Deafheaven
New Bermuda


4.5
superb

Review

by leviegalapon USER (7 Reviews)
October 5th, 2015 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where has my passion gone?

From interviews about Sunbather, George Clarke and Kerry McCoy state that it was basically up to them to write that album. This is affected musically with the minimum use of leads and in a way simplified dynamics and instrumentations. However, since Sunbather, Deafheaven has essentially evolved from being a duo of Clarke and McCoy to a full band. This change has been reflected in the new music post-Sunbather. The first time that Deafheaven recorded as a full band with input in the songwriting process outside of Clarke and McCoy is on the Adult Swim single “From the Kettle Onto the Coil”. The Adult Swim Single features: concise songwriting, stronger leads, and interestingly heavier yet melodic riffs. Where Sunbather felt like a dreamy haze, From the Kettle Onto the Coil felt like a substantial vision that is in a way more memorable.

New Bermuda has definitely stayed the course where From the Kettle Onto the Coil has been drifting towards. This is of course due to the full band line-up, which Deafheaven is now consisted of. Brought To The Water is a great summarization of the direction where Deafheaven has been going. It features crushing riffs along with George Clarke’s intense vocals. Furthermore, this is the first time we get to hear Deafheaven incorporate an actual guitar solo into the song. Throughout New Bermuda, guitar solos add not only a more aggressive edge to the music but also another melodic layer that keeps the music interesting and diverse. Another interesting example of this could be seen in the infamous “wah” guitar solo on Baby Blue. The wah effect could be either written off as over-indulgent of McCoy or as a defining moment that is meant to contrast the rest of the song. Knowing McCoy he most likely wanted to use the wah effect as a contrasting moment especially since the end moment of Baby Blue consists of a crushing riff that blows into a surprisingly cathartic lead. The crushing riff segment on Baby Blue is also worth mentioning due to the oddly technical flourish that’s thrown in. It’s little moments such as these that makes New Bermuda memorable and interesting.

Another departure from Sunbather to New Bermuda that should be pointed out is how musical interludes are handled. On Sunbather the musical interludes are separated from the main tracks onto different interlude tracks that feel like filler and even unconnected to Sunbather as a whole. However, on New Bermuda, Deafheaven cuts down the interlude tracks and in its place are better outros and intros that blend seamlessly making New Bermuda more concise and definitely more focused as a collective piece of music. The most interesting example of this is the incredible outro of Baby Blue that leads into Come Back. The outro of Baby Blue consists of these eerie Akira Yamaoka Silent Hill type synths. Over these synths is a radio broadcast that definitely sets the specific mood that Deafheaven was most likely looking for.

Possibly the standout track on New Bermuda is “Gifts For The Earth”. Gifts For The Earth is different in that it is unusually melodic and soft by Deafheaven standard. The beginning of the track features upbeat rhythms akin to mewithoutyou’s January 1979. One could have almost expected Aaron Weiss to come out and sing for this track. Gifts For The Earth would then explode into a very Deafheaven section before ending in Deafheaven’s softest outro. The outro features acoustic guitars and a piano melody that is almost unheard of in Deafheaven’s catalog.

Overall, Deafheaven has been able to evolve into a new direction of music with a full cast of band members with each contributing to the songwriting process. This allowed for the most concise, immediate, and melodic Deafheaven album to date. The very first lyrics we hear on New Bermuda is “Where has my passion gone?” There is no easy answer for this question. But, it is shown throughout New Bermuda that Deafheaven has dedicated all of its passion into constructing an album that is decidedly different from Sunbather and is also decidedly Deafheaven. In a recent interview George Clarke stated, “The greatest goal would be that once that record comes out (New Bermuda), people understand that this is Deafheaven.”



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user ratings (1539)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tempertemperature
October 5th 2015


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They recruited the newer members of the band before even Roads to Judah, no?

leviegalapon
October 5th 2015


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know the original Roads To Judah band broke away leaving just George Clarke and Kerry McCoy to write Sunbather.

zaruyache
October 5th 2015


24576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

it was the two guys, then they expanded into a band to tour, then after Roads the other dudes left because the band wasn't making enough money for them to actually buy food and not sleep on the floor, so the two did Sunbather more or less independently, but then got other dudes to fill in the other instruments.

leviegalapon
October 5th 2015


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^exactly!

BrushedRed
October 5th 2015


3481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Needed a review higher than a 4.0. Haven't read it yet. Haven't had time, but yeah album is easily at least a 4.5

Space Jester
October 5th 2015


9661 Comments


I bet those dudes who left are sad they left now

But maybe Sunbather wouldn't have been written if they stayed so there was no hope for them

So crazy!!

BrushedRed
October 6th 2015


3481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I'm going to write up a review for this when I get home. I'm feeling inspired to do so and a lot of reviews are not giving it enough cred

leviegalapon
October 6th 2015


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@jesterhead92: I agree, Sunbather was definitely a product of what was going on at the time for Clarke and McCoy

leviegalapon
October 6th 2015


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@BrushedRed: That's awesome bro! Glad you got inspired to do so. I also agree with your earlier statement that this album is at least a mid 4 or around there. I think people wanted either a complete 180 from Sunbather or a Sunbather 2 or a New Bermuda that was all Brought To The Water

zaruyache
October 6th 2015


24576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

more likely they just wanted one that wasn't clunky as shit and had transitions that made sense, instead of just being stapled on haphazardly every single time.

Asdfp277
October 6th 2015


23561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

doesn't have any negative reviews either, i might write one to accumulate more negs tbh

StarlessCore
October 6th 2015


7735 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

if u write it well ill pos!

Asdfp277
October 6th 2015


23561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Thanks, that's sweet ! >:]

ExhaleTheLight
October 6th 2015


1165 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deafheaven was a three piece on Sunbather.

Asdfp277
October 6th 2015


23561 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Ok

Spacesh1p
October 6th 2015


7717 Comments


Please write a negative review. I'm thinking of even revising mine down. I think I was a bit too easy on it.

I wanted so badly for this record to be something more than it was but it's just not that special.

As for this review, obviously I disagree with the rating but aside from a bit of choppiness in the flow, it's good.

leviegalapon
October 6th 2015


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Spacesh1p: thanks for the feedback bro!



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