When we planned for "Taming Tongues" to be released in 2020, we had no idea what the year would bring. On the one hand, we were amazed at how timely an album about being slow to speak and quick to listen would end up being. This year has further solidified our conviction that it is absolutely imperative to handle words responsibly, empathetically, and with a firm conviction on truth. On the other hand, an album release in the middle of a global pandemic was far from ideal. Touring? Nope. Festivals? Nope. Live music in any venue? Nope.
Since we really wanted the message of the album to be heard by others, we did the only thing we could think of in order to make that happen in a year without live music -- We decided to write it again... this time with an altogether different vibe. In the spirit of social distancing, we left crowded parking lots behind and hopped in a van headed for backroads and a cabin in West Virginia, the place where "Taming Tongues" was originally born. It felt strange because we didn't pack down the van with multiple guitar heads and distortion pedals, but we instead filled it with acoustic guitars, a bass and bow, banjos, a mandolin, a harmonica, drum brushes, shakers, and, yes, even a jaw harp. We retreated from civilization to combat the Covid blues by arming ourselves with folk instruments and a more tranquil mindset.
The product became "Tamed Tongues." Going into 2020, we felt compelled to bring a message about godly discernment in our communication through intense melodic post-rock. Now, reflecting back on 2020, we felt compelled to voice the same message through reflective Americana. It is true that even foolish men are wise when they learn to keep quiet (the old track titles). It is also true, looking back on this year, that even foolish men were wise when they learned to keep quiet (the new track titles). Each song from "Taming Tongues" was recast with an acoustic bent. We tried to faithfully represent the meaning of the originals while also giving the listener the chance to experience the lyrics in a completely new way.
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Tamed Tongues - a Fresh Take on a Familiar Taste| Posted April 29, 2021 What You Need To Know:
Dens' new record Tamed Tongues is a celebratory one. The band designed this to be a lyrical highlight and musical stretch. It takes every song from their 2020 release, Taming Tongues, and re-records them in stripped-back versions with new melodies, sounds, and instruments.
What It Sounds Like:
In contrast to their post-rock roots, this record presents these songs in a primarily soft rock sound, sometimes crossing over into country/southern rock. Each song has an acoustic bend to it while faithfully keeping familiar melodies and rhythm from the original album. Yet, each has its own distinctiveness.
The spiritual highlights of this album are abundant. The titles of the songs reflect Proverbs 17:28. Each song is an introspective and personal reflection on learning to tame our tongues. There is a tranquility to the new music styles that reflect timeless truths based in the Bible.
Deciding which song stands out among the rest is just as difficult this time around just as it was with Taming Tongues. The record is still written as a concept album from front to back. I will say, however, that the songs that were originally more upbeat and aggressive have taken up a very different and unique sound. Songs such as "Foolish," "To," and the rendition of "Quiet," are all highlights.
If you are a fan of the recent music releasing from heavy bands doing acoustic re-recordings, such as Wolves At The Gate's Dawn and Demon Hunter's Songs of Death and Resurrection, you need to listen to this wise and timely album. Sometimes the music is so different from normal Dens music that it almost doesn't even sound like them. But ultimately, Tamed Tongues' messages of life and death through our words remains just as true as the first time I heard them in Taming Tongues.