Deafheaven New Bermuda 01Longtime readers will recall that Kronos does not like Deafheaven. I suspect nobody does, since I see copies of Sunbather in every record shop I enter, meaning that despite the hype, that vinyl is not getting to consumers. And while I’ll continuously bash the band for being, as it has been said, “The Cure with blastbeats,” on some level I have respect for them trying something different, since Satan himself got fed up with Emperor-worship a decade ago. A desire to innovate, however, doesn’t make up for levels of pretentiousness paralleled only by chain-vaping humanities majors, and I maintain that my grudge with Deafheaven is well founded. For a group that has the ability to write decent metal to completely forego that and instead release field recordings of awkward drug deals as music rubs me the wrong way. But since the only AMG writers who care for the band have been jettisoned in favor of a fare more trve and kvlt operation (and because I didn’t want the new Trivium album), here we are; just you, me, and New Bermuda.

As the presence of cover art suggests, Deafheaven have decided to embrace their metal side just a little bit more this time around. Whereas Sunbather‘s opening immediately put the band’s worst Sperry-covered foot forward, listen to the first few minutes of “Brought to the Water” and you’d swear Deafheaven were a metal band. Guitarist Kerry McCoy appears to have added music heavier than Thriller to his library since Sunbather and it shows all over the album. Gone are the awkward “ironic” Christian overtones, save for the album’s end, which sounds suspiciously like gospel rock; and gone are the annoying samples, except for the ending of “Baby Blue” which keys us into the intimacies of traffic rerouting. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Deafheaven‘s irritating attributes have been reined in for New Bermuda, yet the band continues to make baffling songwriting decisions that explore new territory left open largely because everyone else knows it’s a bad idea. “Brought to the Water” starts out strong, with some real anger and a galloping death metal riff, but this gets clipped off after a few minutes by an awkward bluesy transition into what seems like Mumford & Sons on disassociatives. It’s the same story for most songs on New Bermuda; start metal, run out of riffs, then don your skinny jeans and blow some cherry-flavored smoke rings while the rest of the song attempts to work itself out.

Deafheaven New Bermuda 02

That’s not to say that New Bermuda lacks redeeming qualities. While the band’s shoegaze influence is still going strong, it sounds less like sappy For my Parents-era Mono and just a bit more like new, edgy Rays of Darkness Mono – especially “Come Back” which takes its atmosphere from Mono‘s “The Hand That Holds the Truth.” “Baby Blue” inverts the album’s formula by placing the heaviest part of the song at the end, which makes metal a payoff rather than an introduction. Yet for all of my moaning about the band’s inept placement of brutality, I must admit that the best song on New Bermuda is closer “Gifts for the Earth.” Its sultry pop-rock riffs are surprisingly enjoyable when contrasted against prog-metal and later taken over by a piano-led melody straight out of Haken‘s “Crystallized.”

New Bermuda isn’t a bad album, and it has made me realize that Deafheaven aren’t really a bad band, but a run-of-the-mill band that brings in bad influences because they think it’s innovative. And that’s my main complaint with Deafheaven; they’re capable of and willing to do interesting things, but somehow labor under the false pretense that pop rock is an interesting thing, producing toothless and insipid material beloved for its crossover appeal rather than its substance. New Bermuda can only be truly loved by those who have felt the sweet caress of a Pabst can on their meticulously waxed mustache, but it’s not a total loss for the rest of us. Bosse de Nage is still shitty though.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
Label: Anti Records
Websites: deafheavens.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/deafheaven
Out Worldwide: October 2nd, 2015

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  • El_Cuervo

    I actually quite like Bermuda. As you say, it has a bit more bite to it than before. Not more than a 3, or maybe a cautious 3.5, but not so bad.

    Then again, I quite like the whole post-black metal thing, eg Alcest and An Autumn for Crippled Children so take my views with a pinch of salt.

    • James Ingold

      I admit to being petty in why I didn’t like Sunbather; it’s specifically because I like bands Alcest and An Autumn for Crippled Children. I felt like this HAS been done before so why is everyone talking about this like it hasn’t?

      As bad as it is to say, I could never get over the over-hype that poisoned my ability to listen objectively to that album. I’m determined to give Bermuda a fair chance though.

