Album Review: Deafheaven – “New Bermuda”

Deafheaven‘s previous album, Sunbather,was beautifully traumatic. Honest and psychological. Cerebral. Intense. And whether you like it or not, much more black metal than shoegaze. New Bermuda is just as visceral and deep and ends up being its own beast. I didn’t think could surpass Sunbather but Deafheaven manage once more to take the dread, the expectation and the uplifting power they have… and churn out something much more darker, much more metal-entrenched and something filled with a resounding rage which we wish we as humans could channel. It strikes off any fears of complacency and is the perfect rebuttal to haters with its metal spirit. In short, it fucking exceeds everything you hoped it’d be.

“Brought To The Water” is a well-established opener, thrashing about with a frantic urgency. This is black metal at its finest, make no mistake, and as vocalist George Clarke shrieks to set the album’s pace, let’s just say get some gauze for your ears. The aggressive and heaven-tearing noise quickly spirals into beautiful melodies which is a big aspect of the band they continue to use so well. The softer parts are piano keys that really ride the dream pop wave but is the ideal funnel into “Luna” which is one of their more guitar-intricate jams.

The mid-tempo centerpiece “Baby Blue” has a hypnotic and very much so, a contemplative vibe of self-reflection that evokes what Metallica accomplished music-wise in their career. The riffage jams a la Hetfield and company’s style and is a lovely mirage painted against Deafheaven’s usual gloom and doom backdrop. Languid yet provocative. “Gifts For The Earth” helps bookend things and follows suit in a dramatic build to a melodic climax that feels more alternative than anything else. But as usual, it emulates a wall of sound which few can copy. And that originates from Sunbather. Deafheaven explore a lot here and this place of discovery exposes their roots as well as how they view the future landscape in terms of subverting genre within genre. Their genuine expression shows that in terms of black metal, they’re unafraid and willing to venture into the unknown. As New Bermuda indicates, they can take this newfound isolation and make something glorious from it. Prep yourself for this album. This is one of the most profound rock experiences you’ll have this year.

4.5 / 5

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