Some records are more than one record. ?From the Walled Garden? by Twelve Thousand Days is such an album. For the duo Martyn Bates (of Eyeless in Gaza) and Alan Trench manages to sound like a whole array of artists. All of which I like, but that fusion doesn?t make for a convincing album. Songs like the opener ?Who Lives Here? and album highlight ?Cries Distant Calling? remind me of the blissful folk played by The Hidden Cameras. By contrast, in ?All Will Fade?, Bates? voice and vocal style are strikingly close to Rob Taylor?s memorable singing with synth-pop duo Coloma. And here and there in this ?Walled Garden? Patrick Wolf and his vaudeville version of folk are lurking around.
In its best moments, ?From the Walled Garden? is a delightful piece of multi-instrumental folk. Karimba, dulcimer, tibetan bells, glass harp and recorder are used to explore a ?Walled Garden? which is, however, not a secluded idyll but which also has shadowy parts like ?Song of Slowsand? and ?Cruel Mother?. Bates? singing is remarkably mature and well-delivered, even if a bit too melodramatic for my taste. While I would gladly include a few tracks from this album on a mixtape, there are others that I would definitely leave out. In style as well as quality, ?From the Walled Garden? definitely lacks coherence. 6/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (19 February, 2008)