Monday, July 9, 2018
Deafheaven : "Ordinary Corrupt Human Love"
The new album opens in a tone that is not metal at all with piano and post-rocky instrumentation taking a dreamy groove which the vocals eventually snarl over. Snarling doesn't instantly make things metal here or really anywhere. "Honeycomb" is more metallic. The drums punch certain accents, but until it swells I am reluctant to call it metal. The drummer has really stepped up his game that is for certain. Vocally the are back to sticking to the same snarl so far. It's his typically mid range, sometimes it sounds like he is making more of an attempt to form words than others. It's not until the chug that accents the verse going toward the three minute mark that anything heavy really happens. The drummer obviously has a hard core back ground in how he drops to half time grooves to give things more of a break down like stomp. They do cram a lot into the songs first four minutes. The second six finds a guitar solo leading into the second act. It is more melody than shred. It does ebb back down into that more atmospheric indie rock feel, and I avoid the term shoegaze here as I think that is some more hypnotic with a dense darker drone.
The first song to surface from this album "Canary Yellow" opens with a light dreamy drift. It makes me think of Explosions in the sky. After almost three minutes of this it does bust into metal. It's a more mid tempo and less furious version of what they do. The sweeping guitar melody comes into carry the song as the vocals pretty much remain in their signature scowl. At the eight minute mark this flows down into more moody indie rock passage that would not sound out of place on a Morrissey song. These guys get a lot of credit in the song writing department as they have a bunch of bands trying to jump on their band wagon, but they raise the bar and do it in a hooky dynamic manner. Granted it's also their most accessible work to date. Sung vocals come in , but stay in the background. It does give it a more emo feel.
"Near" does dip into the shoe gaze I was mentioning previously. While I have never denied it has been an influence in their sound, I don't think as a whole their roots are as connected to bands like Slow Dive or My Bloody Valentine. The clean vocals come in to make this sound more like the Stone Roses. The song that follows starts off on a similar foot, but finds it's way back to the more blasty style of "black metal" this band is known for. So the question is not is this the best black metal you have ever heard as it certainly rides the line on what most of us might consider black metal, but where does this fall in terms of what this band does. In those terms I think it marries where they went on 'Sunbather" with the more metallic leanings of the last album. I think Kerry McCoy is really coming into his own as a guitarist.
Chelsea Wolfe lends her voice to the duet "Glint" with who I assume to Clarke singing. If this is him then he has proven that he can really sing. The album closes with "Worthless Animal". There is a little more melancholy to this one and the vocals sit kinda of oddly in the mix, despite having mixed "Sunbather" the mix as a whole feels odd as if the mid range dominates it where if it has been a more bass friendly mix it would have been heavier. I'll give this album a 9 as it earns multiple listens , almost hard to call it a metal album, but I think it excels when it comes to guitar playing and songwriting.