Saturday, June 29, 2013

Deafheaven & Marriages @ the Earl

I walked into the surprisingly crowded Earl as Atlanta's From Exile were playing. I like their 2009 album Monolith, not so much that it has to stay on my iPod but the time it was on there it was an interesting listen. While I am normally a fan of clean vocals , live there's come across bland and the melodies are somewhat static. In the studio when they sit back in the mix and are coated in effects they work with the music rather than against it. They seemed to be oddly matched for this bill considering their affinity for Dream Theater.

I saw Marriages back when they opened for Chelsea Wolfe and Russian Circles, while I liked what I saw that night there album wasn't easily hunted down so they slipped my mind. This time they were much more impressive and I hunted down their "Kitsune" e.p. the next morning, which is high praise for a band to inspire such a fervent need to have their music.

Their singer's voice held more power and worked with the delay slathered over her voice in a way that made it another instrument. The band played more explosively and the louder side of their dynamics held more punch. I would say aside from some of the wandering spaciness that segued the songs they played a pretty perfect set. If they roll through your town consider them to be highly recommended. Though they are not metal they are powerful and if you like darker music with dynamics and heaven on the haunting melodies then you will like them,

Deafheaven were also in fine more but maybe it was their volume in the larger room, but they did smack me in the face like they did when I saw them blow Alcest off the stage. Perhaps it's because of the more ethereal nature of the new album that floats along the post-rock border more closely than it does black metal.  Another factor could have been that vocalist George Clark and guitarist Kerry McCoy are the only original members.

Clark's stage presence should once again be noted , though it was high intensity it was less extreme than the previous performance, it was less rageful and more refined. He wore black leather gloves the entire performance and stalked the large stage of the Earl  rather than the explosion he gave on the more confined stage of the 529. He is more influenced by hardcore than black metal for sure, his interaction with the crowd  the most noted element of this. Clarke did add more snarl to some of his phrasing like he felt obligated to balance their more shoe gazing direction with metal.

The band pull from their new "Sunbather" album for the bulk of their set with "Unrequited" and "Violet" as the only two songs from " Road to Judah" . To their credit the new songs did eventually come across heavier live, it's just from the outset they didn't create the same onslaught.  The band ravaged their instruments breaking guitar straps and strings plagued the set particularly befalling their touring guitarist that often led McCoy to hold down the fort. There was a weird interlude in between a song where they allowed a back track of guitar to play.

At the end of the night when it was all said and well done, they connected with the crowd. It was not a black metal crowd, but one who appreciated the scope of what the band does and this duo has put into their craft all else was overlooked and became a muted point.  

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