Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving

Deaden The Fields

Written by: DR on 13/10/2011 21:22:46

Seldom has a band's name been more apt as Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving's is, especially the 'Tangled' part. Although being an instrumental band is likely to see this quintet from Australia get pinned with the post-rock tag, where many bands in their field try to sound cinematic with their name 'Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving' accurately represents the chaos and mayhem that the band stir up. Moreover, the immense scope of genres TTOL draw from are 'Tangled' together, and the result is probably unlike anything you've ever heard.

The first thing the listener is faced with is a bleak, atmospheric sheet of static, while a piano creates tension underneath. Out of nowhere you're taken down a dark alley constructed by walls of monstrous post-metal sound either side of you; the walls fall down, and then the sultry jazz of the saxophone melts you. It gradually becomes less jazz and more a score for a thriller film, before the soundscape is pierced again by those walls of sound. The after-effects of all of this ripple together to form something vaguely sounding like an improvisational offspring of 65daysofstatic on ecstasy - if that offspring had come out with jazz hands! You can throw words such as 'experimental' and 'progressive' at it, and they'd stick, but they alone can't account for the sheer scope of that seventeen-minute opening track which, rather aptly, is named "Landmarks".

Within that song you can hear tangled traces of jazz, metal, electronica, and rock (and plenty of other sub-genres) fused together with the ambition attributed to experimental and progressive bands, and the result is a sound that you've probably never heard before; one that displays the technical wizardry of TTOL, one that makes it seem like they've beaten you up and stolen your breath. There's a method to their madness, though, and it's not experimentation for the sake of it. "Deep Rivers Run Quiet" has post-metal nods to their "Tiny Fragments" EP juxtaposed with the serene closing of "...And Sever Us From The Present" that shows their ability to create long, free-flowing music like that you lay on like a river... that suddenly turns into a waterfall and throws you off the edge. Title-track "Deaden The Fields" relies less on intricate, insane instrumentation and more on the combined efforts of minimalistic musicianship as it operates as the hangover of the aforementioned aggressive songs, to gorgeous effect. As for the closing "They Found My Skull In The Nest Of A Bird", for which they recently won a WAM award, it's the closest the band get to straight-forward post-rock (well, at fourteen-minutes it's not straight-forward anything, really) but it's so layered and refuses to play close to the crescendo-core format that's all the rage now, instead opting for further minimalistic tendencies all sweeping and culminating in a closing that's less climactic and more symphonic.

"Deaden The Fields" must have taken ages to construct, yet at an hour long - barely a second of which is silence - every frustration and exhaustion that must have manifested is worth it, because it has resulted in one of the most innovative debuts of 2011. If there is one criticism to be aimed at it, it's that it's so epic and so detailed that you're never quite sure where you should be listening - however, that is a thread that unravels itself slowly the more you listen as each time you do listen to it you'll either notice something you didn't before or develop an entirely new perspective on the album as a whole. In fact, whether that is a criticism at all is for each listener to decide. I have a feeling I may come back to it a few months down the line and kick myself for not grading it higher, but it's not quite the masterpiece they will one day write. It's easy to forget it's only their debut, though. As far as debuts go, if any post-rock band has the potential to change the landscape of the genre, it is Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving.


Download: Landmarks, Deaden The Fields, They Found My Skull In The Nest Of A Bird
For The Fans of: 65daysofstatic, Maybeshewill, Isis, Cult of Luna
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 15.07.2011
Firestarter Distribution

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