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Who Says this is Poser Music? - 90%

Gothic_Metalhead, April 12th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Anti- (Digipak)

Since Reviewing "Sunbather," the album went on to become one of my favorite metal albums of the 2010s. Its melancholic riffs, odd and ambient instrumentals, and melodic chorus guitar and piano is more than enough to have me come back to that album despite its bad production. For "New Bermuda" however, Deafheaven reaches higher in experimentation and execution with a much darker melody, more darker heaviness, and this time a more darker album cover. Many in the metal underground can argue that "New Bermuda" is the better album over "Sunbather" and have mixed thoughts about it. I still love "Sunbather" because it had much more melancholic riffs, but this album was definitely a much better improvement for a few reasons.

"New Bermuda" has less melodic music than in "Sunbather," but the overall heaviness of the album is still well executed. The production of this album is a big improvement where I can be able to hear George Clarke's vocals really well. His approach is more distinct than in "Sunbather" where its more powerful that it resonates with the heaviness of the music. The music itself has some great heaviness, less melancholic riffs, and even void of instrumentals as well. That not only makes the album shorter, but it also gave the album more self-identity that can make them stand out in the growing blackgaze movement. It still has melodic parts, because that also makes Deafheaven more distinct as a band that will help reach a broader audience like with "Sunbather." The piano parts are great, and the atmospheric sounds heard in "Baby Blue," and "Come Back" are soothing. While I would enjoy more of the melancholic sounds heard from "Sunbather," "New Bermuda" is still a satisfying musical evolution from beginning to end and has a great amount of heaviness that will pleased both metal and non-metal fans.

Another complaint I did have about "Sunbather" was its complex lyrics. I couldn't fully understand what the Songs mean, and whether are not it was going for a dreamy direction or a depressing direction. In "New Bermuda" however, the lyrics are a little more understanding, and much shorter as well. Some of the Songs are going for the melancholic factor. Whether it be questioning one self in "Brought to the Water," or imagining death in "Gifts for the Earth," the album wastes no time in making things confusing nor experimental lyrically. The lyrics have more identity and understanding. It still has complexity, but never loses luster throughout the album.

"New Bermuda" is Deafheaven's best improvement so far. It is considered to be the band's best work, but do I personally think it's better than "Sunbather?" Well as musicians, I think Deafheaven have gotten better, but I always go back to "Sunbather" for having more melancholic moments than on this album, and I personally love the ambience heard on that album too. I think that "New Bermuda" is better production wise, and lyrically as well. So I will definitely say, that I might come back to "New Bermuda" as well.

Deafheaven Evolution - 89%

jojex6, June 2nd, 2017

Following Roads to Judah and Sunbather, New Bermuda was a surprise evolution in Deafheaven's sound. This definitely is no copy of their past albums, but it has all the Deafheaven elements plus heavier/trashier riffs. So don't worry, you'll love it if you're already a fan, there's still plenty of shoegaze in there.

Starting off with Brought to the Water, a perfect example of this album's sound. The first riffs could be confused with a trash metal band, followed by a very fast-paced incredible black metal section, then, out of nothing, emotional guitar solos, and finally a classic Deafheaven shoegaze interlude. I forgot to mention, this are just the first 5 minutes of the album, but you'll find varying combinations of this in all the songs. In general, New Bermuda is heavier than what you would've normally expect after listening to their first two records. This heavier sound comes mostly from some guitar riffs, and Clarke's singing is stronger and more present than in Sunbather, by present I mean it stands out, not that he sings longer, as you can feel vocals are there only when needed. Tracy's drum playing is superb as it was in the prior album, I sense some improvement in creativity, there's a lot of quality as speed.

The band brought their A game with this album, but of course: it's not all perfect. A few heavy riffs feel forced, so this makes a few of the transitions not exactly the best. Although this could be a good thing, considering their music is so emotionally strong, sort of a roller coaster of feelings, so this transitions can give you a small break to recover and not feel emotionally exhausted. I believe Deafheaven managed to please all audiences (or most of them at least) by showing they can be a true metal band and not just "metal hipsters", all while keeping the most important and recognizable aspects from their original sound in past albums.

Favorite tracks: Brought to the Water, Luna.

A worthy "come back" - 80%

Kheygo, February 3rd, 2016

When Deafheaven's debut, "Roads to Judah", came out back in 2011, I must say I wasn't very impressed with it. It wasn't bad, but it was pretty generic American black metal. Bands like Krallice were doing something similar, in a better way, before that album came out. But in 2013, things changed for me.Their sophonore release, "Sunbather", was my favorite metal album from that year. Deafheaven did something original, with "Sunbather", crafting their own type of black metal. The post-rock, shoegaze and ambient music influences from bands like Explosions in the Sky and My Bloody Valentine were clear, and that flavor was mixed into their black-metal sound with an incredible finesse, creating an unique and detailed sound, popularizing the genre now known as post-black metal.

After "Sunbather", Deafheaven had huge shoes to fill, and I was certainly afraid of what would come after that impressive sophomore release. And after hearing this multiple times, I was surprised, in a terrific way. Deafheaven has done it again. This isn't in any way a second "Sunbather". This was one of the things I was most afraid of. I wanted something new from them, and I got it. "New Bermuda" is way more aggressive than its predecessor. It shows way more the traditional black-metal side from Deafheaven than the previous releases, but also keeping the elements that differentiates Deafheaven from the other bands in the American black-metal scene. The intro riff of the song "Luna" makes my blood boil, no matter how many times I listen to it. In the other hand, the intro of "Baby Blue" is absolutely gorgeous, and the guitar solo gives the song an epic feel that makes this one of my favorite tracks of the album.

The production is excellent. It's not overproducted, but it isn't even close to the rawness of Darkthrone's "Trasilvanian Hunger". The vocals are not as high as they were in "Sunbather", but it surely is still wretched and demonic as hell. The performance is also top notch. None of the members show extreme technical prowess, but they are great in what they give us.

I still have problems with this album, and the one that bothers me the most is the same problem I had with "Sunbather", and that is the ending of some of the songs in the tracklisting. For example, in the ending of "Brought to the Water" the awesome riff starts to fade away with the vocals, and it seems like the song is about to finish; but, from out of nowhere, a piano that was never introduced before appears, and starts to do the "real" fade out. This also happens in the bridge of "Gifts for the Earth", where, once again, the piano shows up from out of nowhere, but this time with an acoustic, and begins to fade away. These passages and instruments didn't feel natural and it seems they were put there only to have these mellow endings. This also applies to the bridge of "Luna", which is one of my favorite songs, but it has this passage that seems it was there only to have a mellow passage in the song. It doesn't feel natural. The only song that makes it feel legitimate is "Come Back".

To wrap it up, this is a great album. I don't think it is better than "Sunbather", but it definitely is a worthy follow-up to it. It isn't perfect, but it's far away from being bad or mediocre. If you're a black metal fan, and not an elitist prick, you must hear it.

Favorite songs: "Luna", "Baby Blue" and "Come Back".

Darker shades - 90%

bkuettel, January 28th, 2016

No one expected Deafheaven to receive the abundance of acclaim following the release of Sunbather in 2013. Their swirling blend of black metal/shoegazing/what-have-you madness became one of the most unique and powerful voices in recent years. For all of the wide assortment of musical styles present within Sunbather, there remained a focused vision and accompanying soundtrack to a need for the unattainable. New Bermuda is a different beast altogether, taking their trademarked hybrid of genres to a new level of musical cacophony. Interlude tracks are done away with, each of the five epics its own maze of musical styles and instrumental varieties The increased sonic variety by Deafheaven is in order to pay tribute to their wide span of influences. These include Slayer, Sixpence None The Richer, Oasis, and others who appear throughout New Bermuda. This ultimately makes for a mess, albeit an enjoyable mess, of styles running rampant throughout.

