Deafheaven
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain USER (213 Reviews)
July 8th, 2018 | 396 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Looking at ordinary life through rose-tinted glasses.

When you look at what bands do to earn them the brand of being ‘divisive’ there are many attributes. Some remove themselves so far from their roots that they become indistinguishable while others play it so close to home that they are considered stagnant. When developing their sound, numerous bands may incorporate different instruments or play in a different tone which makes their new material sound foreign compared to their past work. In some cases, a band may be considered divisive for reasons outside of the music itself such as how bandmember’s overall character or beliefs influence the music they create. The list goes on. And as the list of divisive attributes grows, so do the bands that are labelled as such.

Within heavy metal uttering the name ‘Deafheaven’ yields opposing reactions. Metal purists who have poured as much scorn as they can conjure on the band in the last 5 years look upon Deafheaven in revulsion, seeing the band’s renowned second album, “Sunbather”, only as an album that mutated their beloved reclusive black metal into what the opposition would call a boisterous post-metal masterpiece. They wanted the band to stay away from black metal and “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love”, Deafheaven’s fourth album, may finally grant them their wish.

“Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” is wreathed in a beautiful atmosphere which exudes comfort and contentedness. Every song sounds weightless as if you’re floating in a vast, motionless body of water with the sun embracing you in warmth. As the atmosphere undulates over delicately mixed intensities, sparkling melodies flourish spontaneously which clash and dazzle the tranquil soundscapes with moments of welcome activity during the songs that exceed the 10-minute mark. Shorter songs such as “Near” are emotive standouts where the most complex feature is merely smothering unhurried waves of timbre guitars and pattering drum fills with weary, cleanly sung vocals to create a relaxing aura. Whereas [i]“New Bermuda”[i] felt like a reaction to Deafheaven’s criticism in 2013 by emphasising their beefier riffs and appearing obliquity heavy, this feels like a mature shrug, a tilted smile directed at those who the band have accepted will never accept them.

Previous albums oversee the band penetrating dark and furious soundscapes with stabs of blinding light containing raw, yearning emotion. Conversely, Deafheaven is doing the complete opposite on their latest album. Instead, light and comfort are obscured by abrasiveness. Expectantly, these harsh interludes are chiefly orchestrated by George Clarke’s high-pitched howling whilst the tremolo guitars take on a different kind of power when flanked by thunderous double bass during “Glint”. Only in these brief intermissions do “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” expose any traces of black metal. Even when the intensity soars in tracks like “Honeycomb” and “Canary Yellow”, Deafheaven maintains a leisurely pace and pleasant aura in the background. Arguably, herein lies why the album never reaches a truly cathartic climax; the as the constant sense of wistfulness and sorrow keeps the intensity anchored beneath the emotional level that “Sunbather” established.

Influenced by the novel The End of the Affair written by Graham Greene, which examines obsession, jealousy and discernments within love, “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” creates a tangibly loving, tender mood throughout the album that is pierced by sharp and impactful blows, creating distance between the romanticised feelings, reminiscent of real life and love which is, assumedly, exactly what the band set out to achieve. Perhaps this album marks the moment where everyone should praise Deafheaven for their ambition, honesty and professionalism of what they do rather than complaining over what they aren’t or what they should be, which they clearly have no intention of being.



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user ratings (924)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (5)
Subverting expectations to bring you closer to emotional reality: pain and beauty are one in the sam...

Daisy99 (4.5)
Celebrating life that the previous record wanted to end...

Christopher Y. (4.5)
Ordinariness-Free Heavy Metal Sonic Artwork....

GooGooGajoob (3)
Hi. You may remember me from such things as 2013's Sunbather or 2015's New Bermuda....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Chamberbelain
July 8th 2018


145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This would be a 3.8 rating if I could.

Stream it here: https://www.npr.org/2018/07/05/625292101/first-listen-deafheaven-ordinary-corrupt-human-love?t=1531045774794

luci
July 8th 2018


12542 Comments


I have some issues with this review. The first paragraph is vague and pointless; the review can comfortably start on the second paragraph and you'd end up with a more focused read. The "divisive" angle for this band is played out so I think it's only worth tackling with a novel approach.

