GNAW BONE's debut self-titled EP is a bludgeoning lesson in pre-history, detailing in distinct tones & tongues the perpetual struggle of survival and dominance that has existed since the dawn of time. Over the course of 4 tracks and roughly 20 minutes, GNAW BONE bask in the punishing mortality of the natural order by evoking moments of crushing doom, murky sludge, blackened metal, and full on dissonant noise with reckless abandon, passing from one form to another like a parasitic ooze.
Although merely a duo of guitar and drums, GNAW BONE lay waste to fuller bands by employing a dense and distorted sonic arsenal comprised of vintage amp walls and cascading stages of harsh fuzz and pitch-shifting effects. The percussion of GNAW BONE is utterly primitive - intense and pummeling yet with an equilibrium of technicality. As a final layer of odious intent, GNAW BONE is fleshed out by harshly-shrieked vocals coated in a wall of saturation, delivered using a linguistic style that parallels each track’s subject matter, ranging from primitive minimalism to eloquent prose.
The album opens with "Initium," an intricate and sprawling track whose chaos perfectly mirrors its message of Earth'sformation - "iron & flames, boiling rain, volcanic plains, the first of days" - and it strikes a balance between furious blast beats with abrasive riffing and glacially-paced sludge promoting subsonic worship. "Prime Ape" moves forward in the evolutionary timeline, and exists as a stream-of-conscious narrative from a tool-making, prey-hunting ancestor in a bleak and unforgiving world. Repetitive heavy chords lead to a swampy rhythm before exploding in stripped down black metal and hints of melodic reserve, only to return to its trudging roots. “Beasts of Burden” begins with a haunting melody of melancholy that builds into a suspenseful and dynamic story of a man learning the power of the natural world through an encounter with a wild bison. In the end, GNAW BONE fully realize their sadistic vision with “Wretched Bag of Bones,” a cannibalistic anthem which revels in the act of consuming flesh. It displays GNAW BONE in their most primal form, tedious in monotony but seething with unbridled aggression, as they proclaim “we will rip the flesh from your bones, and gnaw on the marrow, and watch your eyes as the life escapes from them.”