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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.