DEAFHEAVEN

Atmospheric Black Metal / Black Metal • United States
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DEAFHEAVEN is a blackgaze act from The United States of America (San Francisco, California) formed in 2010. The band released a demo in 2010 and followed up the demo with the "Libertine Dissolves" EP and their debut full-length studio album "Roads to Judah" in 2011.

( Biography written by UMUR)

https://deafheavens.bandcamp.com/
Thanks to UMUR for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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SunbatherSunbather
Deathwish Inc 2013
$149.97
$89.99 (used)
Ordinary Corrupt Human LoveOrdinary Corrupt Human Love
EPITAPH 2018
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Roads To JudahRoads To Judah
Deathwish Inc 2011
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$7.96 (used)
New BermudaNew Bermuda
ANTI 2015
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DemoDemo
Single
Sargent House 2013
$18.00
ORDINARY CORRUPT LIMITED YELLOW LPORDINARY CORRUPT LIMITED YELLOW LP
ANTI
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Deafheaven - New Bermuda - Lp Vinyl RecordDeafheaven - New Bermuda - Lp Vinyl Record
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SplitSplit
Flenser 2012
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DEAFHEAVEN Discography

DEAFHEAVEN albums / top albums

DEAFHEAVEN Roads to Judah album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
Roads to Judah
Atmospheric Black Metal 2011
DEAFHEAVEN Sunbather album cover 3.84 | 12 ratings
Sunbather
Atmospheric Black Metal 2013
DEAFHEAVEN New Bermuda album cover 4.26 | 8 ratings
New Bermuda
Atmospheric Black Metal 2015
DEAFHEAVEN Ordinary Corrupt Human Love album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Atmospheric Black Metal 2018

DEAFHEAVEN EPs & splits

DEAFHEAVEN Libertine Dissolves album cover 3.08 | 2 ratings
Libertine Dissolves
Atmospheric Black Metal 2011
DEAFHEAVEN Deafheaven / Bosse-de-Nage album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Deafheaven / Bosse-de-Nage
Atmospheric Black Metal 2012

DEAFHEAVEN live albums

DEAFHEAVEN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DEAFHEAVEN Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
Atmospheric Black Metal 2010

DEAFHEAVEN re-issues & compilations

DEAFHEAVEN singles (1)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Black Brick
Black Metal 2018

DEAFHEAVEN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

DEAFHEAVEN Reviews

DEAFHEAVEN New Bermuda

Album · 2015 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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adg211288
US band Deafheaven are one of those artists who, despite earning themselves a dedicated following, have also attracted some pretty harsh criticisms from a large percentage of fans of the genre of music that they belong to, as ironic as that sounds. In this case it's black metal and it's not actually as shocking as it may seem, as these so called blackgaze acts do tend to make some pretty radical departures from black metal's usual standards. However with their third album New Bermuda (2015) Deafheaven sound as if they're ready to escape from the shadow of blackgaze and really get their metal on.

I haven't actually heard either of the previous Deafheaven albums. Descriptions of their music didn't really make them sound like a band I would be interested in. I'll probably have to change that now of course, as New Bermuda is a damn good atmospheric black metal record and I'm definitely interested to hear the group's more blackgaze based roots. That's right, New Bermuda isn't really a blackgaze album. It has a strong blackgaze presence on it though, but it's more for flavour here. Deafheaven still challenge the conventions of the genre with this album; they even have a song with the name Baby Blue which really doesn't sound very black metal to me. Which I personally don't give a damn about, but if you're that concerned about damaging your black metal credentials you'll probably be giving New Bermuda a wide birth, which frankly will be your loss.

New Bermuda is a rather pristine sounding kind of black metal (as odd as such a description may sound) with a lot of clean musical sections from both the guitars and use of piano such as in the last track Gifts for the Earth, which of course will turn off anyone who insists on this kind of music being as lo-fi and grim as possible. The vocals by George Clarke tend to be quite high screams which fit in will with the music, though are admittedly difficult to follow if you're at all interested in following the lyrics. The track list, just five long, may make it seem as if New Bermuda is a very short album but with each track passing the eight minute mark the album ends up at a respectable 46:35 minutes long and it turns out to be an ideal sort of length that keeps making me want to come back to the album for another listen.

This is not an album for traditionalist black metal fans. But if you're like me and open to (or outright eager for) the less traditional approaches that modern black metal bands like Deafheaven take on then New Bermuda is a highly recommendable release.

DEAFHEAVEN Sunbather

Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Warthur
Deafheaven's Sunbather is certainly a divisive release, with some listeners embracing it whilst many - especially black metal purists - passionately disliking it. The thing is, I think the album's detractors are correct in most of their criticisms but short-sighted in their conclusions: that is to say, when you get down to it this really is a post-rock album with black metal vocals and blast beats parachuted in.

