This album is freakin' immense. When I first heard "Into Oblivion (Reunion)" I liked it but it gave me the feeling that this album was going to go into a completely different direction to FFAF's other albums, something which was slightly worrying considering I love both "Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation" and "Hours". Fortunately I couldn't have been more wrong.
After "Into Oblivion", the first track, you kick into "The Great Wild", a track which starts with the kind of riff you would expect to hear in the background of a "Casually Dressed..." track and which continues in very much the same vain. It's a trend that you hear over the whole album; a lot of the songs sounding like a cross between the heavier guitar elements from "Casually Dressed..." and the much more polished vocal sound the band achieved with "Hours". I think it works well since the one thing "Hours" really lacked was some of the heavier stuff "Casually Dressed..." contained, even if "Hours" was still brilliant in it's own right.
That's not to say that all the songs sound like that; not all the songs sound like a cross between the bands two earlier styles even if that is something I wouldn't have minded in the least. "Into Oblivion" is just one example of the bigger sound some of the songs manage to hold; songs which are a lot more melodic and perhaps sound like something you wouldn't expect FFAF to come up with. Still, despite this the two sounds don't clash.
It's a sign of the great writing on "Tales Don't Tell Themselves" that the album doesn't sound all over the place - the band have managed to integrate a new style into their music without drastically straying from their original sound and have also managed not to make the new style sound out of place amongst the old. A good example of how the two sounds blend together are the consecutive tracks "Part One: Raise The Sail" and "Part Two: Open Water". The two different sounds compliment each other perfectly on what is essentially a two part song and I couldn't be more impressed by it, especially when it is something a lot of other big bands have failed to do. Metallica, for instance, completely failed to properly implement their new style of music back in the day.
Thankfully; this album hasn't failed in the same way.
Overall - this album basically kicks arse - and if you don't believe me it's been on their MySpace page in full since May 8th so you can listen to it there...