Review by: Eden Hunter
Album assigned by: Ed Luo
From start to finish, listening to Yield to Despair feels like it’s balancing on a constantly mobile precipice between life and death. The instrumentation bounces between a two different moods: slightly groovy doom metal, and somber gothic jazz. Both seem like pretty awkward stylistic coincidences, but they both work remarkably well. These two fundamentals are also helped by chaotic noise squalls, martial drumming, Drudkh-esque tremolo trances, and a wide variety of other sonic tools.
Luckily, the album’s 5 lengthy compositions are robust enough that all these disparate features get a chance to breathe, and Yield to Despair isn’t just balancing on the precipice between life and death, it’s clinging to it. There’s a very slim window for ‘instrumental doomjazz’ to succeed as comprehensively as Yield to Despair does, but in taking that risk, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving have created an absolutely brilliant album. Every moment the precipice is getting thinner, but every moment clinging on we inch ever closer to transcendence.