Criticisms of Deafheaven’s lack of traditional metal aesthetics in their first two records seem to have gotten through to the band. Heavy, thrash metal guitar riffing opens the first two tracks of New Bermuda, bearing a remarkable resemblance to Slayer’s “Raining Blood.” Deafheaven have shaken up their blasting intro/clean guitar interlude/roaring, emotive crescendo formula enough to keep things fresh for record number three. “Baby Blue” is an exercise in complete disarray, with some experimentations working better than others. A beautiful dance of calming guitar melodies begin over one of the best drumming performances of the album. About halfway through, a completely out-of-place wah-wah guitar solo interrupts the mood established by the contemplative post-rock intro. More of those Slayer guitar riffs are then haphazardly thrown in, alternating with “Sunbather”-esque qualities, eventually building intensity until closing with fuzzy ambience over a phone operator voiceover(?), recalling the lamest of the Sunbather interludes. This ends up being their most schizophrenic and divisive song, but for the most part works in its charming spontaneity.

Lyrical content affirms what Deafheaven have repeated time and time again in pre-release interviews: mainstream success has not been all that it’s cracked up to be, especially for vocalist George Clarke. Contrasting with the idealistic imagery of Sunbather’s rags-to-riches fantasies, Clarke now shrieks of self-reflective apathy and melancholic surrealism. “Where has my passion gone? Has it been carried off by some lonely driver in a line of florescent light? Has it been blurred together in ribboned patterns on the night? Along the stretch of some unnamed plane, we began again,” shrieks Clarke in “Brought to the Water,” while wallowing in existential torment within “Baby Blue.” “God had sent my calamity into a deep space, from which not even in dreams could I ever imagine my escape.” Deafheaven certainly never expected their sophomore release Sunbather to be deemed the “greatest metal album of 2013” by the likes of Rolling Stone magazine, and have ultimately thrown caution to the wind and fueled New Bermuda with their most uncompromising and instinctual reaction to naysayers, and praisers, alike.

New Bermuda is indeed a massive and ever-evolving organism, managing to be even more exhausting than Sunbather while only encompassing three quarters the length. What New Bermuda lacks in consistency however, it makes up for in variety. A genre-bending fan’s dream come true, it is uncommon for any song to run longer than two minutes without drastically shifting musical styles. These experiments ultimately make for a disappointing lack of cohesion, doing away with the precocious complexities of Sunbather in favor of a shrewd nod to a musical influence with any chance the band could find. While this might give New Bermuda an ostentatious feel for some, these Easter eggs are fun moments to discover. All of these qualities add up to a veritable blur of storming rage juxtaposed with heavenly soliloquies at a moment's notice. These engaging and effective qualities make for one all-consuming experience that is as stunningly gratifying as it is unexpectedly affirming.

A great blend of post-BM, thrash and shoegaze - 90%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, December 15th, 2015

I'm completely unfamiliar with previous Deafheaven recordings like "Sunbather" so I come to this third album of DFHVN's as an innocent. Perhaps it's not a bad idea either that I start my association with DFHVN's music with "New Bermuda" as this is actually the band's first recording as a quintet around the core duo of George Clarke and Kerry McCoy. The album is a personal document of Clarke's feelings and moods in the period after the release of "Sunbather", how that recording changed his life (and not always for the better) and how he struggled to cope with the rapid changes and upheavals that sudden attention brought him and McCoy.

