Deafheaven – Sunbather (2013) 1


Putting the cards on the table right away, Deafheaven’s sophomore effort is probably the ultimate crossover between black-metal and shoegaze/post-rock. After the just good debut long play released in 2010 entitled Roads to Judah, this San Franscisco band pushed forward their skills to provide an unbelievable work.

First track “Dream House” starts presenting a non-stop instrumentation with shoegaze guitars and band’s usual black metal harsh vocals, but at some point the song gets a post-rock candency mostly due to its length and slower pace passages, which unexpected breaks again so as to come back to its initial strong black-metal feeling.

This amalgam is basically felt throughout the 59 minutes 58 seconds for which Sunbather echoes through the headphones. It’s almost impossible to define sometimes the genre the band is playing at a certain moment or even if that deserves to be labeled. The title track, for example, has one of the most exciting shoegaze bridges I have seen in a while, and again, the melody is homogeneously melted with a post-rock structure.

The chaotic scenario of “Please Remember”, with layered cyber-punk effects and a computerized voice is the timely break of Sunbather. By the time the track progresses, dirty guitars take place and the chaos is hugely increased into a crescendo that vanishes at 3:20 and later finishes in a David Guilmourish solo.

The album’s flow is nicely balanced. Low-tempo interludes with white noise are altogether placed in Sunbather in order to either slightly clear this sense of grandiloquence and prepare the listener to another explosion of screaming guitars and harsh vocals.

There’s nothing I miss in Sunbather and I would’nt change much If I could. Dark atmospheres, extremely loud guitars, passionate black-metal harsh vocals, bursting melodies, timely hooks, fucking amazing post-rock and shoegaze bridges…fuck!

You can name My Bloody Valentine, Altar of Plagues, Orchid, Light Bearer, Explosions in The Sky, Blackgaze, Atmospheric-black-blablala, post-blablabalabla…who cares?

Deafheaven may have used all these above influences to compose their cutting-edge sound in Sunbather.

At the end, they just sound like Deafheaven.

01. Dream House
02. Irresistible
03. Sunbather
04. Please Remember
05. Vertigo
06. Windows
07. The Pecan Tree

Rating: 9.8

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