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Deafheaven "2010 demo"

Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 @ 6:24am » permalink

Deafheaven - 2010 demoDeafheaven 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.

Deafheaven "Libertine Dissolves"

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?


@ Bandcamp


  1. Carlos says:

    AWESOME!!!I'm digging this a lot. I know I often say this but I hope they will release something in tangible form.

    Btw new Drudkh album is coming at the end of the month.

  2. tre says:

    Post black metal? Is that a genre yet?

  3. tre says:

    Shit, I like this…

  4. tom says:

    i like when black metal actually has significant tempo changes and you can hear what the guitars are playing. pretty emotional too. this band is rad!

  5. Jack says:

    Hmm, the album art is deceiving.

  6. The vocals really turn me off, but, wow, does that drummer have crazy energy and momentum. Not bad.

  7. Marcus Garvey says:

    I bought this demo for 3 bucks on the bandcamp, because quality should be supported. This is quality.

  8. charles says:

    very fucking stoked on these guys.
    i am aware of them from them signing to Deathwish Records.
    this EP is stellar and i can't wait for more.

    i just bought their cassette tape and should be receiving it soon.

    they are going on tour which i will be pissing myself up front !

  9. Reginald says:

    Not trying to revive old debates, but "Blasting percussion; high-quality tremolo picking riffs; distant, sneering vocals…" does not Black Metal make.
    At best, call this Blackened 1st-Wave Emocore. Or Burzum covering U2. "Daedalus" sounds like a really hard The Killers.

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