Released via Shame Michael Broadrick’s label, Lascivious aesthetics, this split EP from Corephallism and Gnaw their tongues, complete with cover art depicting a naked torso bound in wire, seems to be a perfect pairing of dark ambient acts. Not only the label owner, but also the mastermind behind Corephallism’s metallic soundscapes, Shame Michael Broadrick has cunningly crafted the sort of rare release that will have collectors of obscure noise salivating madly until they manage to track down one of these stunning 10” records.
Of the music on offer, Corephallism provide two tracks – ‘Abandonment’ and ‘Rapes of convenience’. The first of these tracks is a profane work that relies on subtle hymnal overtones to create a mood that is filled with dark wonder and quasi-religious symbolism. The haunting drone that opens the track is slowly augmented by a deep, warm bass line that throbs and swells before scratchy, distorted noises, riven with feedback, tear across the surface. It recalls elements of J K Flesh and Sunn 0))), and its subtle, meandering nature does little to prepare you for the scarifying assault of ‘rapes of convenience’ which opens amidst drones of white-hot feedback and then proceeds to take you on a terrifying tour of the psyche via the screeching horror of Axis of Perdition and Lou Reed’s ‘metal machine music’. Somewhere between the ramped up tension of the Pyscho soundtrack and a dentist’s drill, ‘Rapes of convenience’ is a soundscape that you don’t necessarily understand but feel, deep within your gut, as tendrils of fear creep across the surface of your skin and leave you covered in goose bumps and deeply, irrationally unnerved.
On the flip side Gnaw their tongues (the project of the flying Dutchman Maurice De Jong) offer up just one track – ‘a moral guide to self-castration and necrophilia’ – which builds upon the mordant, oppressive atmosphere of degradation that was built up by Corephillia with echoing, ambient effects and throbbing bass. Not so much a musical endeavour as the auditory simulation of your worst nightmare, it is fair to say that few will enjoy the work of gnaw their tongues, but none could fail to be affected by the psychologically scarring sounds contained within. A lengthy, utterly unrepentant work of malevolence and ugliness, Gnaw Their Tongues is more effective in its formless assault upon the listeners imagination than any number of Hollywood ‘torture porn’ movies could even be – you have been warned.
This split EP is absolutely not for the easily intimidated. The flesh crawling drones and distorted horrors that lurk within are liable to induce a sense of dread not easily shed even in daylight. A slithering, white-bellied horror that lurks in the subconscious, the oppressive weight of the music is palpable, and not easily forgotten once experienced. Fans of either act will undoubtedly be enthralled and, for those not familiar with either artist, this will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Sunn 0))), Khanate and Axis of Perdition. An experience that lives long after the music has ended, this is a Split EP that will haunt your dreams.