DFVHN's style is a great blend of tough, steely and aggressive black metal, thrash and indiepop shoegaze. The balance varies from track to track with the result that the music ranges from straight-out BM to emotional shimmer-guitar melancholy and back again with surprisingly smooth (though sometimes sudden) transitions. When done very well (as on middle track "Baby Blue"), such transitions push the music to epic heights of intense emotional drama. Intro track "Brought to the Water" is a good example of DFVHN's post-BM / shoegaze fusion: it starts off as sharp and raw hostile BM and morphs into bright summery tremolo guitar beauty and what seems like a mood of hope and optimism - until you read the lyrics and realise this song is actually a calm plateau of stability perched unsteadily on the edge of blackness and chaos.

Did I mention "chaos"? Well that's exactly where we fall into with succeeding tracks like "Luna", with the music to match. The vocals increasingly are the real BM deal: they're screech-across-the-board raspy and demonic, while riffs and rhythms dive right into a mix of blast-beat frenzy, post-BM, crunchy slabs of Metallica-style riffing, shrieking lead guitar siren and dreamy introspective trance melody wonder. With each succeeding song, the music continues to push through greater trials of dark depression and hopelessness, and ever more intense and hard-driving sound structures, into "Gifts for the Earth", a calm acceptance of one's fate in a swirl of bright and sharp energy, vistas of light stretching far into the distance, melancholy piano and roaring wraith voices.

Out of the storms and the afflictions of life, with all its anxieties and struggles, comes music of tremendous power, beauty and majesty. The incredible thing is that the DFHVN guys play the songs almost effortlessly, as if writing and recording music of personal angst, self-doubt and loss of hope was second nature for them. The songs' lyrics follow a narrative starting with uncertainty and then falling into a downward spiral that seems it was predestined, it just comes over as natural.

At this stage in DFHVN's career, Clarke's thin raspy singing is not too bad but he will have to consider broadening and varying his style and range to match the music as it develops. DFHVN have the potential to set a new standard in alternative metal that becomes the new mainstream if they want to go in that direction, and this will make a lot of demands on Clarke's vocals.

Some listeners might find the lyrics and the music in most songs don't match well: the saddest words seem to accompany the happiest, most uplifting tunes, depending on how they interpret the lyrics. I'm sure though that most people prepared to give "New Bermuda" a listen will come away agreeing that this is a record of dark post-BM depressive majesty.

South of Deafheaven - 83%

Metantoine, November 6th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Anti- (Digipak)

The San Francisco quintet became some sort of pariah with Sunbather (2013), an immense album clad in pink and done by dudes with short hair who aren't your typical metalheads, big deal, right? This record was praised by indie rock magasines and divided the sometimes unfair metal kingdom. I'll admit I had my reservations at first but the quality of their music convinced me of their relevance, I think they became trendy to hate for the trve black metal crowd who prefer the old (and tired) tactics. With that said, Deafheaven has nothing to prove to anyone, perhaps they didn't win over the crowd they wanted to but with New Bermuda, they proved that they're not a metal band by accident.

I thought the direction they took with this new full length was a bit surprising, I was expecting them to move forward into post rock territories by praising Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor but the boys moved towards an even more metallic direction than Sunbather. It's like Kerry McCoy had to prove that he grew up while listening to Metallica (he's always wearing these band shirts on stage to prove that he's one of us!) when he was a kid. Thing is, Deafheaven wrote a wide array of super metal riffs for this new album (listen to the metal parts of “Luna” or “Come Back”.) They really put the “metal” into post black metal with these almost Slayer-esque riffs. A complaint I've heard about their previous album is that while the post rock moments were enjoyable, the metal ones weren't but I think it's somewhat the opposite here (to a lesser degree). Some of the calmer moments feel a bit forced or even cheap (like the piano conclusion of the opening track “Brought to the Water). Still, the mix of pop influences with metal is done tastefully, it's almost as if Savage Garden decided to included Norwegian black metal influences in their music at times and I think it's great! The musicianship is impressive, the dual guitars are mixing intricate atmospheric licks with heavy hitting riffs and the drumming is particularly awesome and can switch perfectly between all the styles required.

