Gnaw Their Tongues to plunge Roadburn 2017 into the deepest, darkest horror

It was like being kept prisoner in the torture chamber’s tiniest cage, all those years that Gnaw Their Tongues didn’t play live. We loved the records already, how could we not? Ever since that initial shock with 2006‘s Spit At Me And Wreak Havoc On My Flesh, we surrendered unashamedly to the whip of the master torturer, Maurice “Mories” De Jong.

No other music seemed to convey abject horror and inhumane suffering with the same unease, no other artist seemed capable of transmitting pestilence, sadism and horror in the same unique and frighteningly real way. As subsequent releases, so many of them, followed throughout the years, as other Mories projects surfaced as well, it became apparent that we were before one of the greatest extreme (and then some) music revelations of the century. No exaggeration.

Any lesser artist would have caved in before the multitude of releases and different outlets. Not Mories. Somehow, everything still feels fresh, a million (give or take) albums / EPs / compilations / collab​orations / singles / what-have-you​s later (not to mention all the other Mories bands / projects!), the screams, the swathes of clanging industrial noises, the spine-tinglingly scary samples, all is recognisable as Gnaw Their Tongues by now, but the music never fell into a stuck formula, it’s still unpredictable and refreshingly genre-free. Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent, the spectacular new album released this week, leaves sonic cuts as deep as anything else he’s done.

So, something had to give. We couldn’t be stuck in our rooms forever listening to this petrifying noise all by ourselves much longer. The possibility of live shows seemed remote for a while, was even denied by the man himself, but in the end the noise just burst out inevitably. We were let out of the tiny cage, stretched our muscles and had the whole chamber of torture terror to explore.

The debut happened at Roadburn, of course, where amazingly unlikely things tend to happen a bit more often than anywhere else. You’ll remember if you were there in 2015 – the anticipation in the air, the small crown hovering around the small Cul de Sac some time before the show, making sure they wouldn’t be left out of this unique event, and the audio chaos that ensued as soon as Mories and his stage cohort Eric Eijspaart unleashed.

Since then, Gnaw Their Tongues have turned into a live favourite worldwide – from the United States to Iceland, they have grown as a proper band, a devastating unit that has demolished stage after stage. So if you thought that live debut at Roadburn 2015 was impressive, wait until your face is peeled off by the lean, mean stage machine that Gnaw Their Tongues (who now also incorporate Grietje de Haan on their shows) have become.

They are promising “something special” for their Roadburn performance… which could mean anything in Gnaw Their Tongues’ world. Prepare for the aural torture as much as you can, and try not to tremble too much when they hit Roadburn 2017 at the 013 venue, on Friday, April 21 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival 2017 will take place April 20-23 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Tickets are now on sale!

José Carlos Santos, December 2016

Date: April 21

Time: 15:00

Stage: Green Room