    • Kronos

      I also hate Alcest.

      • El_Cuervo

        Listen to the song Faiseurs du Monde. If you still dislike that, then I will believe that you hate Alcest.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Not dissonant enough?

        • Kronos

          NOT BRUTAL ENOUGH.

      • I like some Alcest quite a lot but they can get pretty boring. Their last record sent me to sleep, and live they are tedious.

      • nunka

        This says a lot about what you expect from metal, and why your beef with Deafheaven stews in such a hearty broth. ;)

        I mean, that’s not a bad thing. We all have our tastes. Yours just happen to suck. (I’m kidding. (I’m not. (I am, though.)))

    • André Snyde Lopes

      I like Alcest a lot more than AAfCC, which in turn, I like a lot more than Deafheaven… and I like Deafheaven well enough.

      Deafheaven are the most abrasive of the three and have some baffling pointlessness in their albums. If you take any Deafheaven album and grab the really good parts off every song, you’d get a 20 minute EP. They make a good albums to zone out to, though.

  • Art Saves

    Such a overrated band and the Sunbather is just a horribly boring album.
    Nothing innovative at all, just another band wanting to be the next big black metal/shoegaze band.
    But at lest this new one is listenable, although why have frozen pizza when you can have a freshly made of quality ingredients.

  • buttsguy

    biased review and horribly misinformed. thrown directly in the trash, fam. apply yourself next time.

    • What’s a matter, your moustache drip wax in your pabst?

      • basenjibrian

        Nah, ashes from his artisanal ciggie, I would guess from his user name. Pabst and ash are not a good combo.

        • Grymm

          Pabst & Ashe (note the silent “e”) would make a grand indie-pop/black/rap-folk band name.

  • AndySynn

    I’d say it’s more a case of:

    “New Bermuda isn’t a bad album, and it has made me realize that Deafheaven aren’t really a bad band, but a run-of-the-mill band that… bring in influences which THEY think are clever, simply BECAUSE they think they’re clever, and not because they’re actually capable of doing much with them.”

    Like you say, I don’t think they’re a bad band (I still really like Roads to Judah in fact) but the overwhelming impression from how they write songs, and how their music comes across, is of a band utterly convinced of their own cleverness because they think they’re doing something no-one else has done… when in fact it has been done before, just not in the way they’re doing it because the way they’re doing it isn’t all that good!

    • Kronos

      I think roads to Judah is pretty decent.

    • Charles Henderson

      Pretty much this. They’re not bad, it’s just that what they’re doing has been done a hundred times before by many other bands, and much better for a long time, without all of this overblown hype, and yet they seem to think (and make their fans think) they’re the best thing since sliced bread.
      Good for Deafheaven, but IMO they’re just another run-of-the-mill “blackgaze” band which just happened to release an album at the right time and with the right marketing, and I see I’m not alone in this.

  • Dion Ka

    I very much liked Sunbather although it was nowhere near my year’s end list referring to the hype of it. I also didn’t mind the samples on there. They added to the atmosphere of the whole album for me.
    I listened to New Bermuda three times now and all what’s left for me is that it’s is nothing special so far. The influences may be but nothing else. It’s ok, you can listen to it, nothing so bad but there’s better music out there.

  • Irineu Carvalho

    I like Sunbather – it was actually my gateway to atmospheric black metal – but New Bermuda is better. Baby Blue is a serious candidate for song of the year.

  • Beardfist

    It seems to me like most of the metal-folk into it accept the album’s flaws even if they enjoy it–which brings it to a love-it hate-it realm. Certainly, for folk outside of metal, it can serve as a fine-enough bridge into it.

  • The first time I heard Sunbather I thought, “well, this isn’t relaxing at all. why does this boy keep screaming? won’t someone bring him a snickers?” I would dub this new album, “Still No Snickers”

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      You’re actually spot on. Recently discovered reports have said that Deafheaven is actually just The Smiths locked in a recording studio with no food, told to record an album. Then when they finish they get their Snickers, The Smiths release a new record, and it’s the longest and most avant-garde chocolate bar commercial mankind has ever seen. Pitchfork of course doesn’t know that and they just really love The Hungry Smiths for some reason.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    Could be the worst album cover of the year.

