Tongues - Thelésis Ignis
I, Voidhanger Records
Blackened Death Metal
4 songs (34' 36")
Release year: 2014
I, Voidhanger Records
Reviewed by Andy

Brand-new Danish duo Tongues brings a messy, noisy combination of black and death metal to us in their first EP, Thelésis Ignis. The atmosphere changes from grim suspense to noisily grating speed quickly, but regardless of the speed of the music, there is only one mood: A dark one.

Void Meditation, a fatalistic piece with a machine-like clanging punctuating the song at times, features sullen guitar riffs that go well with the clanging and often high-speed drumming. Both the guitarist, Thorbjørn, and drummer Qvortrup, sing on the album, though the echoing growls of menace they produce often hardly sound like they deserve the name of "singing". There are thoughtful passages where the listener is given a moment to think, right before the furious drumming continues, right up till The Will of Fire, which is faster and heavier. The verse riffs on this latter one are even more atonal and barely play a melody at all, though the chorus is much more organized, though still quite noisy. In the middle, there is a sudden break into an almost clean guitar riff, lasting less than a minute before the listener is thrown back into more of the previous racket, this time with a wheezy little organ riff going behind it.

Last Grip of the Hand of Guilt is more like the first track, with slow, halting riffs at first and a chanting chorus far in the background. Despite its length giving me a suspicion that there was more to this track than just crushing slowness, I was still partially caught by surprise halfway through the song as Thorbjørn and Qvortrup start thrashing away to the sound of an unearthly scream. Bloodline of the Blind is a weirder one, with no black metal at all. Instead it's nothing but an unnaturally deep voice chanting the lyrics like an incantation (think Blood of the Black Owl for an approximation of what one hears), over the background of an ominous organ.

This isn't exactly a standout in blackened death metal, but I can see some fans of the genre liking it. The main problem I have with it is that there isn't a whole lot of light and dark in the album; Tongues spends so much time making sure everything they do is dark and noisy that they leave little contrast in the picture, instead just bludgeoning the listener. That being said, they do provide plenty of reluctant nods to giving the listener variety, most noticeably on Last Grip of the Hand of Guilt, and leave some interest in seeing what they produce next.

Killing Songs :
Last Grip of the Hand of Guilt
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