These guys bust them out pretty quick , been a year since their last one. Their 9th album over all. Their last album saw them returning to more of a black metal sound. This one flirts with that as it is pretty aggressive, but also not as dark and angry aside from the vocals which are the most metal thing about the first song. The guitar sound blends with the synths in a way that is hard to tell them apart. A current of double bass begins to flow as the song progresses. What I like most about this is that is does not really sound like any other black metal bands aside from sharing a shoe gaze influence. The synths over power the guitars on the second song, but the movement of the song creates a very flowing groove. The bass can be heard more than your average black metal band so this furthers the cause.
"In Winter " feels like it is a jammed out extension of the previous song. If I did not look up at my screen I would have assumed this was just the same song. So there is a uniformity beginning to reveal itself here. This is broken up when the guitar comes up in the mix on "Splendor Unnoticed" . The title track finds a darker tension drape it self over the song, though the shimmer that has become their trademark lightens things back up to their status quo before too long. I am used to their gradual change in sound , but I do seem to recall their first few albums being darker. There is a melancholy tone to the guitar melody of "Hearts Closed" . The guitar are more metallic than some of the post rock places they have travelled. Funny enough things brighten up a little more the song "Melancholia" before the guitar gains more attack.
The piano leading into "Last Night I Believed In You" is enough of a shift in the sonic color to provide the needed dynamic. The shimmer in many of the same colors on this album so this causes some uniformity to run through the songs.. This is some ways is also the albums strength as the are so confident in the sound they have perfected that they know how to make it work every step of the way. All songs are equal as they are totally dialed in so it doesn't feel like there is any filler. If you think Deafheaven is shit , when it comes to blending other sonic qualities these guys not only beat them to the punch with this but do it in a more honest manner with less pretense of hipster posturing. I will give this a 9.