While George Clarke (a strong dark guru presence on stage) fits the music, I think he's too buried underneath everything on here and a little variety would had been nice. His lyrics are pretentious, that's a given but they're not bad at all. He's not the most interesting vocalist ever but he doesn't overstay his welcome and he lets the songs flow. The five tracks are all between eight and ten minutes and they're all dense, there's not a lot of filler if you actually appreciate their softer, instrumental bits (the introduction of “Baby Blue” is quite stunning and so is its proggy guitar soloing midway through). Sure, some of the transitions between their styles aren't always top notch but there's barely any bands evolving in such crossover styles that are truly proficient at these, Deafheaven are certainly better than most though.

Even if it's different than Sunbather, I doubt their detractors will find something they like here and I bet they will not even give this album a chance. Deafheaven aren't the best band of their generation and they didn't reinvent black metal on their own (Altar of Plagues, Fen or Ash Borer are all their contemporaries and are a bit better) but they're nowhere near bad or the “worst thing to ever happen to metal”.

Metantoine's Magickal Realm

No more sunbathing. - 92%

DSOfan97, October 31st, 2015

I just love it when a band that has been in the zone of 'love them or hate them' artists exposes the full array of its potential, shutting mouths and making jaws gape. And Deafheaven are potent and willing. Striving to become great on your own terms in the world of black metal can be a disaster (Liturgy for example). However with New Bermuda, Deafheaven leave the mediocrity of Sunbather behind and move on with an album that few could craft. Sunbather was an album that didn't quite live up to its hype whereas New Bermuda just delivers the goods without the guilt of having to prove its value. As complicated as it might sound to you, that's the main reason I dislike Sunbather and love New Bermuda.

I felt the urge to listen to this from the moment I learned about it. That's mostly because contrary to the rest of the so called 'hipster' black metal wave that has been uprising in the US for some years now, Deafheaven had positive elements hidden within their murky sound. The most obvious of them are George Clarke's vocalizations. You can say what you want about his style or the whole band's style but you cannot deny that his vocals fall into the category of high-pitched black metal vocals. And in the new album they are even more audible than before let alone their fantastic, hissing tone. The way he pronounces every syllable is remarkable and almost impeccable. However he sings the lyrics over some of my favorite musical parts thus I'm going to take some points for that.

Music-wise the album is surprisingly creative. Kerry McCoy abandons the tremolo picked major chords and utilizes a vast range of techniques in order to make the album special. And he manages to do it perfectly. At least there was a guitarist named Kerry that has been creative this year (Slayer pun intended). As for the rest of the instrumentation, it is simply top notch. The instruments roar and remain silent in the right moments, they burst in and abscond out of your sound system when that is necessary and they shift all the time. The distortion is not constantly piercing your ears. That's not only because of its heavier tone instead of the overdriven screeching noise we've been used to, but also because the clean guitars hold a much greater portion of the new material. On the side of the negative points, I believe they could have skipped the piano parts as well as some droning noises and samples but those don't ruin the experience for me.

On a final note this album is not half as naive and optimistic as its predecessor. Not that I dislike optimistic music, all in all I loved Spectral Lore's III last year. Maybe New Bermuda could have been a little more 'happy' like III was. Maybe it doesn't to. Maybe Deafheaven want to change their style towards a darker direction. I'm not sure and I certainly won't judge their decisions. Their brand new opus is all that matters now. And it is fantastic. Deafheaven have certainly found a style that fits them and I'm sure that if they choose to walk further down that path, they're going to create even greater albums. New Bermuda is a total win.

Favorite tracks: 'Brought to the Water', 'Come Back', 'Gifts for the Earth'.

92/100.

Treading Familiar Territories - 77%

PassiveMetalhead, October 29th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Anti- (Digipak)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said that ‘music is a universal language of mankind.’ In June 2013, Sunbather was released by a band named Deafheaven. The level of emotional intensity that this record reflected could only be conjured by few but felt by all. While some fans thought that the contrast of beautiful melodies within a definite black metal outlook was too far over the experimental line, Deafheaven gained overwhelmingly positive acclaim and was praised for the unique fusion of shoegaze and metal. The real test now is whether Deafheaven’s new album ‘New Bermuda’ can possibly hope to match its predecessor.

