Having started in 2010, San Francisco black metal outfit Deafheaven have been one of the more unique bands in heavy music by injecting the grand and ethereal elements of post-rock and shoegaze with hellish vocals, tremolo picked guitars and bombarding rhythms that are excepted from the black metal genre. Whilst 2011 debut 'Roads to Judah' was impressive, it was really 2013's 'Sunbather' that showed Deafheaven to be one of the best bands in the game. Whilst other bands have fused metal and post-rock, it's hard to think of a band that have done it in such a bright and uplifting way whilst retaining punishing instrumentation as Deafheaven. They've returned with 'New Bermuda' which sees them go further down their inventive path.
'Brought To The Water' gets the album off to a thrilling start with commanding blastbeat drums accompanied by ominous, roomy and well-paced guitars, before proceeding to chug along behind vocalist George Clarke's piercingly sharp screams. The song soon hits a melodic break with some harmonious guitar noodling, becoming even prettier as the tempo slows down and the guitars become more glacial. This is why your average Deafheaven song is at least several minutes long; they need the time to take you on many sonic, as well as emotional, journeys.
'Luna' has an evilness to it, speedy low strings with a few palm muted, and of course the omnipresent rapid-fire drums increasing the suspense. With Deafheaven's metal elements being more at the forefront so far, the band are arguably trying to show their aggressive side with 'New Bermuda'. As praised as 'Sunbather' was for being a breath of fresh air in heavy music, there was many a metal purist who slated the album's fluorescent nature. Deafheaven are proving that they can be as menacing as the best of them, yet at the same time they don't compromise their sound, ending 'Luna' with a euphoric cascade of huge chords ascending the listener into heaven to be greeted by a demonic howling from Saint Peter.
Continue reading: Deafheaven - New Bermuda Album Review
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