Review Summary: With ‘Deaden The Fields’, Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving have moved away from their distinct sound found on their previous efforts and settled into a sweet spot of traditional Post Rock.
Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving’s debut EP ‘Tiny Fragments’ was truly an impressive and unique release, combining vibrant and spastic (schizophrenic, even) jazzy sections into the mix of a basic ambient rock formula, adding a much needed life into the genre. It’s really something that can’t be described in a just way, and should really be heard in order to be comprehended. To this day, Tiny Fragments remains one of my favourite ever EP’s, due to it’s innovation in songwriting and performing.
Deaden The Fields is their debut album which, while containing their signature sound, has traded in energy and spasticity for a more progressive and serene feel. This allows for some lengthy movements, an example of which is opening track ‘Landmarks’ running slightly over 17 minutes. In fact, Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving seem to have embraced the extended song length method, as along with the aforementioned song, the most notable tracks on the album run well over the ten-minute mark.
That’s not to say that everything else is inferior in comparison, but I did notice the longer tracks held my attention longer than the shorter ones, which is quite an impressive feat for a band to accomplish considering with this type of music, it’s normally quite the opposite if anything.
A change in sound and direction is certainly nothing to moan about, as it is a purely creative decision among the members of the band and something that should be respected. If I do have a complaint, and I do, is that the album has an absence of any vocals whatsoever, and is merely replaced by the occasional sample or sectional chants. Now, these fit in quite well with he music as a whole, but on Tiny Fragments, vocalist Ron Pollard briefly showed us his screaming abilities, which were nothing short of stellar, instantly reminding me of the harsh vocals performed by the various members of Cult Of Luna (one of my all-time favourite Post Metal bands).
So it’s not as if Pollard’s voice was a burden on the band, but again, perhaps this is a creative decision to fit in with their slight change of direction? It’s just a shame as this particular talent was short lived on Tiny Fragments and I was hoping to hear an extension of it. It’s disappointing that I heard a lack of vocals on this record, and even if there were a few that snuck past me, they obviously weren’t strong enough to grab my attention.
Cast all negativity aside however, as Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving have delivered with a fantastic debut album, albeit a different sounding one at that. With ‘Deaden The Fields’, Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving have moved away from their distinct sound found on their previous efforts and settled into a sweet spot of traditional Post Rock. This is by no means a bad thing as long as they can create music well, and they can. They certainly can.