There are many differing opinions out there as to what constitutes 'dark music', but albums such as the latest release from Gnaw Their Tongues, Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent are unquestionably dark. This album is one of the darkest, most depraved shit-fests I have ever heard. There is no way that only one man; Maurice "Mories" De Jong (also of Aderlating, Cloak Of Altering, De Magia Veterum and others) concocted this madness. He was clearly assisted by ominous entities that hail from the dreaded Abyss; where all that is 'good' is mocked, destroyed and inverted. If I was to describe this album in a word, it would be: primal.
The two primal urges are fucking and killing; some would include sustenance/survival, but that is only a means necessary to continue fucking and killing. This album kills everything that it fucks, and fucks everything that it kills. It is the soundtrack to sadism and psychopathy, a roving gang of mutant cavemen committing brutal genocide with the thigh bones of previously slayed and devoured mammoths.
I am not very familiar with the previous works of Mories; except for the odd track here and there, but I know enough to know that this work is a step or two further away from the sensical and the musical, and a step or two closer to the insane and the experimental. There is very little in this album that the average person would be able to identify as music and I'm sure that upon its purchase your name is immediately added to several government watch lists and some of the world's foremost authorities are promptly notified. This sickening broth utilises sounds synonymous with black metal, noise music and death industrial in a unique oppressive way that is Mories' own. The average black/death metal fan would not stand a chance against this chaos and would likely be searching for a change of underpants before the second track has begun. But, for those with the insensitive reptilian brain who are fed up with summoning demons and reveling in the mere satanic; those who find ritualistic blood orgies at the Clinton household just don't 'do it' for you anymore - this is the next step on the road to the true dark enlightenment. The 10th circle of hell has just been opened up where even Dante would not dare venture, and Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent is the Golden Ticket. Access all areas.
Program drums, synths, samples and bass guitar are the main offenders on this album as well as unorthodox song structures with off beat breakdowns and unpredictable drum patterns. There is also an effective use of empty space, dramatic fall aways and dynamic range that make this album stand out compared to other such compositions in the genre that are usually choked up and crammed in mercilessly with no breathing room whatsoever. Listening to this album is a lot like being "waterboarded"; only with something much worse than water that shall be left to the imagination. There are also some unnerving vocal samples used that add to the eeriness of the sound as well as vocal tracks that spit hateful and psychotic/schizophrenic gibberish over excessive and harsh programmed blast beats.
This album I doubt would be an easy listen for anyone and it certainly wasn't for me the first time. Though I did do a little experiment with it on the second listen.