Review Summary: Decade of dreamflow.“Earlier this year we intended on celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Deafheaven demo released through Bandcamp on June 1, 2010 with a tour of North America. ... Unfortunately, we couldn’t fulfill that tour because of fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. To rebound from the financial and morale hit, we put together an album of the set we intended to perform.”
-George Clarke on the album
It was a kind and very welcomed surprise when the band first hinted they were about to hit the studio. And due to the global events along with the cancelled tour, it was more or less expectable they shall release a "live" album this year. I used the quotation marks on the live
word for a good reason, because 10 Years Gone
is a bit different or more than an average live album - I mean, for a celebration release like this, doing some studio work was quite necessary (just throwing songs together for a compilation must be avoided). And for them, going for this kind of "live session recording" was a rather succesful approach.
“...we were able to give songs like Daedalus, the first we wrote, and other favorites like Vertigo and Kettle new power after so many years of playing them.”
I couldn't agree more with George. For sure, it must have been an interesting job to bring their earlier works into the studio again, but on the listener's side it was even more exciting, I daresay. This "new power" was indeed impactful on many songs, perhaps most impactful on "Glint"
from Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, and the legendary Sunbather songs. Like in the case of "Glint"
, (which I previously thought as one of their least memorable songs) this "live session treatment" did wonders: the result feels so much more alive, immersive, uplifting and wondrous. Not to mention, hearing songs like "Dream House"
through a much cleaner production is a cathartic experience, the least.
The studio work is pure excellence - everything is where it should be, nice and clean. It was interesting to notice, especially at the Sunbather songs, the more audible and present bass melodies which may present a whole new depth of certain songs. Also, the drumsound nerds should be pleased with Daniel Tracy's tight drumming and the much more "sharp" drum sound. There is one thing I could not understand though: where did the piano sections go? Personally I greatly missed them, because they often meant an extra "emotional boost" for some songs, so perhaps others may notice the lack of them as well.
10 Years Gone
brought arguably the best Deafheaven songs together, and small differences aside, each one of them feels somewhat newer and bears a new "trait" thanks to the live session along with studiowork.