    I think I saw that when I was 15 and someone in class wanted to express themselves through art and when pressed on what they were thinking when they made it, they simply repeated they were expressing themselves.

    • Wilbur Teegrus

      I like it :*(

  • Excentric_1307

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who simply could not STAND Sunbather.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Solidarity upvote!

    • Wilbur Teegrus

      I honestly liked the tremolo riffs and *shimmery* arpeggios in “Dream House,” and I feel like I could get into Sunbather as a whole (ignoring the lyrics…) if not for the painfully monotonous vocals. They really take away any chance of Sunbather growing on me.

  • Handy Donut Hole

    I rather enjoyed this album. I feel its more around a 3 in my book but I completely agree with this review. Also Kronos if your itching to get your hands on some more beloved deathcore, the new Fit For An Autopsy album isn’t quite the pile of garbage you would expect it to be.

    • Kronos

      Didn’t know they put a new one out. Pretty solid band in my opinion. I’ll have to check them out.

      • Handy Donut Hole

        It’s definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to the beat up old hag that deathcore has become. They incorporate some really interesting stuff into the formula like ambiance and some nifty Gojira-esque pick scrapes.

  • Jonny

    Needs more dog.

  • funeraldoombuggy

    I like Sunbather better; it’s easier to listen to and I give no fucks about how metal something is.

    • tim.o

      I like them both. Although New Bermuda is more focused. Nice change in pace to Sunbather. And yeah, fuck kvlt. Top 5 of 2015 in my book.

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    I still don’t get the popularity of this band. I mean, even if Sunbather was the first of its kind, it wouldn’t have made it any better. It’s the same boring crap that comes out of the U.S. black metal scene.

    Except Absu. Now that’s some good shit.

    • Hey now. Vattnet Viskar isn’t bad.

      • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

        minus the mix on it

      • Handy Donut Hole

        The production on Settler is definitely a point of contention for some but goddamn the track “Impact” ripped my balls off my first time through.

        • Well, the concept behind that album was “tragic mistakes happen” so it probably couldn’t be helped.

        • Grymm

          “Impact” is a fucking beast.

      • Refined-Iron Cranium

        I should give those guys a listen.
        If my statement was too generalised, I don’t mind being corrected.

        • basenjibrian

          Not to be all nationalistic, but Panopticon, Alkhlys, Nightbringer, Imperial Triumphant……

      • grooben

        I don’t find myself moaning about production or mastering all that much but I really found Settler tough to handle. I really muddies some really good songs. Shame.

    • tim.o

      Absu is some good shite.

  • mindbleach

    Is that Sad Keanu on the cover?

  • gustman17

    I appreciated the lack of stupid interludes and the added riffing.
    But what I liked the most from my first listen to the albums is its ability to give no fucks whether the melodies are “metal” or pop/shoegaze/whatever. Most of the time it sounds pleasing but very entrancing. Hopefully the album holds lots of standing power. most of the time I feel excited about an album after only one listen my love for it seems to evaporate really fast…

    Good review Kronos. I like that AMG Trademarked Brand of Snobbery involves actual arguments and explicit ambivalence rather than ‘dis iz jipster krap lol’ corpsepainted-hipster crap

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    An excellent morning read!
    I still don’t understand what hipsters have done to get people so riled up.
    As for deafheaven, I didn’t mind Sunbather I didn’t get the hype tho. After a listen through this I tend to agree in that on first impression it’s a step up and has some pretty sweet passages.
    My assessment is that this band works too much with ideas rather than songs. I think they’ll make a great album when they flip that.

    • Chances are if they ever do that the result will be Sigh. But there already IS a Sigh! And so they will drown themselves in their moustache wax and pabst. Are you trying to kill them?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I guess it´s been proven that mixing Pabst and moustache wax doesn´t kill you, it only makes you lame and stupid.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I love Sigh “A Messenger From Tomorrow” is a killer piece of songwriting will probably end up as one of my favourite songs this year.
        But whats wrong with moustaches?!?
        Do these guys even have moustaches?
        Are moustaches really any sillier than corpse paint, bullet belts, band patches, spandex, beards or even long hair?

        • Just google hipster moustache.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            You’ve seen Immortal band photos right?

