Album: New Bermuda
Artist: Deafheaven
Label: ANTI- Records
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Reviewer: Fawzi Abdel Al

Deafheaven are an American Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze band hailing from San Francisco. New Bermuda is their third studio album, which was released on the 2nd of October, 2015. What sets Deafheaven apart from other bands of similar genres, such as Lantlos, for example, is their ability to get the right balance between sheer brutality and peaceful ambience.

This album starts off with “Brought to the Water”, an amazing track in which the church bell-like intro is very reminiscent of that of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. This track perfectly gives a clear idea of what this album is going to sound like: short and groovy Death Metal riffs which smoothly transition into haunting and ambient Black Metal ones, which blend in well with alternative rock and shoegaze-inspired riffs. An interesting observation is that the outro of this track is the continuation of “Irresistible” from Deafheaven’s 2013 album release, Sunbather. This track is followed by “Luna”, my personal favorite from this album. I love how “Luna” is lyrically reminiscent of “Dream House” in Sunbather. The way Clarke screams the word “home” is filled with despair, but also with so much hope.

Next is “Baby Blue”, the most technical track on this album, or so I thought until I heard outro, when a heart-breaking riff barges in to prove you wrong. The emotionally-violent outro then settles down to become the overture of the following track, “Come Back”. At first glance, this song seems to be boringly ambient, but suddenly, a very heavy riff explodes into the scene. I feel that this track in particular is a big middle finger to all the Black Metal elitists who think that Deafheaven aren’t heavy enough to be a Black Metal band. This track’s sound ranges from soft to heavy and from calm to haunting, or all those together, which is an excellent demonstration of the band’s style. This album concludes with “Gifts for the Earth”, probably the lightest track on this album. This song consists of Post Punk-inspired riffs with Black Metal vocals on top. It’s the perfect track to conclude such an album with as it sums up all of the leftover emotions from all 4 songs above and combines them into a wonderful ending.

In conclusion, I believe Deafheaven managed to mix the best qualities of Roads to Judah (2011) and Sunbather (2013) into one album. To me, this is Deafheaven’s best work yet, from soft intros to hauntingly heavy riffs, to a groovy alternative rock sound, to short technical guitar solos, and to heart-breaking outros. Definitely a treat for the ears.


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