Two years on from the release of their tortured masterpiece ‘Sunbather’ and Deafheaven have seemingly reached a status they never envisioned. Making a considerable dent in the blurred line between scenes and stretching their radius of appeal from the most avid of black metal fiends to the most general of music admirers, the San Francisco sons are looking to tighten their vice grip even more with ‘New Bermuda’. All eyes are firmly planted their way.
Cutting away the interludes that split up the claustrophobic noise on ‘Sunbather’ and delivering a straight forward five desolating soundscapes, ‘New Bermuda’ from the very first second grabs you by the shirt collar, squeezes tight, kisses you deeply then throws you to the ground; enamored but fearful, touched but broken. ‘Brought To The Water’ cascades with spirit bruising blastbeats and blood freezing animosity before ’Luna’ pours salt into the wounds with metal tinged riffing and guttural bombardment before a waterfall of shimmering and engulfing beauty sends ice pulsing down your spine.
Deafheaven have the most precise control over their overall output and every single second is writhing with tension, anxiety and heartache. ‘Baby Blue’ incorporates chord driven shoegaze looseness and guitar soloing before delivering a harsh and patient kick to the gut. ‘Come Back’ builds up the most viciously false sense of security before smoldering into a heap of exhausted earnest and bitterly sweet regret. ‘Gifts To The Earth’, closes things out with a building atmosphere that manifests in a radiant ascent into the ambient. The feeling that resides in you is one of exhaustion but also admiration. It is the feeling only truly special music can produce.
Viscerally compelling, gorgeously heart wrenching and devastatingly harrowing, ‘New Bermuda’ epitomises the human experience of love, loss, belief and rebirth in 45 grandeur spliced minutes. As the most delicate of flower needs care and consideration to fully bloom and flourish to its fullest, Deafheaven become a completely different outfit when given the time and space to breathe and prove. Being able to appeal to the most extreme opposites of the musical fandom is something to be applauded and Deafheaven do so in the most addictive, enchanting and chilling manner possible. This is the sort of album that will stick with you for years.
‘New Bermuda’ by Deafheaven is out now on Anti-.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)