Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving

Deaden The Fields

01. Landmarks
02. Throw Us To The Wind
03. …And Sever Us From The Present
04. Deep Rivers Run Quiet
05. Deaden The Fields
06. They Found My Skull In The Nest Of A Bird

[07/08/11]
[Self-released]

If you’ve been following the site for some time, you may remember the name Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving. They were among the first bands that sent us their stuff for our listening pleasure—their 2008 EP Tiny Fragments—and it was one of my first reviews, which I won’t be linking to because my writing wasn’t so great at that point and the post was fairly insignificant. At any rate, I’ve known of the band for almost two years, but for some reason their new album passed by unnoticed until I stumbled upon it by chance when I was looking for a different album altogether. Lucky I saw it, because it was great to listen to these Aussies tear it up once more and I had nearly forgotten about them entirely.

If you’re unfamiliar with the band, then settle in. Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving play their own brew of jazz-infused post-rock that swings from smooth lounge piano to glitchy and stuttering dissonant riffs. What sets TToL apart from the wide array of post-rock bands is the nearly omnipresent piano virtuosity that both clashes with and creates a rushing atmosphere. The jazz influence is incredibly strong, and I’d go as far as to say they take post-rock to its jazziest extreme, that I am aware of.

Their take is a unique one for sure, but it is now more streamlined than in past recordings. The band have toned down their metal influence significantly since Tiny Fragments, which saw a rare moment of sludgy roars and huge riffs that wouldn’t be out of place in a Neurosis album. Much less spastic, and more refined; there’s not much in the way of heavy music on Deaden The Fields, seeing the band move towards a more traditional and softer entirely instrumental approach, as is the genre staple. That’s not an entirely bad thing at all, though. While I do miss those odd crushing moments, there’s enough variety and creativity here on Deaden the Fields to satisfy listeners of progressive music.

As with most post-rock, epic-length songs are a regular occurrence; the album’s opener “Landmarks” is over 17 minutes in length, filled to the brim with challenging free-form jazz and melodic atmosphere. “Throw Us To The Wind” is somewhat dizzying, with an impending sense of paranoia and hypnotic repetition of gradually darkening musical tones that ultimately climaxes in a distorted bass-driven buildup and frantic drumming.

“…and Sever Us From The Present” is the shortest track on the album at just over 4 minutes in length, and is a piano driven bridge between the previous track and the trudging, almost western-tinged “Deep Rivers Run Quiet.” The pacing works quite well, with each track segueing into the next, making Deaden the Fields feel like a singular hour-long experience.

The title track “Deaden the Fields” is a much more serine track than the rest, with delicately played delayed guitar and music box synth marching through different beautiful movements that naturally builds momentum and dynamic. The 14-minute closing track “They Found My Skull In The Nest Of A Bird” is easily the most solumn track, deciding to bow out of their debut full-length in a reflective and introspective fashion, complete with a drum solo to boot.

The whole musical art gallery that is on display here is a quirky one that, while serious, is a lot of fun if you aren’t bored by long stretches of ambiance and bursts of wild, yet classy experimentation. It’s quite the impressive debut, and shows a level of growth and maturity that not many bands show between their initial EPs and their first full release. The whole album is much more easily heard and felt than described though, so you can give it a listen below.



 

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving – Deaden the Fields gets…

4/5

– JR

 

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