Danish death metal group Tongues have recently released their debut EP through I, Voidhanger Records. Taking on the currently popular abyssal death metal sound, but with an ugly old school aesthetic and a dose of black metal darkness they’ve put out an enjoyable, if not particularly original take on the genre.
Dissonant guitar chords weighed down by a huge trebly guitar tone, punchy mid paced drums and deep guttural vocals on first track Void Meditation make for an interesting plodding intro. Moving in the middle of the track into more of an OSDM vibe, switching between blasts and d-beats, with slow twisted guitar solos with a messily distorted trebly tone in black metal fashion it builds well, and . evolving further into slower doomy passages, its particularly despondent sounding, and for a ten minute track it’s really well paced and doesn’t drag at all.
Second track WIll of Fire has more of that ugly trebly riffage in a lo-fi black metal track which sounds like a cross over between Soulside Journey and Under a Funeral Moon from Darkthrone, weighed down by the depths of the low, abyssal bass. Punchy drums and simple chunky riffage would make it the best track here, but it tails off during the interlude and never really picks itself back up afterwords, a shame.
Third track Last Grip of the Hand of Guilt has more of that slow doomy disonance, but for the first few minutes it doesn’t really go anywhere, with the riffs at a very similar tempo. But an incisive vocal performance keeps you interested, and when that burst of speed comes in at the middle of the track with a brilliantly ugly guitar tone and blastbeats combining into a blazing maelstrom of sound it’s one of the highlights of the EP.
Closer Bloodline of the Blind is a dark ambient piece with eerie throat singing that echoes against the creepy backdrop, and those vocals are good enough to elevate it over most ambient pieces on metal releases. Overall the EP has some great moments, but it’s let down by some unfocused songwriting. If they can improve that on the next release then they’re going to be great.