Showing posts with label deafheaven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deafheaven. Show all posts

Sunday, July 15, 2018

video review: 'ordinary corrupt human love' by deafheaven

So this review was incredibly frustrating to put together, but overall a welcome reminder to do your fucking research before you put out a loaded statement in a review. Either way, enjoy!

album review: 'ordinary corrupt human love' by deafheaven

I remember where I was when I reviewed New Bermuda - and when I say that I'm referring to my position with respect to black metal. Sure, I had done some of my research to familiarize myself with the trends in the genre, but I still felt very much like I was on the outside looking in, the hipster music critic using a band like Deafheaven for his inroads into the larger genre but getting scared off when it got too real...

And yet that didn't happen, and while I still wish I could find more black metal records to cover here, I'll freely admit my personal preferences within the genre have deepened and matured in the past three years - not the point where I'll outright dismiss the success Deafheaven has found in taking atmospheric black metal to a larger audience, but to me they've never risen past being just a gateway act. In fact, I'll be blunt: outside of maybe the occasional cut from Sunbather, I haven't really revisited Deafheaven in a long time, and I certainly wouldn't put them up against stronger material from the black metal that's made my year end lists the past three years. But on a similar note, I'm not really about to dismiss Deafheaven either - yeah, frontman George Clarke has not endeared himself to me whatsoever in some of his comments off the mic, but at their best Deafheaven can tap into the soaring crescendos and high points that drew me to atmospheric black metal in the first place, and where New Bermuda stumbled was trying to simultaneously double down on the heaviness and brighter rock segments where the clash felt discordant. So when I heard that Ordinary Corrupt Human Love was heading back in the direction of Sunbather to re-embrace their prettier atmospherics, I was actually looking forward to how this could turn out, especially as the band can be pretty intriguing on a lyrical level as well. So alright, what did we get from Ordinary Corrupt Human Love?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

video review: 'new bermuda' by deafheaven

Well, this was outside of my usual comfort zone! Can't say I'm complaining, I really had a ton of fun filming and making this review.

Next up... well, I've got a few options ready and waiting, let's go for something a bit more obscure. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

album review: 'new bermuda' by deafheaven

I can imagine there are a whole load of people who are looking at me doing this review right now and rolling their eyes. "Of course he's doing this review - some pasty white guy who spends most of his time talking about every other genre besides metal now is going to talk about Deafheaven? What does this Toronto hipster who spends more time listening to hip-hop and country know about black metal, so of course he talks about the least kvlt black metal act, the type that gets all the Pitchfork brats squealing that they're redefining the sound when frankly Burzum was blending in post-rock as early as '94 and Alcest was doing it in the mid-2000s and Wolves In The Throne Room were doing for nearly their entire career until they went experimental towards drone on Celestite...

So yeah, I did some of my homework here, but here's the funny thing: for the most part none of it is wrong, and one of the reasons I've been so hesitant to cover this record. Of the genres that I've delved into this year, black metal is one that remains tough for me to appreciate - partially because I've a fan of lyrics and between the screaming and production they can be hard to parse out, partially because, as I've said in the past, nihilistic subject matter only goes so far with me, and partially because I wanted to make sure I grasped the history of the genre before covering this record. And while I will whole-heartedly admit I've still got a ways to go, I think I can speak to why the hipster set went insane for an act like Deafheaven when they dropped the critically acclaimed Sunbather in 2013: melodies, transitions, and production. Yeah, they weren't as brutal or evil-sounding in comparison with some of the heaviest black metal I've heard, and the lyrics tended towards poetic abstraction instead of bone-crunching Satanism, but when the melodies were this good, the transitions this smooth, the atmosphere this potent, and the marketing of the band this accessible, it's no surprise people jumped on board. Now admittedly I wasn't really one of them - I've always been more of a progressive metal guy - but I could see why people liked Deafheaven; they weren't reinventing the wheel, but it's hard to deny the compositional skill.

So when I heard their newest record New Bermuda was going to be more aggressive and heavy, it really seemed like the best of two worlds - win back the metal elitists who dismissed them as hipster bait, and scare away the popular crowd who only jumped on board for that reason in the first place. And given that I've never really loved a Deafheaven record - Wolves In The Throne Room and In The Woods... both hit me a little harder, although the latter is more on the prog side - I still wanted to talk about this. So how did New Bermuda turn out?