The evolving soundscapes of post rock that triumphed 2 years ago in ‘Sunbather’ have lost none of their potency in ‘New Bermuda’. While the beginning of ‘Baby Blue’ comprises of full throttle vehemence and breathless grunts, the second half takes your hand and leads you down an oceanic sway of docile soundscapes. The dimensional guitar harmonics create a tranquil texture atop the slow bass that create a deep yet lucid effect. ‘Gifts For The Earth’ is probably the most riff driven song on the album however it does resurrect the post rock abstractness that embodied ‘Sunbather’. These interludes are melancholic and bittersweet however they don’t quite pack the emotional punch that Deafheaven can, usually, easily conjure.

Deafheaven have quoted Slayer as a main influence when creating ‘New Bermuda’ and the fast paced metal factor is definitely more concentrated. ‘Brought To The Water’ is consistently heavy due to tremolo guitar picking, dominant drumming and rough vocals. However the riffs from this song do seem to be a touch overused- after each dynamic change the song always returns to the same chugging riff. Every song on the album comprises of sonorous walls of sound but the trick to capturing the passion behind the curtain of noise is where Deafheaven can hold their head up high. The feature that makes this outburst is the differentiation of dynamics that Deafheaven use. On ‘New Bermuda’ the theme to creating these gut wrenching moments is heavy music to light music and back. On ‘Come Back’ it’s the opposite. A patient build in tension from Kerry McCoy’s guitars are obliterated with a touching eruption of malice and his commanding vocals gain an added sense of authority when they are placed above the furious blast beats from Daniel Tracy.

Deafheaven’s music is so textured and genre-bending that there are often moments where beauty and belligerence become a natural balance. ‘Luna’ is a prime example of this technique. As the frequent change in dark dynamics spin off in every direction, and George Clarke screams breathlessly down the microphone, the brooding tone remains consistent. However, shimmering cracks of light emerge from this darkness that makes ‘Luna’ all the more special. The song slows down to allow the guitar to glide alongside the spacious bass lines until they reach the inevitable, enrapturing moment. There’s reallya sense of completion and wholeheartedness in the ending to ‘Luna’ that symbolises just how unique Deafheaven are and what exquisite music that can create.

Deafheaven flex their metal muscles. - 99%

Heilmax1995, October 18th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, 2 12" vinyls, Anti-

San Francisco's Deafheaven created quite a splash when they dropped their sophomore album Sunbather. Some referred to it as the most important metal album of the decade, while others called it the worst thing to ever happen to black metal. I certainly respect Deafheaven as songwriters, but I don’t by any means see them as seminal within the post-black metal scene. Bands like Agalloch and Wolves In The Throne Room laid down the groundwork for the style during the previous decade, which essentially made Deafheaven the Metallica of blackgaze. Sunbather brought an underground movement to the masses and showed them a gentler, more romantic side of metal through their sheer musical chops and knack for toying with the listener’s emotions. As years continued to pass since that album dropped, it became apparent that it would be hard to top. How does a band approach songwriting after many people believe they already created their magnum opus? Deafheaven set out to blow away expectations, and did so quite beautifully. They could’ve made Sunbather part two, but they chose to blaze a different artistic trail with New Bermuda. Deafheaven maintains much of what made their back catalogue superb whilst introducing new levels of heaviness.

