled into the black metal / industrial underground via a number of ultra-limited Eps which quickly went out of print, and are now sought after by fans of the band's abject, blackened horror.
Collected Atrocities 2005- 2008 is a double-disc anthology that gathers together essential, outof-print early recordings from the first three years of the project's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the Gnaw Their Tongues archives.
"...a prime example of this twisted genius at work - while Collected Atrocities as a whole never relents in pushing the boundaries of what the dark ambient genre can achieve when placed within the creative hands of one as devilishly talented and morbidly creative as Mories. This one is a perfectly uneasy listen. 5/5" - RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE
"...some of the most harrowing and tension filled sounds this side of hell's blackest pit. Deep, orchestral cues of ambiance clash with propulsive sound frequencies, frenzied screaming and some of the bleakest samples put to record, all in order to instill the uneasiest of feelings within the hearts and minds of all who dare listen." - EXAMINER.COM
1. For All Slaves... A Song of False Hope I
2. The Uncomfortable Silence in Between Beatings
3. A Fiery Deluge
4. My Womb Is Barren and I Want Revenge
6. For All Slaves... A Song of False Hope II
7. Body Bouquet
1. The Behemoth Crawls Ashore
2. Horse Drawn Hearse
3. Another Study in Bleakness and Despair
4. Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur
5. Spasming and Howling
6. Glorification of Rats
7. Circles of the Abyss
£11.99Roughly 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.Visit product page →
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 imagineable. 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.
1. Hic Est Enim Calix Sanguinis Mei
2. Human Skin For The Messengers Robe
3. Urine Soaked Neophytes
4. Tod, Wo Ist Dein Licht
5. Fallen Deities Bathing In Gall
6. Bonedust On Dead Genitals
7. The Storming Heavens As A Father To All Broken Bodies
8. Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus
£11.99This new Crucial Blast edition comes in black digipack with metallic silver printing, and is also available for the first time as a high quality digital album.Visit product page →
When I was first introduced to the entity known as Stalaggh a few years ago, the Dutch blacknoise maniacs crawled under my skin immediately. Couldn't really come up with a precedent for what they were doing, taking recordings of the screams and wails of mental patients and layering them against a fearsome tableau of dissonant skull-scraping noise, Merzbow levels of grinding harsh feedback and heaps of low-fi improvised black doom all but hidden by their thick curtains of demonic skree. It certainly made for some demented, evil sounding noise, and the three albums that they released made up a suffocating, bizarre body of work that seemed to challenge even the mighty Abruptum for the crown of nihilistic, abstract black horror. In 2008, the band announced that they were going to alter their sound and change their name to Gulaggh, with the new incarnation of the band now focusing on creating their terrifying soundscapes using orchestral instruments instead of the blackened ultra-harsh distortion and feedback of their previous works. And while their new sound isn't as harsh or oppressive as the Stalaggh material, Gulaggh has managed to create something that is equally disturbing and nightmarish with their debut album Vorkuta, resembling some strange fusion of abstract European improv and the howling background sounds from an exorcism ritual.
The first in a planned trilogy of albums, Vorukta was first released in 2009 by New Era Productions. The album went out of print, but has now been resurrected by Crucial Blast in a revised package for newcomers to Gulaggh's otherworldly dissonant dread. Comprised of a single 45 minute track, the band crafts an epic surrealistic sound-collage formed from violins, saxophones, trumpets, electronics and voices. It begins with what sounds like a old recording of a Russian voice, distorted and echoing, played over a surface of noisy hiss and scraped metal while a far-off kettledrums rumbles in the distance. As the album continues, more sounds appear, stretched out metallic scrapes and deep bass rumblings, sheets of grimy drift and gleaming electronic glitches, and soon the voices begin to enter, the moans and wails of anguished voices merging with the ominous murky ambience, followed by brass horns bleating and straining, violins plucked and scraped, that booming baleful tympani quickening it's thunderous throb, lowing strings resonating below, flute-like whistles wheezing while the throng of screaming, groaning voices becomes louder and more prominent, slowly and inexorably ratcheting up the atmosphere of fear and sickness that hangs over Gulaggh's bizarre aural nightmare.
This bleating, honking, scraping din is like a cross between some demonic chamber ensemble tuning up and a free-jazz group achieving maximum dissonance. Things get really chaotic halfway through when the voices start to swarm in at once and a lone drummer enters the picture, pounding out frenetic free-improv rhythms while the mass of cries and howls and atonal instruments climbs to a fever pitch. The last ten minutes of Vorkuta slowly melts into a din of screaming children (themselves patients from a youth mental hospital) and furious honking horns and scuttling percussion swirling together, like some insane Ayler session drowning in bedlam, and then the sound fades out on a dark drifting fog of droning reeds and depleted horns and low voices, finally coming to a close when that sinister voice from the beginning of the album reappears and brings this in a full circle.
Intensely harrowing and deeply creepy, Vorkuta is one of the more uncomfortable listens I've experienced with its equal parts hellish free-improv, dissonant chamber horror and intensely disturbing sound collage.
£6.99The disc is limited to a single pressing of 1,000 copies, packaged in a tiny 4" x 4" glossy gatefold jacket with stunning full color artwork from artist Seldon Hunt. Recommended to enthusiasts of the isolationist terror of Painkiller’s Execution Ground ambient disc, Lustmord, and Scorn.Visit product page →
Scott Hull is already well known in the grind/metal underground for his devestating riffage in Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed; outside of extreme metal, however, Scott has also worked on dark, sumptuous soundscapes and ambient film scores at his Visceralsound lair that have just recently began to appear in recorded form over the past few years.