          • I think we’re talking past each other. I’ll try again. This isn’t about fashion. It’s about hipsters. They are terrible. Hipsters could decide tomorrow to dress like immortal in order to insult the band, just as they currently think borrowing freddy mercury’s moustache is a way to say that all fashion is stupid.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Or wear a Motorhead or Iron Maiden T-shirt to be “ironic”.

  • basenjibrian

    Can I just say that Pabst is not THAT bad.
    J/K J/K

    • Grymm

      You are right. Pabst is, in fact, downright horrible.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    The Cure with blastbeats could probably result in some great music, if the execution was right.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Myrkur, Liturgy, Deafheaven, Vattnet Viskar… what is it about Black Metal that is making outsiders (feel free to substitute for “hipsters and poseurs” if you feel so inclined) swarm to it?

    • hubcapiv

      I think a certain kind of person likes to be known as a fan of a self-consciously “difficult” band. It’s usually just one band. But having that one band in your music collection signifies that you are edgy and not afraid of things that REGULAR people might not “get,” but you, you’re different.

      Also in fairness, a lot of people like to try weird music once in a while without making a steady diet of it.

      Anyway, most hipster year-end music lists have that one weird, abrasive record. And it’s usually the same record. There’s room for one each year. Einstürzende Neubauten. The Boredoms. Early Sonic Youth. SunnO))). Deafheaven. Bands that allow you to talk about “textures” and “shimmering waves of noise” and “soundscapes.” Also bands that often aren’t “good.” But they are fulfilling a different purpose.

      As for me, I listened to Sunbather ten times and literally remember nothing about it. I think I’ll try not listening to this one at all, to the same general effect.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I wasn’t referring to listeners… I was referring to musicians!

        • Jose Barajas

          So you are not referring to listeners.. but musicians… are you saying that the members of Deafheaven, Viskar, etc., are outsiders because of how they dress or talk (or being hipsters, for lack of a better description) but are cashing in what’s popular in metal? If that’s what you mean, that’s kind of unfair. You don’t know them personally. Judging by your avatar, you don’t look like a metalhead, you look like an outsider as well. Stop swarming to this music

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Hello Joseito!

            I never said they were cashing in on anything. I said they were outsiders attracted to Black Metal.
            My main point was about Black Metal attracting outsiders which is something you don´t see happen with Death Metal or Doom Metal.

            You are right I don´t know them personally but for example in the case of Amalie Bruun of Myrkur she is a pop musician. That´s what I meant with an outsider attracted to Black Metal.

            I been listening to Metal since 1989. I´ll stop when I’m dead.

          • Kronos

            I don’t think black metal attracts outsiders any more than other extreme metal genres. I think what it attracts is people who take their music very seriously as art. Black metal is much more tired to the avant hard than other extreme metal genres, and that’s something that starts early on with Ulver and has been pretty constant since. Black metal is often seen by people as more serious, perhaps because of its history, than death metal or doom, and that seriousness attracts people who are serious about making music that they see as experimental or innovative. Case in point: French black metal.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Good theory. I never thought of Black Metal as more serious than Doom Metal or Death Metal. I know Black metallers don´t like to give the appearance that they are having fun with their music, but having fun with your music doesn’t mean you don´t take it seriously.

          • Jose Barajas

            Well, I guess cash in is a rather strong phase, but black metal is certainly trendy right now, for anyone, and in Myrkur’s case, I think she’s using that to her advantage.

            I think her case might be an exception for you, but a lot of the people in these post black metal bands aren’t really outsiders and it doesn’t take much to figure that out. If you watch or read any interview with Deafheaven, Liturgy, or whoever else is in the limelight, you’ll see that they’ve been into metal since they were kids, just like you and I, and actually have real metal influences they list from time to time. If anything, they probably technically belong more because they’re not only fans like you and I, but they make metal music and are contributing to new ideas, good or bad.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            About the “cash in” phrase, making money off Metal is really difficult. People like Chuck Billy and Ross Dolan have day jobs!
            So it is almost a certainty that people making Metal are not in it for the money.

          • Jose Barajas

            That’s why I just rephrased what I said…. I understand that.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    As perplexing a band as Deafheaven is, just as perplexing is all the attention they get from you people.

  • Damn, you really hate Cobb :)

    On a more serious note, I’m definitely really digging this, though I’ve dug everything they’ve done. They certainly aren’t as original as they think they are, but it still sounds good to me (maybe I’m just less bothered by the whole Smiths thing – my mom raised me on those dudes). If nothing else, I’m happy they’re allowing me to correct my mistake of missing Tribulation back in February when I arrived to that Behemoth/Cannibal Corpse tour later than I expected (though at the time I hadn’t heard the new album, and wasn’t too concerned about missing their set).

    • Kronos

      Never go there if I can avoid it.

  • Jose Barajas

    Damn.. as much as I don’t like the attitudes, dress, and style of youngsters today, is it so hard to review or talk about something without mentioning stereotypical hipster terms to bookend a complaint with? We get it, they’re labeled in with hipsters, it’s so easy to poke and make fun of their music. If it’s bad, it’s because they wear dress shoes without socks and rolled up cuffed pants, work at Whole Foods, and pay a shit ton of money to live in the shittiest part of SF because it’s cool. If the music is good, well fuck them anyway because they had a pink cd. Their clothes aren’t playing the instruments, they are. They just so happen to like dressing a certain way. But I guess all the goths were ridiculed for liking only Manson and Cradle of Filth so I guess it’s inevitable to judge

    • Kronos

      Pretty hard, yeah. Notice that nowhere did I mention the band’s dress or the appearance of the people in the band. I have no idea what they look like.

      • HeartOfOak

        To be fair there’s a snarkiness to “Whereas Sunbather‘s opening immediately put the band’s worst Sperry-covered foot forward”. Surely the point you’re inferring there is that their footwear, and general attitude is ‘hipster’.

      • Jose Barajas

        So you have no idea what they look like, but you write this review with typical word associations from the hipster wardrobe based on what.. the cover of Sunbather or that their nonmetal parts sound like Mumford & Sons? I’m not trying not trying to defend hipsters, I’m just saying it’s getting old hearing mustache wax this and Pabst that, especially since you just base this assumption. Even though, I have to admit, your assumption is relatively accurate, it’s still quite bold of you to make assumptions based on superficial information.

        I’m only mentioning this because I love the whole staff’s brutally honest opinions and I would hate to see future reviews be biased in any way (or fall into shitty opinion based writing similar to blogs like Metalsucks who are worse than the fucking women on The View). If you hate bands like this, that’s fine, I don’t like a lot of metal genres as well, but you can’t just say things on potentially false pretense that you don’t know for sure. At least google a picture of them if you really want to bash their lifestyle.

        And btw, you do talk about how they dress and mention, however, if only in metaphor, that they wear Sperry shoes.

        • Kronos

          Oh yeah, you got me there. A friend of mine who does enjoy Deafheaven told me “It seems that people who like black metal don’t really like the band, and the people who do like them are hipsters, knowing full well where that places me.” I think this sort of attitude, if not entirely accurate, is applicable enough to make reference to, because as much as we’d like to think of music in a vacuum, it isn’t and we need to understand it as both art and a reflection of culture.

          • Jose Barajas

            The contrasting opinions of people is what gets me. I’ve talked to people who love bands like Alcest but hate Deafheaven. Maybe it’s because they think their music is unoriginal, maybe it’s because they don’t like them based off interviews, but I know the majority of their reasons are based solely on looks or what they represent, which is “the hipster” population.

            It seems you did actually base some of your assumptions on things people said, in this case a friend. If you trust your friend, that’s fine, but as far as basing off your job off of, I would take his statement with a grain of salt because that’s basically the accepted stereotyped opinion when it comes to DH. “All the metal fans hate them because they’re ruining their precious metal, therefore if you like them you are a hipster.” I enjoy DH, that doesn’t make me feel inclined to drink a tall can of Pabst at a vegan restaurant with my hair up in a man bun and rolled up jeans wearing shoes with no socks while smoking American Spirits. I’m 30 years old. I’ve been around metal and music to know that while I love the fuck out of metal, I also love The Cure and I love 80s synthwave and I love Cannibal Corpse and I love Janis Joplin. I don’t mind DH’s combination because I don’t want to listen to The Cure all the time to hear an original band nor do I want to listen to Mozart all day instead of Symphony X. While DH may not be super original, they’re better than fucking Liturgy.

