Review: Aderlating - Spear of Gold and Seraphim Bone Pt 1

Anyone familiar with Gnaw Their Tongues will no doubt have strong expectations of what this may sound like, and it’s no surprise that Aderlating is comprised of the same gruesome, rotting core as Maurice De Jong’s main project. Just imagine his noise/black metal trademark caught within a bloody, blackened hurricane. The blastbeats and tortured screams are often in there – they’re just fighting to be heard above the ferocious howl of omnidestructive winds.

Needless to say it’s intense. “Black Emperor At The Temple’s Gate” opens on a bleak beginning and simply waits for the chaos to arrive. Just when it seems to have swelled to an excruciating peak, it pushes itself further – jarring string parts edge further into the foreground, and the blustering noise becomes thickly populated with all sorts of hideous screams and clangs, propelled by clattering and cymbal-heavy drum improv. This is essentially the basis for the rest of the album, with new material thrust into the onslaught with each piece; for example, the ugly choir harmonies encircling the title track, the symphony for strings and a thousand circular saws on “A Burial on the Slopes of Mount Sinai”, and the garbled vocal processing on the 18-minute monolith, “Engel Der Wrake”.

At over an hour in length, Spear of Gold and Seraphim Bone Pt 1 can often be an endurance test, although that’s probably part of the point. Why craft such grisly soundscapes only to keep the experience comfortably brief? That said, there are moments during the aforementioned “Engel Der Wrake” where the terror factor begins to diminish slightly – it’s just a little too long, and eventually leaves the listener numb to the abrasion of its delivery.

But for the most part, the listener is left feeling as immersed as De Jong himself. I’d be fascinated to discover just how he knows where to begin in composing these pieces – there’s no central idea to anchor everything down, just masses of atonal sound swirling past each other. Somehow it all mashes together to form this ghastly dose of cavernous catharsis.