Review Summary: Hi. You may remember me from such things as 2013's Sunbather or 2015's New Bermuda.
Deafheaven. You know them. You probably know them best for their 2013 break-through Sunbather. You probably consider it a pretty important album for the band and for the decade. It’s when post-rock got a kick of revival through ever so slight influences of heavier areas of music, particularly black metal. It’s also the sort of band Black Metal avid’s roll their eyes at the mention of. I honestly fit that category. For many, the release was a gateway - to what, I don’t know. Certainly not Black Metal though because if it was, you’d be listening to Teethed Glory & Injury by Altar of Plagues who actually took Black Metal and threw a shooting star of a record that actually took the eclectic genre above and beyond. Deafheaven though, I’m sure many want to believe they’re really doing a lot.
Well, they were…
Predictions about being a one trick pony really haven’t gone away, and they certainly don’t attempt to prove it wrong. Deafheaven certainly quickly realised they couldn’t do Black Metal with the seriously lacklustre and just uneventful New Bermuda. But Ordinary Corrupt Human Love" Now it’s just post-rock, which to be fair is their strength. But of course, they have to try prove they can do more than long post-rock passages and backwards reverb guitar interludes literally no different than those on Sunbather. So what’s the experiment this time" Piano…the wonder of the 88 keys! God Damn Piano Rock!
Take Night People with guest Chelsea Wolfe, the most washed out bland experiment that sounds like an unusable movie credits soundtrack. The opener You Without End uses piano to thought provoke with a radio-broadcast spoken word passage with high-school grade level poetry along with some very unfortunate clean sung vocals.
The record sounds its best when its familiar territory, and from what I gather, that’s enough for the fans. More post-rock goodness, that’ll do. But something has to be said about the way some of these professional reviewers can 5 something like Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. I’m sure this is what it was like when Be Here Now was given glowing reviews. A real head scratcher. This is Deafheaven at their safest, and by no means is this record adding anything new to their sound or artistic progression unless you really think a piano and clean-sung vocals are worth glowing praise. Yes, I am writing this review in reaction to the current existing reviews for this release.
It has to be said that this record is only half listened to and praised because of its similarity to Sunbather’s material and existence. There is legitmately no reason to listen to Ordinary Corrupt Human Love other than to deep-dive further into Deafheaven. This is not a second gateway record, this isn’t even remotely a consistent record. This is Deafheaven holding close to their trophy, and all the power to them. I suppose we just won’t be seeing or hearing much of them in the next decade unless they are able to brave the uncharted territory they once did when Kerry McCoy and George Clark wrote and blueprinted Sunbather amidst financial difficulty and looming rent debt - because truth be told, Deafheaven can be great. But to dish out fan service only 5 years after your breakout release…the fuse is very short.
Best Tracks: Honeycomb and Glint