Deafheaven "2010 demo"Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 @ 6:24am » permalink
Deafheaven recently sent me an email that basically said, "New experimental band out of San Francisco, CA.", and included a link to their Bandcamp page. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but within a minute I had been thoroughly blown away and had already purchased their debut four-song demo. I can't remember the last time that happened, but they're just that good. I wouldn't refer to them as an "experimental band", though. I'd call 'em a black metal band. Perhaps that cheapens what they're doing a bit, since it's not just stripped down, raw, "kvlt" black metal or whatever, but… hey, it is black metal. Blasting percussion; high-quality tremolo picking riffs; distant, sneering vocals… it's all here. And that's all great, but it is the little boundary-pushing bits and pieces that they offer that really pushes things over the edge – from the beautiful acoustic passages to the epic, surging melodies, and even some "post-rock" textures, too.
Now, I hate, hate, hate the term "post-rock", and I generally hate the fact that so many bands have been taking those influences and integrating them into more aggressive musical styles in recent years. But, every once in awhile a band flirts with characteristics that have that "post-rock" sort of quality in a really tasteful manner that makes sense and fits, and that's definitely the case here. There are no obnoxiously shimmery effects, they don't do the completely overdone loud/quiet/loud/quiet crap, etc. But there's something to the melodic resonance/sustain of some of the tremolo picking here that's coming from that sort of angle. And there are other outside influences creeping in as well. For example, one or two slower, sludgier passages where you really get a feel for some of the texture of the distortion; and even sparse moments where the riffs kind of seem like they'd be well-suited for a really good, powerful emo band (I know that sounds crazy, but I swear they're there, and I swear it's not a bad thing).
I'm probably scaring people away with some of these claims, but please don't let that happen. Amidst all of this, they really retain a sense of aggressive feeling. It is black metal, when all is said and done. And it's fucking awesome.
You can name your price for the entire demo at Bandcamp, so… be sure to help 'em out if you like what you hear. Just 'cause you can get it for a dime doesn't mean you shouldn't offer up a couple bucks, you know?