Deafheaven ‘New Bermuda’ – Review

3 Dec

Deafheaven received tremendous acclaim a couple of years ago for ‘Sunbather’, an album that mixed post-rock, shoegaze and black Metal. The praise was well deserved. With its flagrant disregard for genre conventions, the cover art’s salmon Pink colour scheme and the band’s decidedly non-metal hairdos, the group messed with genre conventions and fanboys in a way we hadn’t seen for years. Its follow up, ‘New Bermuda’ doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel – it picks up where ‘Sunbather’ left off and generously tries to lure the metalheads back.

‘Brought to the Water’ and ‘Luna’ feature some crunching, bone breaking RIFFS – the type of rifffage that will scare off the hipsters and posers. Once their metal credentials are established they subtly work in some slide guitar and sugar sweet piano. They are all small parts of a bigger picture. ‘Sunbather’ was either ornate or bruising and nowhere in between. On ‘New Bermuda’ there is less of a distinction between (for want of better terms) the pretty moments and the heavy ones. For that reason the album becomes less shocking and less groundbreaking but somewhat more engaging. It’s not as interested in extreme contrast and more interested in the shades of grey. It’s a dense and difficult album but, wow, it’s consuming.

8/10

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