Do people react with hostility to bands that "play it so close to home that they are considered stagnant"? I'm not convinced. And I can't understand the point of the concluding sentence: "And as the list of divisive attributes grows, so do the bands that are labelled as such."

I'd nix the first paragraph completely if I was editing this. The rest of the review is pretty good, although I'd explore this point further: "They wanted the band to stay away from black metal and Ordinary Corrupt Human Love...may finally grant them their wish." I've seen criticism that this album appropriates the most superficial aspects of black metal rather than staying away from the genre. You could make the case that this record is the most offensive yet to metal purists, since the ethos and foundational feeling of the genre is gone. Just food for thought, I think the thread will touch on this point.

Darius The Imposter
July 8th 2018


22841 Comments


Good review chamb, fix this tho

"Whereas [i]“New Bermuda”[i] felt like a reaction to Deafheaven’s criticism in 2013"
forgotten slash

BrushedRed
July 8th 2018


3319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is one of the most stunning and engrossing albums I’ve ever heard since Sunbather. The downplayed and muted responses are something I will just never understand, but meh Sunbather was the same way. But this is a 5 across the board, imo. I think I’ve listened to it 6 times so far. Excited to listen again when I get back from the beach.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2018


19348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Arguably, herein lies why the album never reaches a truly cathartic climax; the as the constant sense of wistfulness and sorrow keeps the intensity anchored beneath the emotional level that “Sunbather” established.


What Darius said, and there's an extra word or two bolded.

Really good review, I like the third paragraph a lot but I might've written a few sentences transitioning from what you were saying before, because it gets very descriptive suddenly. Might just be me though.

Digging: Sweet Trip - Walkers Beware! We Drive Into The Sun / Stab/Slow

17WordHaiku
July 8th 2018


256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album blew me away. I've already listened to it more than New Bermuda. I would say it might even be their best album yet. Great review!

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2018


19348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This almost as good as Sunbather and their second best. I hope they keep going in this lighter direction.

BrushedRed
July 8th 2018


3319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It’s hard for me to make a placement because Sunbather is an album I still listen to regularly and I have so many memories connected with it, but I get the same feeling listening to this album that I did listening to Sunbather the first time. It definitely clicked early and I think it’ll only escalate from there. To be honest it’s kinda making me retroactively review the only 2 other 5’s I’ve given this year and make me bump them down. It’s really that good lol. It’ll probably be one like Sunbather that I will continue to play for the coming years, so I feel it’ll become really its counterpart and just as good. I liked New Bermuda but yeah I rarely ever listen to it anymore.

BrushedRed
July 8th 2018


3319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[internet glitch]

KingDweedle
July 8th 2018


392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hm, surprised this is apparently as good as it is.

Might discog Deafheaven since it's been so long.

Hawks
July 8th 2018


74170 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Nice review bro even though I completely disagree lol.

Digging: Old Nick - A New Generation Of Vampiric Conspiracies

Hawks
July 8th 2018


74170 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

And shame on any of you fools that think this is even close to Sunbather.

TheSpirit
July 8th 2018


27676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I’ve only listened to this twice but it was very underwhelming imo

Digging: Gonemage - Mystical Extraction

Wildcardbitchesss
July 8th 2018


5026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah shame on you fools that think this is even close to sunbather...

It's better :P

Digging: Lovehoney - Lovehoney

Wildcardbitchesss
July 8th 2018


5026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think Honeycomb is my favorite off this, which sucks. I hate it when singles end up being the best on a record.

GhandhiLion
July 8th 2018


11920 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

They actually got worse.

Digging: Neil Ardley - Kaleidoscope of Rainbows

Wildcardbitchesss
July 8th 2018


5026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yes. let the hate flow through you.

brainmelter
July 8th 2018


7481 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

underwhelming[2] but a small improvement over their previous

Digging: Young Pappy - 2 Cups Pt. 2

Hawks
July 8th 2018


74170 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

It's better :P


Let me get some of whatever drugs you’re on.

SomeGuyDude
July 8th 2018


377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Er, the album isn't out for like six days, I thought that was against a rule or something?



Also, New Bermuda >>>> Sunbather



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