Where they go wrong is dismissing this combination in the first place; the album is actually a really entertaining listen, though I think you would need to enjoy both post-rock and black metal to really get the most out of it. And in expanding the lyrical subject matter of black metal as this album does, with songs about heartache and feelings and all sorts of stuff that more kvlt bands are too busy praising Satan or Odin (or, in some unwelcome corners of the subgenre, Hitler) to really address.

DEAFHEAVEN Sunbather

Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Polymorphia
Calling Sunbather "uplifting" or "hopeful" is a mistake. Themes such as poverty, lust, existential crises, broken homes, insecurity are everpresent throughout the album. Certainly, it offers small shreds of hope, moreso than most Black Metal bands outside the Liturgy fanclub, but the main focus in its method of expression is how it brutally tears down that hope, and, in this sense, it is a more painful, hard-hitting, and heart-breaking experience than most black or post metal bands can claim to have created.

The guitars at the beginning of opener "Dream House" are red hot and the riffs expressionately bittersweet. The drums are colossal but progress with incredibly brevity. The song fades into a clean guitar interlude with chords that make use of open strings to create moments of heart-wrenching dissonance. The band then returns, this time with a kind of crushing intensity playing those gorgeous chords with emotive screams and a soaring delay drenched riff. Singer George Clarke screams of the dream house he will never have and mockingly recites drunk texts he sent to a woman he was once obsessed with.

"I'm dying." - "Is it blissful?" "It's like a dream." - "I want to dream."

Dream House gives way to the post-rock-ish interlude "Irresistable," which in turn, leads into the 10-minute title track. "Sunbather" is about Clarke's lusting and obsession with a woman he saw sunbathing while driving through a wealthy neighborhood? the solace she gave him and the despair of having to live without ever seeing her again. The next interlude, "Please Remember," features Neige from Alcest reciting a passage from the Milan Kundera novel "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." "That passage is really important to me," Clark claims. "It just screams insecurity, which I have huge faults with."

The tone gets darker with the final three tracks. "Vertigo" is true to its name channeling the shoegaziest of shoegaze in a swirling mass of alienation and depression. The interlude "Windows" which is perhaps the darkest moment on the album features a recording of a fire and brimstone sermon and another of a live drug deal by guitarist Kerry McCoy. "Thematically, it's supposed to be about this guy talking about the evils of hell intermixed with one's own personal hell and the actual realities like addiction and self-worth, not the fire and brimstone," explains Clark. "[McCoy] didn't have a lot of money, and he was kind of desperate; he's showcasing the true horrors that are here on earth?one's own personal demons." The album ends with the haunting Pecan Tree, where Clark tackles the issue of his inability to love that he believes he inherited from his absent father.

Sunbather does not attempt to be uplifting. Instead, the album intends to have a full range of emotions, not excluding hope, but not totally indicative either. Is it metal? Is it innovative? Those questions aren't really important in the overall scope of the album. It certainly is a very good album. The music is expertly composed and the lyrics are phenomenal. But more than that, this album is something that few black metal albums are: human. It is perhaps one of the most moving albums of the year and one of the most beautiful emotional expressions that I have ever had the privelige to experience, Alcest notwithstanding.

DEAFHEAVEN Sunbather

Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Sunbather' - Deafheaven (6/10)

I remember Hunter-Hunt Hendrix (of Liturgy infamy) once defending the new wave of ‘uplifting’ black metal as being in keeping with black metal’s doctrine of controversy and rebellion. Indeed, the pejoratively-titled scene of ‘hipster black metal’ has polarized audiences; some embrace the softer approach as a relatively fresh innovation, and others have lavished the ‘hipster’ bands with the greatest execration and disdain since Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. Love or hate them, bands like Liturgy and San Francisco’s Deafheaven are causing a stir, and it’s always interesting to see people taking such equally vehement stances for and against a band. While I’ve always been skeptical that a style so historically rooted in darkness could (or should) be translated into feelings of hope and optimism as Deafheaven strive for on Sunbather, I’ve kept myself open to the possibility. Unfortunately, while Deafheaven’s shoegaze-laden approach to black metal clearly intends to revive and invent the genre, I find it difficult to be particularly moved one way or the other by the most polarizing metal record of 2013. Sunbather is not an excellent album, nor is it the horrendous abomination genre-purists claim it to be. Rather, its predictable dynamics and washy atmosphere leave it somewhere in the neighborhood of ‘moderately enjoyable’. In short, Deafheaven’s second album is an only slightly above-average take on blackgaze that doesn’t warrant the extreme opinions from either side.