            Your friend says he knows knows where liking DH places him, I would be more curious to hear your friend’s opinion on how he feels as a person when liking this band. I’m assuming your friend is a typical metalhead, does that mean he reluctantly classifies himself as a hipster, that he’s an asshole by association, or what?

          • “I love the fuck out of metal, I also love The Cure and I love 80s synthwave and I love Cannibal Corpse and I love Janis Joplin.”
            A man of fine taste.
            “While DH may not be super original, they’re better than fucking Liturgy.”
            Aww no…

            Did you know the chap from Lantlôs has a synth/post-punk record under the moniker LowCityRain? It’s pretty cool, I recommend it.

          • Kronos

            Lantlos had a cool album a few years back.

          • Jose Barajas

            I’ve liked all their albums, even Melting Sun… which I’m assuming you didn’t like? heh..

          • Kronos

            Not a fan of that album.

          • Jose Barajas

            That’s your opinion, but I think most bands are better than Liturgy. Ark Work sounds like a 6th grade project.

            I did not know that about Lantlos. I will have to check that out, thanks!

          • Matus Dust

            Weirdly enough, I prefer Ghost Bath and even Liturgy over DH, even though they probably all dress quite “silly”. I find bits of the album enjoyable, but those moments don’t last long enough for me to enjoy the whole album listen.

          • Jose Barajas

            Ghost Bath is actually pretty cool, I like them. Liturgy.. imo, their music just bad. I really don’t understand how people can listen to Ark Work as actual music and something enjoyable. To me, it sounds like something a 6th grader made with garage band. But to each their own

          • Kronos

            Playing with a stereotype doesn’t mean that I think it’s true.

          • Jose Barajas

            Well I can’t accuse of firmly being it, but it sure sounds like you do judging from some of the comments in the review. Again, it sounds like I’m defending hipsters, I’m not, I’m just over hearing about. The sooner we all accept this style or don’t, as long as we stop mentioning it or talking about it it won’t be a big thing anymore. Obviously, bands and people like this will be what defines the 05-15s, let’s just hope the next trend isn’t worse because I feel this one was pretty band. I don’t remember trendy shit being so hated in the 90s or 2000s

  • Wilhelm

    I’m not familiar with this band, but this song fucking sucks, people called Wolves in the Throne Room hipsters, but they were doing nothing more than mimicking their 90’s hero’s; I don’t even know what this shit is, I guess they employ some aesthetics of black metal, but it sounds more like screamo.

  • I don’t really like Deafheaven for pretty much the reasons you describe in the review. The post-rock/shoegaze/Smiths elements end up sounding terribly sappy or, worse, cheesy. No amount of blast beats/screams can change that. Many bands do this style better.

    In the world of hipster black metal, liturgy >> Deafheaven. FIGHT ME

    • Kronos

      Altar of Plagues >>>>>>

      • Are they hipster?

        But yes, definitely >>>>>>>

        • Kronos

          Kind of maybe.

          • I’ll keep a neck-beard count when I go and see them in November!!!!!

          • Kronos

            Why does everyone see this band but me?

          • You are being punished by the hipster gods.

            The Damnation Festival (UK) lineup this year is pretty epic.

  • Gaia

    The more and more I read music reviews, as I have done for the last several years, it becomes clearer that provenance, as it is with art such as painting, becomes more important than the object itself, in music’s case, the record. This is why any contention around the artists themselves are so interesting to audiences, and further guide them in their appraisals than the reviewed object itself.

  • Adrian Cox

    Deafheaven is way overrated. On the other hand, Allison Schulnik (the cover artist) is not. Search for her animation “Eager” on youtube if you’re in the mood for a truly mind-bending experience.

  • groverXIII

    I have yet to listen to a Deafheaven song in its entirety. The few times that I have tried to listen to them, mindless boredom sets in and I usually stop the track midway through, without fail. This is a band that holds no interest for me whatsoever.

