Sunday, July 03, 2011
Maurice De Jong is a busy man. In addition to his main project Gnaw Their Tongues, he also has many side-projects (most notably De Magia Veterum and Aderlating), his own label Devotional Hymns and Mastering Graphics design group, in addition to recently created bands Cloak Of Altering (which is itself apparently an evolution of an older project called Ophiuchus) and Seirom. While one might reasonably come to the assumption that, with so many concerns going on at once and/or over a short period of time, that eventually the overall quality of the releases would suffer, it would appear that, if anything, the opposite is actually happening. "Seiromistkreig" finds Mories stepping further outside of his comfort zone, while still maintaining what is now known as his 'signature' aesthetic and sound. Easily comparable to a number of other luminaries in their respective genres, this album also manages to blend these influences into something completely refreshing and unique (at least when compared to other releases in his discography).
The description provided by Mories, that the project/album is "Blissed out melodic guitardronesblackmetaldrums stuff" is quite accurate, if somewhat simplistic in terms of the sound and feel presented. Beginning with an insistent guitar drone, indistinct rumbling, and spoken narration (buried deep within the mix), these elements build up in true post-rock fashion until a fuzzed out lead soars over rumbling bass rhythms and persistent blast beats. The second track, "Istauchkrieg", is basically a dark ambient interlude, similar to the material of the other, as-yet-unreleased Seirom album "Eremitic" (although it is important to note that Eremitic focuses more on dark ambience and noise). Finally, "Istnichtkrieg" follows in a similar vein of the first track, with a quicker build-up, feedback, and cello provided by one Aaron Martin. If nothing else, check out the last three minutes of this song. Mories is not only proficient at creating a sense of 'epic' in his work, but has fully mastered it at this point.
Hopefully this direction is not simply a one-off EP. Blending influences and methodology similar to that of the late Birchville Cat Motel, Nadja, and even perhaps Godspeed You! Black Emperor, this album projects rays of shrouded light, hope, and maybe even optimism, qualities that are, by design, lacking in most of his other projects. While his music is perhaps best known for suffocating dread, irreverence, and an almost overwhelming sense of apocalyptic fury, it would be a shame if these uncharted waters were not further explored and developed.
Download the album for free from the Gnaw Their Tongues Bandcamp