When I first heard that the new Deafheaven record was going to have influence from Slayer, I was tempted to dismiss the hype as an attempt to get metal elitists to buy their album. New Bermuda was either going to improve the formula of Sunbather, or completely ruin the spark they had in an attempt to win over the people who always dismissed them. The former possibility became more realized for me as I listened to the album. The guitar duo of Shiv Mehra and Kerry McCoy often embrace the alternate picking of old school thrash metal in sections like the intro riff of “Luna” and the outro for “Baby Blue” and it sounds incredible. The chord progressions are also much less overtly happy than those found on Sunbather, giving way to dissonant chords and tremolo picking lines played at blistering speeds. While there is still plenty of resolve within the melodic structure of the songs, the listener must first journey through a harrowing extreme metal wilderness before reaching the clearing of post-rock solace; said wilderness is not without its frostbitten winds.

The vocals on New Bermuda are much higher in the mix than before, and pack a much more vicious punch. George Clarke gives the most brutal vocal performance of his career in these tracks, with his startling vocal range and powerful delivery becoming much more prominent in the overall sound. His growls, snarls, and shrieks cut through the instrumentation and terrify as much as they pacify. The drums are similar in this regard because they too are given much more sonic space than they had before. Everything from blastbeats to cool-cat grooves are charged with brazen aggression and grit, adding much welcomed power to the austere beauty Deafheaven was known for in their prior material. However, I would advise metal elitists to hold their applause.

Although there’s an undeniable increase of metalness to New Bermuda, it’s still very much a post-metal record. For every headbanging assault, there’s delicate piano interludes (the outro of “Brought to the Water”) or soothing post-rock balladry (the ¾ mark of “Luna”) to send the tr00est of the tr00 running back to their havens of goregrind and slam-death metal. In fact, it is this duality between ugly and pretty sides of the musical spectrum that makes New Bermuda such an engaging listen. The fact Deafheaven is still capable of lulling their listeners to sleep even after melting their faces is a testament to how strong their songwriting chops are and how adept they are at mixing many elements together in a way that is as exquisite as it is unique.

In short, listen to this album. Deafheaven have crafted another great post-metal album with sonic diversity to boot.

Deafheaven – New Bermuda - 92%

LMdC, October 5th, 2015

It was not until last year that I discovered Deafheaven’s sophomore album Sunbather and their mix of my favorite genre in music black metal with a genre I’m not that connoisseur of, shoegaze. It was around October that I immersed myself in songs like ‘’The Pecan Tree’’ and ‘’Dream House’’. I gave them a somewhat high score but not the highest I ever gave to a new album. Why?

Not because I’m a black metal purist. In fact this does not exist because if you are this purist you probably listen to music prior to 1993 or 1994. Yes there are quintessential records from this era and I am one of the believers of this classic era of metal. However, this does not explain why I did not called out like a lot of the hipster crowd that ranked Sunbather in the masterpiece category. It was a strong album, with great depth and it brought black metal textures and sound to a wider audience. But, yes there is always a but, this is an album that was too compartmented with too much intermissions.

With New Bermuda, Deafheaven hit the mark completely with a shorter wisely edited record that stands as a whole without breaks or lack of homogeneity. It is closer to a black metal sound that has been adapted to contemporary factors. The intermissions are subtle insertions in songs that are forming a strong whole.

The song ‘’Gifts for the Earth’’ has a lightness that only the great melodies of The Beatles have achieved. There’s a maturity that the earlier explorations of the first two albums leaded to the great achievement of New Bermuda. With only five songs, the blend of shoegazing gives a unsuspected depth to the melancholy and aggressivity of the raw sound of black metal. Much like Emperor’s masterpiece Anthems to the Welkins at Dusk, Deafheaven have achieve to make beautiful music filled with violence and chaos.

Maybe New Bermuda is a new argument for naysayers and haters to hate more but just like after a fire there’s always life that will be growing back. Deafheaven was able to take the horror and the power of the destruction of the fire and change it into something lively, sad, melancholic, and turned on the future of a genre more than just looking back at the past and repeating it endlessly.

Originally published on: http://cinephiliaque.blogspot.ca/2015/10/music-review-deafheaven-new-bermuda-2015.html