  • drathbun502

    The thing with this band, an a few of the others like them, is that they’re just not metal. They have some black metal-ish parts, but they’re mostly indie rock. It’s an indie rock band with screechy vocals. The musical content just isn’t that of a metal band, so I think trying to even think of it as metal is wrong, and why people get so crazy about them one way or the other. Black Metal isn’t defined just by tremolo picking and screechy vocals. Plenty of indie bands have screechy vocals and fast parts. You can take Rotting Christ, Mayhem, Samael, Summoning, Emperor, Bestial Warlust, Dimmu Borgir, and Enslaved together, and while you may hate a few of them, they’re all undeniably metal. This? I don’t hear where this falls in the same category at all. It’s indie with metal influence, not metal with indie influence.

  • Arikael

    I didn’t care about Sunbather and never understood the hype around it.
    But I quite like this one. It’s not album of the year material but honestly I’d be surprised if anything could top Tau Cross’ debut this year (check it out) ;)
    It seems most people here are more intersted in the musicians than the music itself and many of you would probably think better of the album if it weren’t deafhaven but some trve underground un-hipstery band.

    • Grymm

      Tau Cross are awesome!

  • I like it. It’s better structured than Sunbather, but it doesn’t have any stand-out track. I think this one works better as a whole album listen than Sunbather where I could pick and choose separate tracks.

  • Eddy Ferreira

    This review came to me a little bias, I love this album! An Evolution of Sunbather Minus Filler Tracks, I feel a slight Influence from My Bloody Valentine oozing into there style of Black Metal. Love it! it’s more like a 4 in my book, guess that makes me a hipster? Pass me my Mustache Wax please.

  • tim.o

    Shimmery and entrancing pretty much sums Deafheaven up for me. I try not let the hype and mustache wax distract me. Sunbather was bloated. Looking forward to this one.

  • Henrik Christensen

    I was really quite dismayed when reading the above review and the comments that followed. It appears that both reviewer and commenters have gotten lost in one of metal’s many paradoxes. On the one hand, metal music is a scene with a very strong tradition which it always returns to, in one way or another, while seeking to delimit itself, patrolling its borders and safeguarding its demarcations against ”outsiders”, as evident both in the review and the comments. On the other hand, though, it’s hard to imagine any music scene that has so successfully transcended the borders of its genesis and traveled so far and wide as metal music. In what other music are bands from Poland, Finland, Colombia, Ukraine, Japan, etcetera, as embraced, respected, and beloved as in metal? The success of the scene seems to lie in metal music’s oscillation between tradition and reverence for the past and its capacity to evolve, go beyond its own delimitations, and morph into new forms, in the progress usurping and annexing other genres and scenes. Thus, if we feel the need to really discuss metal music should we not turn to more pressing issues other than trying to discern and identify ”outsiders” and non-metal music, denoting perceived such heretics as Pabst-drinkers and mustache-donned hipsters? For instance, we could adress the obvious problem of bands adhering to neo-Völkisch, fascist, racist, misogynous, etcetera, attitudes, opinions, and tenets, which poses a very real ethical problem for us as metal consumers. Wouldn’t this be more constructive?

  • Alex Leverkühn

    The reviewer is kinder than I am. Deafheaven, Liturgy, Wolves in the Throne Room – they all sound terrible to me. I really tried to listen to these bands because all the hype made me thought I’m missing out on something. But, in my opinion, they’re just awful, not to mention it seems like the same band is making the same album over and over with a different band name and a different album title.

  • JeremyZero

    I really enjoy this record, but it probably comes from my having a fondness for old school emo, shoegaze, and indie rock (some of my favorite non-metal genres really, along with 90’s alt and alt-folk), so I’m totally into shimmery guitars. To each their own. But it’s still metal. It’s just metal you don’t like.

  • El Lado Oscuro

    It is a really much better record than a 2.5, a 4 at least, with tendency to 4.5. You missed this review… respect anyway

  • Grymm

    Having just listened to New Bermuda in its entirety, all I can say is I don’t get all the love/hate showered all over Deafheaven. I’ve heard a lot worse, but I’ve also heard blackgaze/postblack/fuckthesegoddamnbuzzwordgenrelabels done way better (Vattnet Viskar, for one). I WILL say “Dream House” is one helluva song, but I will also say that very little of New Bermuda grabs me (which is also what I say of Deafheaven as a creative whole).