Deafheaven
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love


5.0
classic

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
July 16th, 2018 | 455 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Subverting expectations to bring you closer to emotional reality: pain and beauty are one in the same.

It comes across as strange to me when I see discussion of individual Deafheaven tracks as though they weren't just a moment in the sprawling saga of an album. Sure, people cite chapter and verse all the time, but to call out "The Pecan Tree" or "Glint" seems more like calling out a few words in a sentence rather than speaking the context of an entire conversation. Popular music as we know it has trained us to follow the broken down structure of individual tracks within the album, but at the symphony, one applauds only once the piece has fully concluded.

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love continues the thread of grand compositions built in movements and likewise continues to contort the band's fusion of melodic rock and black metal into a state serving its emotion. While it's easy to pin an almost voidlike bleakness to the greater and more base elements of black metal, the integration of downtempo rock and blues at the forefront of Ordinary Corrupt Human Love forces that bleakness to become more human and take on an emotional shape: a rollercoaster that peaks with sighing guitar bends and flirty pianos and crashes with the gut-crushing screams, rapid riffs and minor tremolo, and the drumming of an entirely too anxious heartbeat.

Previous efforts embraced black metal bleakness, humanizing its inherent despair into the more realistic affliction of depression with moments of self-accepting melodic clarity, but there's a particular contrast struck between the feeling of earlier works and those expressed on Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. Where earlier works added color to a lack of feeling, the pits and peaks of Ordinary Corrupt Human Love strike a richer chord by painting in a hue a shade lighter and adding detail to the demons in the dark.

While there's ultimately immense value to both approaches, and both depression and anguish contain their share of lonesomeness, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love sets itself apart from previous Deafheaven releases by connecting the listener to the kind of core-of-your-soul burn that can only come from the pain of failed connection with another human being. Some will tend to prefer one style to the other, and, as precedent usually dictates taste, it's unsurprising that there are those who aren't particularly enthusiastic about an album which places an even greater emphasis on the melodic. Sunbather was already a boundary-pusher in that regard, and the integration of even more melody and rock influence that strikes at the absolute core and core of rock music may not be welcomed by longtime fans.

Yet I have to wonder if that's part of the intended feeling. While Deafheaven obviously intended to subvert expectations by flipping their formula of "black metal plus" on its head with Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, perhaps that extra step of pushing you, the listener, out of your comfort zone completes the connection those meandering guitar solos and weeping piano tappings are looking for. As with any connection, it'll take both ends' effort and the willingness to take a chance to make it work.



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user ratings (533)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Looking at ordinary life through rose-tinted glasses....

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

SherlockChris9021 (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 
AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 16th 2018


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sunbather is better, etc.

Sabrutin
July 16th 2018


5572 Comments


Oh sweet time to copy-paste on page 1!

I was never super into this band because I always felt that their music was bloated, so this album is definitely welcomed by me with its more colourful identity. I'm loving the drumming and I find the guitars to be more expressive than ever like around 1:10 onwards into Honeycomb. At first I was very skeptical (because I do dig the past albums) but after giving this a fair chance I'm not surprised anymore that this is their highest rated album on RYM by an arguably significant margin (for the moment, of course)

Gyromania
July 16th 2018


25519 Comments


This review...

Gyromania
July 16th 2018


25519 Comments


Is so lame.

"Previous efforts embraced black metal bleakness while humanizing its inherent despair into the more realistic affliction of depression with moments of self-accepting melodic clarity"

Ugh

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2018


23904 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

The premise of the first paragraph is.... interesting

Lucid
July 16th 2018


9906 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

a 10 minute track is a moment in the sprawling saga of an album? hmm

don't buy the argument either. many of their tracks are complete in isolation

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 16th 2018


27541 Comments


I think his point was merely that their albums' wholes are greater than the sum of their parts. I didn't think it was poorly stated or anything, although I know nothing about this band.

I just stopped by to say I'm glad to see you back in the writing game, we missed you, mindpos, et. al. Review flowed beautifully to me and was concise without lacking detail :-)

Digging: mewithoutYou - (Untitled) E.P.

Gyromania
July 16th 2018


25519 Comments


It's a glaring run on. I know what he was trying to say, I just think he said it poorly. I also think the first para is pretentious. Of course it's worth discussing individual tracks. This isn't Music For 18 Musicians; Deafheaven's tracks stand fine on their own.

Gyromania
July 16th 2018


25519 Comments


It's meh, just doesn't sit well with me. Nbd

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 16th 2018


27541 Comments


maybe I'm just pretentious too then lol
anyway, I'm going to take these positive reviews as a sign that I should finally get into these guys

AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 16th 2018


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm a pretentious person. Ugh [2]



Also o/ Sowing. Nice to see ya, bud! Hope all's well!

Faraudo
July 16th 2018


2239 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm glad that plenty of others are loving this album like I have. Love it when reviews can explain perfectly the feeling that the album tries to convey without singling out particular songs.

Digging: Mac Miller - Swimming

StallionMang
July 16th 2018


8694 Comments


id argue that the sum of individual dh tracks r far better than the whole
i mean look no further than sunbather, the interludes r so bland n draggy that they suck the life out of the more substantial tracks. by the time vertigo comes on im pretty much ready to dip

plane
Emeritus
July 16th 2018


7181 Comments


Y'all being disingenuous on purpose or what? Really not too far out to suggest Deafheaven make longplayers and audiences would be better suited to consider the product as a whole versus chunks.

"Previous efforts embraced black metal bleakness[,] humanizing its inherent despair into the more realistic affliction of depression with moments of self-accepting melodic clarity"
^^ this reads fine and makes sense, comma for readability

Darius
July 16th 2018


17138 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

woah atomicwaste rev and appearance

Tyrael
July 16th 2018


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Sunbather is better, etc."



I mean, if Sunbather was only two songs it'd probably have a strong case for best album of the decade but alas.

StallionMang
July 16th 2018


8694 Comments


real big facts

AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 16th 2018


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Lewis, my dude! Suggestion appreciated and taken.

Lucid
July 16th 2018


9906 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Differs by album rather than being a general principle for the band. New Bermuda was a more bracketed effort than we're accustomed to (making individual track discussion quite necessary), this has an organic and full-picture flow.

brainmelter
July 16th 2018


5676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this was inevitable once they went full alt-rock.. a staffer 5 rev

review is good

Digging: Banana Head - Phones the Public



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