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Deafheaven - Roads To Judah CD (album) cover

ROADS TO JUDAH

Deafheaven

Experimental/Post Metal


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5 stars I don't often write reviews here, but felt compelled in this case. This is a truly exceptional album. Other "atmospheric black metal" acts have garnered a lot of support here (e.g., Altar of Plagues), and while I like those bands, this takes the genre to a completely different level. Things are happening at breakneck pace here, for much of the record, but in layers -- there's a complexity here, of the sort that invites metaphors such as "this is like a tape of a melodic black metal band weaving a rich tapestry of sound, but played on fastforward." Brutal, intricate, yet emotionally compelling.

This is what progressive music should be. 5/5

Report this review (#517806)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Ultra-abrasive vocals are rarely for me, as they often do not sound genuine; even if they did, they are capable of conveying only one wrathful emotion. What's here is not one of those exceptions. The guitars are the best element of this relatively brief album, offering some measure of variety. However, my biggest criticism is the application of the snare drum. That may sound nitpicky, but that snare could drive someone insane.

"Violet" Soft textures invite guitars that possess a beautifully grainy texture. The eventual rapid drumming sounds somehow thin, while the throaty growls scream in noisy background. It's almost like listening to two tracks simultaneously. As strange as it may be to say, the piece goes from stellar post metal to what sounds like a parody of its own genre.

"Language Games" That drumming just does not sound right with what else is going on- it's just incessant pounding and tapping- a static, thin rumble throughout much of the track. The second half of the piece is one of the highlights- stunning guitars, a steadfast bass and a steady drizzle of percussion, culminating in a satisfying wash of aggression.

"Unrequited" Like a dancing psychopath minutes before detonating a cache of explosives, this piece goes from mild to volatile rather unexpectedly. That rapid snare drum just seems off to me, which must be done intentionally, since the drummer is clearly quite skilled, as his rhythmic variations come across clearly in this much more dynamic song.

"Tunnel of Trees" Initially, this is like an arena rock song on steroids. Soon it becomes just like everything else this album has stood for- tedious hostility and a flood of guitars, all punctuated by that hasty, off snare that sounds like someone is hammering a nail into piece of wood. I kept wanting to turn around and tell one of the kids to knock it off.

Report this review (#990758)
Posted Tuesday, July 2, 2013 | Review Permalink

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