To say that Gnaw Their Tongues isn’t for everyone is a bit of an understatement. It’s hard to imagine that you’ll find anyone saying that this is their favorite band, just like you won’t find anyone saying that their favorite dish features one of those extremely hot sauces. Gnaw Their Tongues, the one-man project of Mories (Maurice de Jong), is pretty hard to digest, particularly for newcomers who might be put off by the chaotic cacophony coming out of their speakers. And yet, just like plenty of people enjoy those tongue-scorching sauces (albeit in moderation), there are those of us who genuinely enjoy the ear-shattering sound of Gnaw Their Tongues, even if it’s not something we can listen to every day.
I speak the truth… features no songs. None. From the very beginning, and all the way down to the last second of this album, there are no songs to speak of, at least not of the kind that most people would identify as such. The albums does have tracks, and those tracks have names; there are also instruments (a synthesizer can be heard faintly playing a melody in the background of some songs, as well as some drumming) but, by and large, there is no music. Instead, the album is all about creating horrific and stressful soundscapes, with unintelligible shrieks, loud noises, and and ever-present sense of dread.
Although all art is open to interpretation, certain artistic expressions give us a bit more leeway. There’s a lot that can be said about paintings like Whistler’s Mother, or American Gothic, but there’s no denying that they’re more straightforward in their message than anything painted by Zdislaw Beksinski. It’s not about quality or skill; it’s about how much information the artist chooses to gives you. This is the essence of what Gnaw Their Tongues does, as the incomprehensible nature of the music (and I’m using the term very loosely) gives your mind an opportunity to fill all those gaps with whatever it wants. It’s the soundtrack (and the sound effects!) to a horror movie that plays inside of your own head, and it’s absolutely great at doing that.
I speak the truth…, like most of Gnaw Their Tongues‘ discography, feels like it’s all about taking your mind to places you’d rather forget. They’re dark sites, where evil figures lurk in every corner, and where your worst fears come together to greet you. Play this record, put on your headphones, close your eyes, and pay them a visit.