In addition to the counter-intuitive emotional spin Deafheaven have placed on black metal in Sunbather, the album’s cheerfully minimalistic cover makes it fairly obvious that they mean to rebel against the traditional order. Conceptualized as a reflection of the colours seen on the insides of one’s eyelids when basking in the sun, it’s an apt reflection of Deafheaven’s emotional appeal. Operating in terms of melancholy and hopeful optimism, Sunbather gives an impression closer to that of a post-rock record than any metal I’ve heard this year. The guitars are laden in reverb and distortion, but the songwriting never betrays a sense of malice or anger. Conventionally beautiful harmonies are used in abundance here; particularly on some of the clean sections offered, Deafheaven will overdub guitars to create a dense, yet accessible wall of sound. Although it often feels like Deafheaven choose the most obvious sequence of notes to resolve their motifs, the compositions demonstrate a talent with knowing when to change up the pace. “The Pecan Tree” really excels with its dynamic, switching between soft and heavy sections, each contributing towards a powerful emotional payoff.

Although Sunbather feels rooted in a fairly narrow emotional context of longing and melancholy throughout, Deafheaven have a firm grasp of songwriting dynamic. In spite of that, Sunbather feels constructed out of a mere handful of tricks and ideas, to the point where the formula begins to feel predictable long before the album is over. Deafheaven are remarkably consistent throughout the album, but the everpresent euphony filtered over blastbeats and vocal shrieks feels too narrow a range to stay engaging through the album’s hour length. Especially considering the roots of the genre the band is apparently trying to reinvent, Sunbather offers a nicely blended production, with textural detail aplenty to keep the atmosphere afloat. While the instrumentation is dynamic and powerful (with special merits going to Daniel Tracy for an excellent drum performance!) the vocals are painfully underwhelming. George Clarke’s harsh screams are high pitched and raspy (in keeping with frostbitten traditions) but they’re undermixed, lack resonance and fail to add a relevant emotional dimension to the music. Screams in ‘blackgaze’ music can be used plenty effectively, but Deafheaven’s failure to properly integrate the vocals into their atmosphere is a sullen reminder that the effort to reinvent black metal as an ‘uplifting’ sound feels ultimately contrived and needlessly contrarian.

Most of all, Sunbather is a case where the hype (both good and bad) has left me disappointed. There are moments here where I come close to feeling the awe and admiration others have clearly felt, but the feelings are fleeting at best. I’m pleased that a fairly young band like Deafheaven is getting such an enthusiastic reception, but I’m simply not feeling it at much. Its uplifting, graceful beauty comes at the cost of emotional tension or challenge. The blackgaze style has potential aplenty for an emotionally evocative experience- Alcest’s excellent Écailles de Lune and Lantlos’ .neon come first to mind- but in the case of Sunbather, I wish I could be feeling more from it.

DEAFHEAVEN Libertine Dissolves

EP · 2011 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Libertine Dissolves' - Deafheaven (6/10)

Deafheaven is a post-black metal band that is fairly recent on the wider scene, releasing this- their first official release- and a full-length debut just earlier this year. 'Libertine Dissolves' introduces Deafheaven as a band that should not meet unwelcome ears among fans of such other post-black metal acts as Fen, Agalloch, Wolves In The Throne Room, and a score of other bands that fuse the harshness of black metal with lighter atmosphere and even beauty in the more conventional sense. This two song EP shows Deafheaven delivering on both the abrasive, and lighter atmospheric fronts, and doing each quite well. Although the debut 'Roads To Judas' is a much more fulfilling experience, this short release is a fairly strong sampler for anyone looking to check out the band.

The music on 'Libertine Dissolves' begins as you may expect something in the black metal style to erupt; complete with black metal rasps, fast-picked guitar riffs and a grand sense of melancholy. This is woven in quite well with the lighter moments, which are fairly predictable by post-rock standards, but very pleasant to the ear. Deafheaven's greatest strength -as far as 'Libertine Dissolves' goes- is their innate ability to fuse the heavy and lighter moments together into cohesive compositions, which is sadly something that many bands who attempt it seem to overlook. The second track 'Daedalus' gets even better than the title track, with a nearly danceable rhythm and sense of optimism that screams shoegaze, or even post-punk to me. Powerful stuff.

While much black metal does tend to suffer (or benefit, depending on who you ask) from low fidelity production, Deafheaven's music hit me with a very gritty feel that took a second listen through to warm up on me. While it works very well with the more melodic moments of the music, the heavy sections here came through as more of an abrasive rumble than I may have cared for, but it is something that can be overlooked after the first listen.

Deafheaven is another band I can be excited about, and while 'Libertine Dissolves' is fairly rough around its corners, this and the debut have set a very steady foundation for the band to do great things with their music in the future.

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