Published Sep 30, 2015Despite being their third album, Deafheaven's latest feels like a sophomore effort thanks to the career-making hyperbole that followed 2013's Sunbather. While that album paired life-affirming, Friday Night Lights-ready post-rock with the band's black metal-indebted sound, New Bermuda is a much more metal-based affair.
Opener "Brought to the Water" serves as a perfect thesis statement, offering sinister synth growls and ominous church bells that tear into blackened blast beats, chunky thrash guitars and frontman George Clarke's guttural growls.
Throughout New Bermuda, metal takes precedence. "Luna" opens with some galloping guitar riffs, "Come Back" has an intense Slayer breakdown and "Baby Blue" offers up a bluesy, wah pedal-drenched guitar solo. The shoegazing breakdowns, melodies and surprising left turns are still present on every song, but you'll have to withstand some pure metal intensity to find those parts.
The result is an album that blows Sunbather out of the water. On New Bermuda, Deafheaven's myriad ideas are expertly, logically organized across five tracks. It's more proof that it's hard to hyperbolize when it comes to praising Deafheaven, a band that's nearly peerless in its ability to craft fascinating, forward-thinking aggressive music. (Anti)