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Hipsters on... black metal?! Quite nice actually. - 70%

dromennolamort, June 12th, 2011

Let me mention some black metal bands from different countries before I start my review. Just to name some of them, we have Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Beherit, Marduk and Watain. See what they have in common? Besides playing black metal, that is.

Corpsepaint? Check.
Spikes? Check again.
Super black clothing? Another check.
Stage names? Yet another check, even though it’s not really a necessity nowadays.

Now look at this band from America, deafheaven (yep, that’s spelled with a small “d” as far as I know), and tell me what kind of a band they are.

I remembered asking my friend about this, and judging their looks, they seem to play something close to classical or alternative rock, or maybe even punk rock. As for me, they seem to play pop punk music a la Boys Like Girls. Geez, and Metal Archives even said that they play black metal. Is this what a black metal musician supposed to look like!? Just look at them, they look no more than hipsters jumping their brains out!

“Can’t you just get to the point, La:mort!? You keep on bashing them solely based on their looks and do nothing else!” Sheesh, such impatience I smell! I know what I’m supposed to do since I’ve done this way before!

Now to the review, then. The music, as expected, isn’t anything new. Although they play something closer to post-black metal than traditional black metal, typical black metal elements are still here.

Raspy screams? Check.
Blast beats and tremolo picking? Check.
Minimalist music? Check again.
Unclean production? Check yet again.

Oh, did I say “unclean production”?! Oh, yes I did, though not in a ”kvlt” sense. What do you think the production is, as crisp as a bag of Lays!? No, this is black metal, baby, BLACK METAL. With that said, you are supposed to expect a drum-centric production, and hear blast beats. Unfortunately, after putting high-priority on the drums while on the mix, the bass became invisible, and the guitars buried with the vocals… and this became the sound of the overall music: VERY THIN.

To make up for that, the music is simply wonderful, making you feel light, like having an out-of-body experience. It isn’t like you’re usual black metal that sounds ghastly and just plain evil, it’s something that makes you feel that you’ve transcended, even though you’re just no more than a sneaky little devil. With that wonderful description said, I don’t know, really, what is the first four minutes of the album for (the ones you hear on “Violet”). It sounds nothing more than a jamming session, but at least it got the atmosphere right for the listener.

At least I’ve seen in this album that hipsters can play decent black metal. Yeah, don’t judge these guys simply because they wear V-neck shirts and all. Though not excellent to the core, this is one heck of a start for them. It’s something more than music; it’s more like a journey itself.

Written for my blog,