After dropping a debut self-titled EP that Cvlt Nation called one of the “Top 10 Sludge Releases of 2016,” GNAW BONE returns with a new slab of blackened metal in “Scorched Earth,” their second EP and first with a new trio lineup. Featuring the addition of bass guitar as well as 2 new vocalists, “Scorched Earth” presents a world as bleak as its title, filled with greyscale ruins destroyed by the crushing doom, crust, death, and black metal of GNAW BONE.
Although merely a trio, GNAW BONE lay waste to fuller bands by employing a dense and distorted sonic arsenal comprised of vintage amp walls and cascading stages of distortion and fuzz. The percussion of GNAW BONE is utterly primal – intense and pummeling yet remaining steadfastly in the distance. As a final layer of odious intent, GNAW BONE is fleshed out by vocals delivered from all three members, each featuring a distinct style & timbre ranging from high-pitched shrieks to guttural growls.
The album opens with “The End,” a suspenseful introduction that quickly changes course by cascading into a wall of blast beats and black metal progressions beneath ghastly screams describing the instruments of death. Balancing dynamics with fury, the track rises and falls in intensity multiple times before exploding into a mirror image of its opening and evaporating into fog. Like slow-moving tar, “Crown Lust” immediately submerges the listener into a down-tempo pond of murky sludge before finally strangling them with dissonant, angular rhythms and a barrage of call & response vocals. Continuously descending, the track builds in speed and technicality until it collapses into a bottomless pit of tortured howls over glacially-paced chords of pure distortion. “Scorched Earth” offers a slight respite in its extended intro, an epic and darkly-melodic prologue to the carnage of death metal riffing unleashed after it. Emphasizing the unforgiving nature of an obliterated landscape, the track devolves into an atmospheric cloud of noise, providing a soundtrack to the doomsday proclamations emanating through the rubble. After moments of solitude from a sparse acoustic passage, the album climaxes in the utterly pummeling doom of “Fallen Rulers,” a trudging tribute to the beasts of past eras.
“Scorched Earth” has been released in two versions: a Standard Edition featuring the album on 180 gram clear vinyl, as well as a Deluxe Edition with actual bone fragments pressed into each copy, creating a first of its kind bone-infused vinyl record that is 100% playable with minimal audio imperfections.
The deluxe edition of “Scorched Earth” is a first of its kind, bone-infused vinyl record. It was made in collaboration with NORP Laboratories, a subsidiary of New Orleans Record Press. Launched in 2017 and opened to the public in January 2018, New Orleans Record Press is the first and only independently owned and operated vinyl record manufacturing plant in the city’s history. NORP performed hours of research & development to create the records, meticulously placing the pieces of bone into the vinyl press by hand for each & every copy. The result is a stunning audio artifact that is as beautiful as it is unique.
NOTICE: Due to the experimental nature of the process, copies may contain audio imperfections. We accept and condone these flaws and you should too.
A1 – 05:04 – The End
A2 – 04:36 – Crown Lust
B1 – 06:25 – Scorched Earth
B2 – 04:38 – Fallen Rulers