"Spit at Me and Wreak Havoc on My Flesh" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch experimental extreme metal act Gnaw Their Tongues. Gnaw Their Tongues is a one man act consisting of Mories who handles everything from music to artwork on the album. The album was self-released in January 2006.
The music on the album is dark, extreme, ambient, noisy, unpleasant, experimental but most importantly very intriguing. The music actually defies catagorization that´s how unique I think it is. I find it deeply fascinating. I´ll try and describe it like this: The basis in the music is droning and dark distorted bass/ guitars and what sounds like programmed/ sampled drums (they could be real though. I´m not sure), but on top of those add layers upon layers of samples, sounds (eerie sounding keyboards/ synths/ piano/ strings) and voices. And we´re talking really unpleasant samples of tortured screams, moaning, blood dripping, creepy heavy breathing, autopsy details, mad preachers and other unpleasantries. The vocals are raspy and tortured screams which mostly appear low in the mix. The perfect soundtrack to a torture scene or one of those rare horror movies that are actually scary. To be honest I have no idea how this music is made. I´m a musician myself but this goes beyond my knowledge in music. There are tons of little details going on at any given moment on the album and the music on "Spit at Me and Wreak Havoc on My Flesh" certainly wouldn´t work as background music. This is a demanding listen and it deserves to be dealt with accordingly. There´s a dark, filthy atmosphere on the album and I kind of feel like a naughty child listening to something mommy definitely wouldn´t approve of. A filthy and shameful feeling yet at the same time exciting and addictive. It´s like people passing by a traffic accident. They know it´s wrong to look but they can´t help themselves.
While the music is somewhat rooted in black metal, there´s very little on "Spit at Me and Wreak Havoc on My Flesh" that resembles traditional black metal. The track that resembles traditional old school black metal the most is "Healing Open Wounds With Salt" but "...Gnaw Their Tongues in Pain" and "Seven Heads and Ten Horns" also feature some faster paced sections that could be viewed as somewhat traditional. Most of the album is slow and droning though. With song titles like "Death, Suffering and Death", "Healing Open Wounds With Salt" and "...Gnaw Their Tongues in Pain" it´s easy to imagine the lyrical content on the album.
The production is raw, noisy and chaotic upon first listen but repeated listens have meant that the sound has opened up to me and I´ve begun to understand and enjoy the album even more. I think this sound is as close to perfection as you´ll get for the music on this album. It´s not often I enjoy productions as noisy and distorted as this one but under the right circumstances a raw production like this one can work wonders.
I know it´s big words but I don´t hesitate to call Mories a genius on the grounds of this album. He is probably in the mad and bizarre genius end of the spectrum but I´m sure he´ll take that as a compliment rather than an insult. I can´t wait another minute before I get my hands on another release in his extensive discography. Calling this a promising debut album would be an understatement of the big ones. I´d rather call it a mindblowing and extremely innovative release. The fact that the album is available for download on Gnaw Their Tongues myspace for a "Pay What You Want" download fee (the original pressing is out of print) just makes this release even more attractive. A 4.5 star rating is more than deserved and I might upgrade this one to a full 5 in time. This is what I call truly progressive and innovative music. I´ve been repulsed and I´ve been frightened while listening to this album and more than one time have I been forced to turn the music off because I just couldn´t handle it anymore. Yet I keep coming back because some dark perverted part of me seems to crave this. It´s taken me almost a year before I felt confident enough to write about this album. I hope I did it justice.