Review Summary: Celebrating life that the previous record wanted to end
Deafheaven is a band that always changed. Be it going to huge, warm walls of noise on Sunbather or the cold and dark chugging on New Bermuda, they changed from album to album, and their latest record, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
, is no exception to this rule. Following their arguably heaviest album is their easily softest and the most experimental record, which has a warm, spacey sound which, rather than trying to punch you, like the previous records, covers you in warm blanket. The sound of the album is closer to Radiohead's In Rainbows
rather than any black metal record. The most Deafheaven-like songs are the two previously released singles, Canary Yellow
, and a song which plays out later on the record, Glint
, but not even they could escape the change. Even though they are heavy and feature Deafheaven's signature walls of noise with blast beats, tremolo guitars and screaming, they sound uplifting. Quick octave chords fly by in opening minutes of Honeycomb
, sounding more like an indie rock gone metal, rather than metal band going soft, while gang vocals near the end of Canary Yellow
make you wish the song'd just go on forever.
On the more experimental side of things though, it's impossible not to name Night People
, which both feature clean singing for the first time ever in the history of the band. Both are some of the most beautiful pieces of music the band has put together, with the shy melodies over dreamy instrumentals. Night People
is also notable for featuring duet with Chelsea Wolfe. Opening track You Without End
is also interesting in this regard, starting with several minutes of post rock instrumental with piano and guitar with vocal sample over it. The band has truly mastered their post rock parts there.
The lyrics have also undergone a change of style. They are still dark, but rather than to be about George's pain, they are more poetic and abstract, refering nature a lot, and again, we can see George moving on with his life and embracing the change, even if one step at a time
I'm reluctant to stay sad
Life beyond is a field
A field of flowers
Band also makes sure to put their influences on the display here, especially in the songs which break into new territory for them. Fortunately, they do it in a respectful way rather than ripping them off. Glint
opens up with Slint-esque guitar before breaking into aforementioned Deafheaven-signature moody wall of noise, while both Near
and Night People
carry sound of Radiohead, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
isn't Deafheaven's most original piece of work, but it just might be their best. Record sees the band moving forward while respecting their roots and their influences, joy of trying new things and, following the depression of New Bermuda
, it sounds like they're enjoying life again. The record sounds like celebration of the life that the previous record wanted to end.