Scott's Requiem CD that came out through Relapse Records earlier this year was one of the first official releases of his film score/soundscape work, and was widely embraced by fans of bleak cinematic ambience and chilling electronic sound sculpture. Crucial Blast is following that amazing disc with a series of limited-edition 3" CDs that each feature a short, 10+ minute piece of fearsome dark ambient music from Scott that showcase his skill at blending blackend Lustmordian drift with terrifying mixing techniques that clot the mind's eye with unnerving, nightmarish sound events.
This first part of the Audiofilm Series is a terrifying fug of demonic drone that utilizes delirious stereo panning and slabs of obsidian ambience, and it slowly unfolds over the length of the piece to reveal layers of malevolent black drone and unsettling voices seemingly lost between planes of shadow. Audiofilm I plays out like a wildly hallucinogenic horror film score, and anyone into Scott's previous ambient/soundscape work will find this to be one of his darkest pieces yet.
£11.99For nearly a decade now, the shadowy collective known as T.O.M.B. (or Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy) have been creating a particular brand of industrial death worship with some of creepiest recordings that I've heard out of this realm. I discovered the band through their 2007 album Macabre Noize Royale on Todestrieb, whose grating industrial rhythms, blasts of blackened noise and malformed black metal left my skull a charred husk, and I've been following their clandestine electro-acoustic experiments and rituals of corpse-abuse ever since. Now, T.O.M.B. have brought us their latest album (and first for Crucial Blast) UAG (or Undercovered Ancient Gateways, and it follows the group of crypt-crawlers through eleven tracks of suffocating black ambience and lifeless industrial pummel that strips away most of the black metal elements of previous releases, crafting a more abstract, ambient sound this time around.Visit product page →
The band has largely distinguished their approach to black industrial because of the sound sources they use; making their way into abandoned sanitariums, morgues, decaying crypts, and other sites of psychological and spiritual distress (such as the Pennhurst State Hospital in Pennsylvania, and Kentucky's infamous Waverly Hills), the members of T.O.M.B. capture the natural ambience of these locations with field recorded sounds, and engage in pounding percussive workouts by banging and hammering on the very walls and structures of these sites. These rumbling industrial rituals result is a mix of Neubauten-esque bashing and rhythmic forms combined with crushing harsh industrial noise and lightless black ambient voids, sculpted into a uniquely haunted industrial ambience on UAG. As far as references go, I hear traces of death industrial (a la Atrax Morgue / Subklinik / Mauthausen Orchestra / Brighter Death Now) here, as well as the black industrial weirdness of bands like Abruptum, MZ412, and Stalagggh, but there's also echoes of Lustmord's early work here as well in the cavernous black spaces that T.O.M.B. explores.
There is no narrative here, nothing resembling "mood music"; each track flows directly into the next, the album crawling and breathing as a single malevolent organism. The title track opens the album with massive metallic reverberations rumble through vast cavernous realms of darkness and roaring subterranean maelstrom, corrosive distorted noise washing over the pounding sheet-metal percussion and almost tribal-like rhythms, like the howling of the dead emanating from the bowels of the earth. Then "Torment" creeps in, layering agonized distorted howls and monstrous moaning vocalizations over sweeping noise and a pulsating distorted synth, the whole sound drifting through an echo-chamber of hallucinatory horror, then slipping into the swelling subterranean rumblings, juddering machine rhythms and pounding cemetery gate rhythms of "Mausoleum Witchcraft". The subsequent depths of the Underground Ancient Gateways are further infested with these rattling infernal engines and massive rumbling dronescapes, violent metal percussion, ghostly effects and mysterious sounds drifting across the abyssal emptiness, various nightmarish vocalizations, the pounding drums and other hammered objects a constant presence.
Some of the album's more disturbing moments appear on the psychedelic noise eruption "Blood Vortex" that resembles one of CCCC's extreme synth-noise meltdowns, a mass of swarming electronic glitch whirling over smeared drones and distant machine noise that apparently used actual blood as a sound source; the snarling, teeth-gnashing blood ritual chaos of the "Tribe Of The Corpse" gives way to the dank Lustmordian depths of "Graveyard Requiem"; and the twelve-minute "EMPLEH", where the cavernous ambience transforms into twisted atonal guitar noise, distant cries, and eerie howls cloaked in thick black fog, later revealing warped, quasi-black-metal shapes as it drifts deeper and deeper into the pit. The closest that the album ever approaches anything resembling black metal, though, is on the psychotic blastscape "Leech", where those faint, programmed blastbeats drift up out of a hazy dungeon ambience amid snarling demonic vocals and reverb-soaked synthesizers. The one piece on UAG that really gets under my skin though is "Cadaver Transmissions", a recording of contact mic scrapings across the rotting flesh of an actual corpse, backed by echoing black drift, creating the blackest of ambient soundscapes on what is already a supremely unsettling listening experience.
Highly recommended to fans of blackened industrial and black ambience. Comes in a full-color digipack.
I. Uncovered Ancient Gateways
III. Mausoleum Witchcraft
IV. Serpent Moon Seance
V. Blood Vortex
VI. Tribe Of The Corpse
VII. Graveyard Requiem
X. Cadaver Transmissions
XI. Perverse Crematory Pleasures