Deafheaven – New Bermuda (2015)

On a less rigorous, and slightly looser site, my thoughts on New Bermuda could be expressed as something along the lines of “whatever”. The music here has been performed before by a cavalcade of metal-themed indie acts, each more individual and revolutionary than the last, yet stunningly conformist for their efforts. Deafheaven enjoys rather more media attention at the moment, even sometimes drawing our attention for their little escapades, but they’re pretty much cut from the same fabric – a few hints of loud guitars and blast beats to liven up boring sugary pop stretched far beyond the limits of its songwriting.

The stylistic deception is pretty shallow, to be honest. I found it mildly amusing that the album began with a few minutes of more overtly black metal flavored material, which was then abruptly cast off in favor of the basic rock riffing and reverb textures that Deafheaven seem to so particularly enjoy. It returns every now in then in case you forget you’re supposed to be listening to the future of black metal, but I can confidently say New Bermuda relies more on the band’s rudimentary modality (major-minor ad infinitum) than their rudimentary dynamics to occasionally wake up a sleepy listener when the soothing, inoffensive guitar strumming has lulled them into a dreamless slumber. The drumming in these sections gradually devolves into basic modern rock downbeats and timekeeping, as if to represent your transition towards a drowsy (indie) state of mind. That probably wasn’t the intent, but the idea that it could’ve been is dangerously tempting.

Now, I’m not the kind of person who tries to fall asleep to music, but were I to treat this as a collection of lullabies, it would still be fairly underwhelming. That it has loud sections at all is counterproductive for insomniacs, but even those are rather predictable in how they play out. The straight ahead black metal sections consistently move sluggishly under the blastbeats, with a vocalist who has learned but one type of shriek and a few basic vocal rhythms. Given how Deafheaven is marketed, that these sections sound like an afterthought is problematic. Maybe the album would be better if it was divested of the clearly unwanted black metal, but then you’d be left with just another unwashed (but charmingly patchouli and spice scented) post-rock/emo/indie-pop album essentially indistinguishable from all the others and guaranteed to gather dust after something newer and more exciting comes out.

I slept well last night. What about you?

Tags: , , , , ,

6 thoughts on “Deafheaven – New Bermuda (2015)”

  1. Daniel Maarat says:

    Why is there a man with shaving cream corpse paint crying like a bitch on the cover?

    1. OliveFox says:

      I think he just got bukkakied by a gaggle of hipsters.

    2. Anthony says:

      It’s clearly Ben Affleck’s sad Batman as painted on asphalt with jism by someone with a development disorder.

    3. LostInTheANUS says:

      It’s “deep”

  2. Anthony says:

    Finally got around to hearing more of this turd. You didn’t mention the terrible fucking attempts at thrash breaks or breakdowns or whatever the fuck those parts are supposed to be! This band is fucking garbage.

    1. LostInTheANUS says:

      They’re breakdowns which sounds like they’re ripped straight out of some high school metalcore band. Looks like they want to extend their audience to skinny suburban kids who wear Tapout shirts.

Comments are closed.

Classic reviews: