I’ve found through experience that the Italian metal label I, Voidhanger Records is unbounded by genre constraints, and that its releases will reliably be as fascinating as they are diverse. I’ve also found that the artwork selected by the label for its releases is almost always as interesting as the music itself. Today’s discovery is a case in point.
In late October I, Voidhanger will be releasing a debut EP from a Danish duo (Thorbjørn and Qvortrup) who call themselves Tongues. The name of the EP is Thelésis Ignis, and it consists of four long tracks, with a total running time of 34:35 (which makes it as long as most full-length albums these days). Showing its customary attention to artwork, the label will release the EP as a CD with a 16-page full-color booklet, with cover art (above) by Antonius Lovmand and N.
The EP was recorded by Emil Brahe of the doom band Sol (from the Van Records’ roster); he also plays organ and additional keys on the EP.
Tongues have described their music in this way:
“TONGUES is devoted to the exploration of mind and soul, and how they relate to the flesh. Our music is as heavy as the earthbound flesh; the lyrics and themes constitute the soul that yearns for some kind of redemption, eternally lost in the cloud of unknowing. The nature of the synthesis between soul and body is drenched in obscurity, which is why — by speaking in tongues — a path may be eventually revealed, providing salvation for that fallen race we call Humanity. Our debut EP, Thelésis Ignis is the first chapter of this doomed spiritual journey.”
I’ve heard one song from the EP so far — the 10-minute opening track, “Void Meditation” — and it’s very impressive. Because we’re fortunate to bring you a premiere of the song today, you’ll also get your first exposure to the music of Tongues.
In genre terms, the music is a cavernous, seething cauldron of black metal, death, and doom. The dissonant, eerie riffs in the first part of the song create a thick atmosphere of otherworldly menace, conjuring images of fleeting phantasms and harsh shadowlands. As the pace of the music accelerates, the obscuring fog becomes a whirlpool of flensing guitars and battering percussion, the gruesome roars becoming shattering shrieks. Without ever relinquishing their hold on the darker regions of the listener’s imagination, the band continue to change their pacing, from ripping to slow and back again, ending their dynamic twisting and turning in a final explosion of cacophony.
It’s unsettling music, but it exerts an iron grip on the listener’s attention. It’s a frightening, and promising, introduction to Thelésis Ignis and to Tongues. But Thelésis Ignis will itself be only an introduction: The band is working on their first full length album to be released in the future by I, Voidhanger Records.
Listen to “Void Meditation” below.