Thursday, 15 October 2015

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving - 'Yield To Despair' (Album Review)

By: Richard Powley

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/04/2015
Label: Pelagic Records



Fans of instrumental music, soundtracks and post-metal will undoubtedly find much to love within ‘Yield to Despair’, but to describe it as simply another post-metal album would be to do the band a great disservice. Their fresh and nuanced take on the genre, including noir-jazz and noise amidst crushing walls of sound is something to truly behold.

Yield To Despair’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). The Albanian Sleepover  - Part one
2). The Albanian Sleepover – Part Two
3). Shaking Off Futility
4). Downbeat
5). Yield To Despair

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving is:
Ron Pollard | Piano, Synth
BeHn Stacy | Drums, Noise
Andrew McDonald | Guitar
Luke Pollard | Bass, Samples 

The Review:

Owing as much to ambient, jazz and noise music as they do to the slow-building and weighty sound of post metal, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving deliver atmosphere in spades throughout ‘Yield to Despair’.

As the first song reaches its mid-way point, you have been treated to a weighty and slow building exercise in tension, before the jazzy piano runs that have defined TTOL as something unique amongst the instrumental rock scene, take centre stage and lead the track to its thrilling conclusion.   It’s here that TTOL have made a vast improvement, the restraint used in the playing allows a much more crushing tone to envelop the piece, the piano no longer stealing from the overall sound but engaging with and elevating the drama of the song to a higher degree than before.

As “The Albanian Sleepover” reaches its second part, a more noir-ish feel takes over amidst a Dillinger-like yet entirely more stable flurry of percussion. As the song ebbs and flows, different lines and instruments come to the forefront before the song reduces itself to a simple noisescape. A lone piano line reminiscent of Bohren & der Club of Gore accompanies the various scraping sounds and noise-work, creating an intense and ominous atmosphere. From here the song becomes a crushing dirge bringing to mind the mountainous sound of Omega Massif as it approaches in its thrilling climax.

Employing differing tactics and skills to create a momentous atmosphere is where TTOL really shine. Not once does any facet of the music sound out of place, and while different instruments and players do undoubtedly take centre stage at various points throughout ‘Yield to Despair’, it is never for the sake of virtuosic arrogance and only serves the mood they are trying to elicit.   What feels like the albums centre-piece is ‘Downbeat’  where all of this becomes most complete, with a breath taking and emotionally taxing example of everything that Tangled Thoughts of Leaving do so well, delivered with absolute precision throughout its 18 minute runtime. It feels like the albums most complete “song” and also its most energetic piece, all the instruments blending together to paint a picture of pure destruction.   

Fans of instrumental music, soundtracks and post-metal will undoubtedly find much to love within ‘Yield to Despair’, but to describe it as simply another post-metal album would be to do the band a great disservice. Their fresh and nuanced take on the genre, including noir-jazz and noise amidst crushing walls of sound is something to truly behold.

‘Yield To Despair’ is available here

FFO: OMEGA MASSIF, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE, JOHN ZORN, GUAPO, NEUROSIS.    



Band info: bandcamp | facebook | official

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