Thursday, September 24, 2015

Deafheaven : "New Bermuda"

Can this album live up to the hype which follows "Sunbather"? They open with some atmospheric fanfare, then bust into a massive chug. The first thing that catches my ear is that the vocals of George Clarke have more variance than the static screamed patterns the first tow albums followed. This growl is lower and has a nastier rasp to it, while the guitars finds a soloish melody to come out of the more powerfully driven riff with, before they go into clean guitar and a more indie rock section, post-rock or what ever you want to call it. Doesn't seem droning enough to call it shoe gaze. The riff when flexing a heavier muscle are much more along the line of traditional metal.

The heavy parts continue to have a darker sound on "Luna" . While Clarke stays in a lower growl and less of shriek over the blast beats sprinkled with melodic guitar, he finds a pattern and rarely strays for it . He is more staccato this time around, but taking few chances in switching it up more than he already has. The drumming is insane, but some of the blast beats get grating after the two minute mark. Around the six minute mark they break into a piano littered post-rock break that at this point you know is coming so it is less of a surprise now three albums in and the slow pound it transitions into is more impressive. The nine minute "Baby Blue" gets of to a more hushed start, before the blast beats come calling. It finds it's way into a chug that is accompanied by layered guitar. This heavier turn is as effective here as it is on the first song, despite being a more meat and potatoes approach to metal . It ebbs back down into something that is more shoe gazing.

Next up is the ten minute " Come Back" that opens with three minute of delicate post-rock before the metal kicks in. The play things very intentionally here just big chords, that are followed by a very rock n roll guitar solo. The third time is still a charm for locking in on a chug. This time it's more like 80s thrash. Double bass kicks in and the drummer wows you are his arms blur around the kit. The final minute and a half is a dreamy sample similar to what they played around with on the last album. They close the album with "Gifts For the Earth" that has a more 90s emo like guitar sound that opens the album. Clarke's rasp overt his part brings a welcomed juxtaposition. There are spoken vocal way back in the mix, that are not quite sung, before they smack you again with more metal chugging this time its a punchier variation to add an accent.They soar off as they are apt to do in the song's final two minutes. For a band who has had the metal community very split and accusations of being hipster metal, they had something to prove and the point was well made. It now makes more sense why a band like Tribulation is opening for them. The dreamy parts on this album work better for me on this one than they did on the last album, due to the heavier moments and the fact Clarke's vocals are not the same old same old helps give this an edge over "Sunbather". This album doesn't pander to the mainstream, though the mainstream metal community might finally give these guys more of a shot if they actually bother to give this one a listen. If they don't I'm sure the bands swelling if not questionable fan base will be more than happy to. I'll give this one a 10, they proved themselves once again.

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