Album Review: Deafheaven – New Bermuda

Artist: Deafheaven
Title: New Bermuda
Release Date: 10.02.15
Genre: Black Metal / Shoegaze
Rating: 9 / 10

It’s always strange trying to describe Deafheaven. They have such an odd mixture of hardcore vocals, yet melodic backing music, that it can confuse a lot of people at first. But what makes Deafheaven unique is that they transcend whatever stereotypes or presumptions of that type of metal/hardcore scene, and instead pair it with some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. It’s hard to accomplish this sort of feat once, which they did with Sunbather, but to try and fathom that sort of success again, and then some? That takes some major, major, cojones.

New Bermuda is a masterpiece. Proving that Deafheaven not only has some staying power, but they also have the audacity (the aforementioned cojones) and the brilliance to create some truly outstanding music.

Deafheaven is creating music that is grazing the lines of a modern day black metal/shoegaze opera. Sunbather was the introduction to such a preposterous idea, but with a record like that, we easily bought into it. Now, with New Bermuda, we again see the meticulous details of emotions, tempos, songwriting, storytelling, and wonderful exploration of sounds, all wrapped up into a 5 track album. Take a song like the marvelously written, “Baby Blue”. It’s a little over ten minutes long, but through those ten minutes we explore a whole different range of feelings and music. It’s peaceful and docile at times. Other times, we’re rushing through a blazing forest with our fists raised high, demanding the world’s attention. Guitar riffs easily cradle and rock us through this tumultuous range of emotions. Deafheaven is here to guide us through it. And while that is the standout track from this album, the others aren’t too far away from this breed of excellence. “Brought to the Water” feels like an otherworldy experience, or that of one about to happen. An awakening of sorts, a cause for alarm and concern. They’re grabbing your attention and shaking it to it’s absolute core. A perfect introduction to New Bermuda. That sense of urgency is finally confronted with the second track, “Luna”. A roller coaster of anxiety rushes through your body and senses, only to be slowly calmed and soothed to prepare you for “Baby Blue”. A whole other realm is explored by the track, “Come Back”, where I’m almost positive we’ve entered the dark depths of the underworld. Satan is sitting right beside us through this one. I can’t even fathom if that is a good or bad thing, but George Clarke’s vocals are 100% powered by some very evil spirits. Good luck, everybody. Ah, but wait, we’ve made it to the end, the finale, “Gifts for the Earth”. Deafheaven is back with some angelic soundscapes of calm and a reassured security through all that madness. The story is complete. We’re all okay, and just so happen to have listened to some incredible music along the way. What band has the genius to open the world to experience something like this? It’s hard to find, but Deafheaven is one of the far and few out there who can accomplish this deed. They’ve once again expanded our minds and our ears, and opened us up to a truly magical world. Well done, boys. Well done.

Favorite Tracks:
♢   03. Baby Blue
♢   01. Brought to the Water
♢   02. Luna
♢   04. Come Back
♢   05. Gifts for the Earth
(And yes, that is the whole album)

To preview or purchase New Bermuda: iTunes, Bandcamp, & Merch Store (Vinyl).

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