Deafheaven
Sunbather


4.5
superb

Review

by Sunn177 USER (10 Reviews)
May 24th, 2013 | 33 replies | 2,450 views


Release Date: 06/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Deafheaven's sophomore LP finds the band experimenting more then ever with atmosphere melding shoegaze and post-rock within in their black metal rooted music.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

When it comes to the genre of black metal no other form of music is more divided among fans than this. Most follow the more "true" approach to BM with bands coming out of Norway, who for the most part, originated the sound of black metal while the other side prefers the much more atmospheric and progressive sound of BM coming mainly out of the U.S. which has separated the two groups of fans believing their preferred version of black metal is the best.With the band Deafheaven however they really couldn't give a F*** either way and that is especially true on their second full length "Sunbather" with this album being dead set on creating an environment and an atmosphere for the listener to get lost in while also not straying to far from their roots of black metal. Though their previous release, "Roads to Judah", was very much the same sort of approach "Sunbather" is given a much more atmospheric treatment giving this LP a lot more variety then Deafheaven's previous releases mixing shoegaze and post-rock into their already dense sound.

The Lp starts off with the lead single off this album "Dreamhouse" which starts in usual Deafheaven style with blast beats and tremolo picked guitars but as the song progresses all the instruments shift in dynamics of playing especially with the drums having a lot of variety in the playing constantly changing from blast beats to sporadically playing . While the instruments in this track are changing tempo constantly throughout Deafheaven never lose their focus in keeping the atmosphere heavy. The fifth track, "Vertigo", is another staple on this Lp and is one of their more post-rock inspired tracks on the album with the music pushing and pulling you continuously as the instruments bounce off each other and jam for the first three minutes creating a very airy mood to the song until finally the music pulls you off the edge of the ascension and forces you down with intensity with the blast beats and the bands signature black metal vocals.

The main M.O. of "Sunbather" is to constantly shift atmospheres and moods but Deafheaven are very much aware of the fact that their songs can be a bit overbearing to some, if not most, listeners with their very long and dense passages within their songs.To break up the intensity and long structures of this album Deafheaven puts a few interlude songs in between to give the listener a break with songs like "Irresistible" an instrumental which is a very solemn track with nicely played guitars and as it goes on a piano joins in and the song almost has a Godspeed/Lift your skinny fists era vibe to it.The song "Windows" has the same sort of vibe on it too with a recording of what seems like a deal of some sort between two people and a piano playing sorrowfully in the background and what sounds like a preacher reading scripture. These interlude tracks fit in very nicely within the set of seven songs and for the most part never seem out of place except for the track "Please Remember" which is put together a little weirdly.

"Sunbather" may not bring bring both parties of black metal fans together (it may more then likely divide it even more) but that's not what "Sunbather" or even Deafheaven are all about. Instead we have an album where it is continuously lifting the listener with it's rising sections of shoegaze and post-rock inspired atmospheres and dropping the listener with the intensity of black metal. Love it or hate it "Sunbather" will have many people talking more about this band than ever before and Deafheaven have really outdone themselves with an album so rich with textures and moods that it's hard to admire their ambition.



Recent reviews by this author
Oathbreaker Eros|AnterosHarm's Way Blinded
Corrections House Hoax The System/Grin With a PurposeBaptists Bushcraft
Early Graves Red HorseCode Orange Love Is Love // Return To Dust
user ratings (1671)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
related reviews

Roads to Judah

2010 Demo

Comments:Add a Comment 
GringoSuave89
May 23rd 2013



1021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A few run ons, but great review. Pos'd.

I'm debating on bumping this up to a five, but idk yet.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

Sunn177
May 23rd 2013



285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know it's not offically out yet but I preordered the physical version and got the direct download.

stream it here: http://pitchfork.com/advance/120-sunbather/

Digging: Soilent Green - Sewn Mouth Secrets

Sunn177
May 23rd 2013



285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks man!I'm definitely not the best writer but I do my best.Really enjoying this thing!I don't know if it's a five for me but it's pretty damn good!

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 23rd 2013



6988 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i guess i should give it a listen

Dodecahedron
May 23rd 2013



970 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Another album everybody loves that I don't care for. I loved the shorter interlude-like tracks, but for some reason the rest just bored me. Really hoping it'll grow with more listens though.

eternium
May 23rd 2013



16336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My only problem with the review is that black metal is capitalized. There is absolutely no reason to capitalize genre names.

Dodecahedron
May 23rd 2013



970 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I always tend to do that as well for some reason, especially BM. It just seems like it should deserve that kind of respect, lol.

Sunn177
May 23rd 2013



285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yup definitely isn't for everyone and it's definitely a grower.Expecting a lot of people to hate on this album within the next few days.

sniper
May 23rd 2013



19042 Comments


god dammit i just finished my review. gonna post it anyway, sorry.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

cvlts
May 23rd 2013



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this really isnt like wittr or ash borer at all

sniper
May 23rd 2013



19042 Comments


not even close.

zaruyache
May 23rd 2013



6167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quite a few run-ons, and you awkwardly repeat words like "songs" and "sound" in the summary. I'd reread through this to try and clarify some of the sentences. Try reading it out loud to yourself. Otherwise it was a pretty good review.

Record pwns. The production doesn't sound as lush and enveloping as 'Judah, but the songwriting is definitely better. I love the increased complexity of their songs.

The two interlude tracks are the only troubling parts of the record, imo; the first half of "Please Remember" is kinda pointless, and "Windows" feels a tad out of place with influence on the audio samples. It feels like a weird attempt at ripping off GY!BE just for the sake of trying to make this a more "post-rock" record.

Besides that though, aces!

Digging: Emerald Weapon - Part II: Earth Encrypted

Sunn177
May 24th 2013



285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this really isnt like wittr or ash borer at all

I see a little bit of WITTR in their music maybe not so much on this record but on their debut i got a WITTR vibe and as for Ash Borer maybe not the best one to compare to probably but I think they think in the same sort of terms of BM as well.

zaruyache
May 24th 2013



6167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OP didn't say this band sounded like either of those groups, only that they were recommended. Given that they both do use post-rock influence in their structurings, they're not that far off. Definitely more "moon gazing" than "sun bathing" bands, though :P

Henry100
May 24th 2013



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review. I can't listen to anything else right now. Beautiful record.

Imperial
May 24th 2013



1724 Comments


The elitists are going to hate this album. I've seen the term "ungrim" and I had to laugh and agree. This is uplifting as fuck. Totally not frostbitten. It's like eating a banana on a patio in the sun.

Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers

Sleaper
May 24th 2013



3353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"It's like eating a banana on a patio in the sun."

ahaha legendary album description

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Keyblade
May 24th 2013



14638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The elitists are going to hate this album. I've seen the term "ungrim" and I had to laugh and agree. This is uplifting as fuck. Totally not frostbitten. It's like eating a banana on a patio in the sun.

not to many of them around here. we tend to appreciate music regardless of genre/subgenre in these parts. this isn't Metal Archives

Digging: Kacica - Kacica

Imperial
May 24th 2013



1724 Comments


The elitists are going to hate this album. I've seen the term "ungrim" and I had to laugh and agree. This is uplifting as fuck. Totally not frostbitten. It's like eating a banana on a patio in the sun.

not to many of them around here. we tend to appreciate music regardless of genre/subgenre in these parts. this isn't Metal Archives


That's why I like this site good sir.

sniper
May 24th 2013



19042 Comments


agreed, good culture mostly



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy