This Will Destroy You
Tunnel Blanket



by Beauville88 USER (84 Reviews)
May 9th, 2011 | 3 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While the group's second full-length, Tunnel Blanket, is a step in the right direction for the band, it’s still missing some key elements of substance.

When This Will Destroy You released their Moving On The Edges of Things EP last year, it was one of the most about-face turns I’ve seen a band do: gone was the post-rock sounds and structures that they crafted previously, and in its place was pure ambiance. No slow builds, no crashing climaxes, no simplified melodies and rhythms…just soft swells of quiet noise. It seemed like the band had abandoned everything about their previous sound and was just treading new water entirely. Given that, one could understand why I approached the band’s second full-length, Tunnel Blanket, with caution: was Moving On The Edges of Things just an experimental side-track, or was it a sign of things to come on Tunnel Blanket"

Tunnel Blanket gets things started with “Little Smoke”, and to my surprise, it’s actually one of the best tracks that the band has ever made. Starting with subdued, whisper-quiet guitar, I honestly feared the entire twelve minutes of the song was going to be more of the same from Moving On The Edges of Things. But around the three minute mark, a huge crash comes in, and an aggressive drum beat suddenly backs drones of guitar waves and surges. Things pick up nicely, as tiny hints of melody are introduced, and the song easily swallows you up in a whirlpool of amplifying noise before dropping off softly at the end. Mixing their post-rock past with their ambient present, “Little Smoke” is the absolute perfect combination of the two, leading to one of the most engrossing, gut-wrenching twelve minutes I’ve ever experienced.

Another highlight of what makes Tunnel Blanket work so well comes courtesy of “Black Dunes”. Like “Little Smoke”, the song opens up with soft guitar crescendos and a laid-back drum beat, subduing the listener. But then around the four minute mark, just when you’re settling in, a nuclear bomb of noise drops onto your head, ushering in louder drums, louder guitars and a melodic accompaniment of a choir, encasing the listener in a fury of melody and noise. Finally, “Hand Powdered” is another successful track, but it doesn’t quite follow the same formula: the song starts with simple, tasteful drums and some guitar melody, before audio samples of a lecture are heard, adding an element of creepiness to the whole thing, and we’re treated to beautiful hints of melody as the song closes.

But unfortunately, moments like this on Tunnel Blanket are few and far between. While I can praise the album’s highlights for their interesting structures and ideas, the rest the album really lacks of engrossing ideas. “Glass Realms” and “Reprise”, for example, are strictly ambient pieces, stuff we heard on Moving On The Edges of Things, and they just feature builds of noise, leaving behind a feeling of dissatisfaction. “Communal Blood” follows the same formula as the previous successful tracks, but it seems to lack a lot of engrossing elements, and just comes off as lackluster in comparison. Finally, “Killed The Lord, Left For The New World” has an interesting march-like section in the song’s middle, but nothing really clicks outside of that. For every one track that I’m crazy about on Tunnel Blanket, there seems to be about two others somewhere else that drag down the listening experience with their lack of substance.

Overall, the majority of Tunnel Blanket suffers from a lack of interesting elements and significance. While tracks like “Little Smoke” and “Black Dunes” actually succeed in destroying you, attacking in pummeling waves of noise and soft hints of melody, other tracks just seem to wander, floating around without any real rhyme or reason, and they really seem incredibly dull in comparison. I’m glad to see that the band actually made the effort to incorporate some moving, flowing, building structure in their new ambient sound, but Tunnel Blanket ultimately features more duller moments than exciting ones, leaving the listener little bit more to be desired.

Recent reviews by this author
Delta Sleep Twin GalaxiesSolkyri Sad Boys Club
Circa Survive DescensusMinus the Bear Lost Loves
Knife City Precious JewelRx Bandits Gemini, Her Majesty
user ratings (293)
other reviews of this album
Xenophanes STAFF (4)
In trimming the fat, This Will Destroy You have made the most beautiful and captivating release of t...

minty901 (3.5)
This boring album captivates....

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 9th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

Just to contrast with the other terrific review by Eli.

Some tracks found here may be my favourite of the year, but as an overall effort, the album is lacking.

May 9th 2011


Great review, I have yet to listen to this yet, but I'm interested in what side I'm going to take.

Just a few comments to support my undeserved sense of superiority..especially since you have..uh...more than 40
more reviews than me

- Review might be a little stronger if you took out some of the personal references. statements like "I honestly
feared the entire twelve minutes..." (2nd graph) kind of drag the review down a little bit for me. I'm not saying to
completely take out the first-person viewpoint, but keep it to a minimum. At every case possible write from the
readers perspective. For example the sentence I mentioned above, notice how much stronger it reads stated like this
"The 12 minute Grey Smoke could of easily become a placid imitation of the bands previous EP, but instead, three
minutes in......" (kind of nitpicky I know, but I find it helps the voice of the review a lot.)

- and just structurally, your arguments a great one, but you don't support it as well as I would of liked. You should
spend equal time on the good and the bad, especially when giving a slightly negative review like this one. Honestly
you did a fairly good job on this, but with two and a half graphs on the positives and one graph on the negatives,
things still seemed a little imbalanced to me. Might just be personal, but thought I should mention it.


May 9th 2011


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I definitely disagree with this review.

However, it was well written.

Digging: 16 Horsepower - Secret South

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy