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DEAFHEAVEN

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Deafheaven biography
Formed in the city of San Francisco, California, in 2010, DEAFHEAVEN is an American post black metal band. As with other bands in such style, DEAFHEAVEN's music can be described as Sigur Rós meets Burzum or early Pink Floyd meets Emperor, mixing blast beats, screaming vocals and aggressive riffing with moody guitar melodies, creating ambient soundscapes that manage to be, at the same time, harsh, but sweet and atmospheric music.

Recommended for fans of ALCEST, FEN and AGGALOCH.

Bio written by CCVP

Deafheaven official website

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Buy DEAFHEAVEN Music


SunbatherSunbather
Deathwish Inc 2013
Audio CD$4.98
$5.00 (used)
Roads to JudahRoads to Judah
Deathwish Inc 2011
Audio CD$5.69
$8.38 (used)
DemoDemo
Single
Sargent House 2013
Vinyl$15.49
SplitSplit
Flenser 2012
Vinyl$13.47
$18.95 (used)
Roads to JudahRoads to Judah
Import
Japanese Indies 2011
Audio CD$27.04
$35.78 (used)
"Split" EP (Punkrock/Cody + Mimesis of Purpose)
The Flenser
Vinyl$29.99
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More places to buy DEAFHEAVEN music online Buy DEAFHEAVEN & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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DEAFHEAVEN shows & tickets


  • Deafheaven + Earth + Marriages at El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles on 25 Apr 2014
  • Deafheaven at Beep Studios, Singapore on 3 May 2014
  • Deafheaven at Alt+, Fahrenheit88, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur on 6 May 2014
  • Deafheaven + A.L.I.C.E + AVHATH at TBA, Jakarta on 8 May 2014
  • Deafheaven at ???? Yugongyishan, Beijing on 9 May 2014
  • Split Works Presents: Deafheaven China Tour (Beijing) on 9 May 2014
  • Split Works Presents: Deafheaven China Tour (Shanghai) on 11 May 2014
  • Deafheaven + COHOL + Isolate at Earthdom, ??? on 13 May 2014
  • Deafheaven + Heaven in Her Arms + Palm at Conpass, Osaka on 14 May 2014
  • Deafheaven + Heaven in Her Arms at CLUB UPSET, Nagoya on 15 May 2014
  • Deafheaven + Heaven in Her Arms + STORM OF VOID at shibuya eggman, shibuya, tokyo on 16 May 2014
  • Sasquatch! Music Festival 2014 on 23 May 2014
  • Wooozy Offline #2 Presents: Bok Bok (Shanghai) on 24 May 2014
  • Deafheaven at Gagarin 205, Athens on 28 May 2014
  • Primavera Sound Barcelona 2014 on 28 May 2014
  • Fortarock 2014 on 31 May 2014
  • Deafheaven at Jubez, Karlsruhe on 1 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven at Circolo Magnolia, Segrate (MI) on 2 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven @ Radar Festival 2014 - Preview Night on 3 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Tomydeepestego + Dreariness at Traffic, Roma on 4 Jun 2014
  • The Governors Ball Music Festival on 6 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck and Reference at The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA on 8 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck & Reference at The Barbary on 9 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck & Reference at Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington DC on 10 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck and Reference at Canal Club, Richmond on 11 Jun 2014
  • Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 2014 on 12 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck and Reference at Churchill's Pub, Miami on 15 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck and Reference at BackBooth, Orlando on 16 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck and Reference at Crowbar, Ybor City on 17 Jun 2014
  • Deafheaven + Pallbearer + Wreck and Reference at One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans on 18 Jun 2014

DEAFHEAVEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DEAFHEAVEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 8 ratings
Roads to Judah
2011
3.61 | 26 ratings
Sunbather
2013

DEAFHEAVEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
DW Live Series 08: Live at The Blacktop
2011

DEAFHEAVEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DEAFHEAVEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEAFHEAVEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Demo
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Libertine Dissolves
2011

DEAFHEAVEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sunbather by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 26 ratings

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Sunbather
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Polymorphia

5 stars Calling Sunbather "uplifting" or "hopeful" is a mistake. Themes such as poverty, lust, existential crises, broken homes, insecurity are everpresent throughout the album. Certainly, it offers small shreds of hope, moreso than most Black Metal bands outside the Liturgy fanclub, but the main focus in its method of expression is how it brutally tears down that hope, and, in this sense, it is a more painful, hard-hitting, and heart-breaking experience than most black or post metal bands can claim to have created.

The guitars at the beginning of opener "Dream House" are red hot and the riffs expressionately bittersweet. The drums are colossal but progress with incredibly brevity. The song fades into a clean guitar interlude with chords that make use of open strings to create moments of heart-wrenching dissonance. The band then returns, this time with a kind of crushing intensity playing those gorgeous chords with emotive screams and a soaring delay drenched riff. Singer George Clarke screams of the dream house he will never have and mockingly recites drunk texts he sent to a woman he was once obsessed with.

"I'm dying." - "Is it blissful?" "It's like a dream." - "I want to dream."

Dream House gives way to the post-rock-ish interlude "Irresistable," which in turn, leads into the 10-minute title track. "Sunbather" is about Clarke's lusting and obsession with a woman he saw sunbathing while driving through a wealthy neighborhood? the solace she gave him and the despair of having to live without ever seeing her again. The next interlude, "Please Remember," features Neige from Alcest reciting a passage from the Milan Kundera novel "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." "That passage is really important to me," Clark claims. "It just screams insecurity, which I have huge faults with."

The tone gets darker with the final three tracks. "Vertigo" is true to its name channeling the shoegaziest of shoegaze in a swirling mass of alienation and depression. The interlude "Windows" which is perhaps the darkest moment on the album features a recording of a fire and brimstone sermon and another of a live drug deal by guitarist Kerry McCoy. "Thematically, it's supposed to be about this guy talking about the evils of hell intermixed with one's own personal hell and the actual realities like addiction and self-worth, not the fire and brimstone," explains Clark. "[McCoy] didn't have a lot of money, and he was kind of desperate; he's showcasing the true horrors that are here on earth?one's own personal demons." The album ends with the haunting Pecan Tree, where Clark tackles the issue of his inability to love that he believes he inherited from his absent father.

Sunbather does not attempt to be uplifting. Instead, the album intends to have a full range of emotions, not excluding hope, but not totally indicative either. Is it metal? Is it innovative? Those questions aren't really important in the overall scope of the album. It certainly is a very good album. The music is expertly composed and the lyrics are phenomenal. But more than that, this album is something that few black metal albums are: human. It is perhaps one of the most moving albums of the year and one of the most beautiful emotional expressions that I have ever had the privelige to experience, Alcest notwithstanding.

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 Sunbather by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 26 ratings

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Sunbather
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Sunbather' - Deafheaven (6/10)

I remember Hunter-Hunt Hendrix (of Liturgy infamy) once defending the new wave of 'uplifting' black metal as being in keeping with black metal's doctrine of controversy and rebellion. Indeed, the pejoratively-titled scene of 'hipster black metal' has polarized audiences; some embrace the softer approach as a relatively fresh innovation, and others have lavished the 'hipster' bands with the greatest execration and disdain since Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. Love or hate them, bands like Liturgy and San Francisco's Deafheaven are causing a stir, and it's always interesting to see people taking such equally vehement stances for and against a band. While I've always been skeptical that a style so historically rooted in darkness could (or should) be translated into feelings of hope and optimism as Deafheaven strive for on Sunbather, I've kept myself open to the possibility. Unfortunately, while Deafheaven's shoegaze-laden approach to black metal clearly intends to revive and invent the genre, I find it difficult to be particularly moved one way or the other by the most polarizing metal record of 2013. Sunbather is not an excellent album, nor is it the horrendous abomination genre-purists claim it to be. Rather, its predictable dynamics and washy atmosphere leave it somewhere in the neighborhood of 'moderately enjoyable'. In short, Deafheaven's second album is an only slightly above-average take on blackgaze that doesn't warrant the extreme opinions from either side.

In addition to the counter-intuitive emotional spin Deafheaven have placed on black metal in Sunbather, the album's cheerfully minimalistic cover makes it fairly obvious that they mean to rebel against the traditional order. Conceptualized as a reflection of the colours seen on the insides of one's eyelids when basking in the sun, it's an apt reflection of Deafheaven's emotional appeal. Operating in terms of melancholy and hopeful optimism, Sunbather gives an impression closer to that of a post-rock record than any metal I've heard this year. The guitars are laden in reverb and distortion, but the songwriting never betrays a sense of malice or anger. Conventionally beautiful harmonies are used in abundance here; particularly on some of the clean sections offered, Deafheaven will overdub guitars to create a dense, yet accessible wall of sound. Although it often feels like Deafheaven choose the most obvious sequence of notes to resolve their motifs, the compositions demonstrate a talent with knowing when to change up the pace. "The Pecan Tree" really excels with its dynamic, switching between soft and heavy sections, each contributing towards a powerful emotional payoff.

Although Sunbather feels rooted in a fairly narrow emotional context of longing and melancholy throughout, Deafheaven have a firm grasp of songwriting dynamic. In spite of that, Sunbather feels constructed out of a mere handful of tricks and ideas, to the point where the formula begins to feel predictable long before the album is over. Deafheaven are remarkably consistent throughout the album, but the everpresent euphony filtered over blastbeats and vocal shrieks feels too narrow a range to stay engaging through the album's hour length. Especially considering the roots of the genre the band is apparently trying to reinvent, Sunbather offers a nicely blended production, with textural detail aplenty to keep the atmosphere afloat. While the instrumentation is dynamic and powerful (with special merits going to Daniel Tracy for an excellent drum performance!) the vocals are painfully underwhelming. George Clarke's harsh screams are high pitched and raspy (in keeping with frostbitten traditions) but they're undermixed, lack resonance and fail to add a relevant emotional dimension to the music. Screams in 'blackgaze' music can be used plenty effectively, but Deafheaven's failure to properly integrate the vocals into their atmosphere is a sullen reminder that the effort to reinvent black metal as an 'uplifting' sound feels ultimately contrived and needlessly contrarian.

Most of all, Sunbather is a case where the hype (both good and bad) has left me disappointed. There are moments here where I come close to feeling the awe and admiration others have clearly felt, but the feelings are fleeting at best. I'm pleased that a fairly young band like Deafheaven is getting such an enthusiastic reception, but I'm simply not feeling it at much. Its uplifting, graceful beauty comes at the cost of emotional tension or challenge. The blackgaze style has potential aplenty for an emotionally evocative experience- Alcest's excellent Écailles de Lune and Lantlos' .neon come first to mind- but in the case of Sunbather, I wish I could be feeling more from it.

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 Sunbather by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 26 ratings

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Sunbather
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

2 stars Potato - Potato

The last review I did, I inadvertently flew halfway across the globe from the thousand lakes of Finland to the land of milk and honey. Well that's me in a nutshell... Even when I plan something ahead - like this little review stint of mine - going from country to country, I still manage to surprise myself and do something uncalled for and silly...

Oh well all the more reason to get excited, because whereas a great portion of proggers out there bow their heads in eternal gratitude to the ever succulent and vivacious whims of the English isles, there are still some of us who believe that their bastard child way out in the west has produced some remarkable albums through the years.....and while this certainly isn't one of them, it is still what I choose to write about just to keep things nicely out of check and confusing. Just the way I like it.

I've seen a disturbing tendency on other reviewing websites of late - in particularly on Rate Your Music, where young peeps herald current albums as sonic originators, milestones of certain genres - and all of a suddenly this pseudo musical "knowledge" becomes fact. It irritates the hell out of me.

Deafheaven's Sunbather is a perfect case to illustrate this. Many people seem to hear this as an altogether fresh and progressive branching of the ever winding metal tree, and while the band must be said to have their fingers on the pulse of today's current fluctuations and musical gang-banging, the people claiming Deafheaven as unique maestros of progressive post metal shoegaze are still missing the obvious: This album is a major rip-off of the Alcest sound. It's so obvious that it literally screams at you! There's a pun intended there - especially seeing as this album basically draws on the ethereal panoramic post rock of Neige and fellow compatriots, and then leaves out any of the gentle singing.

Boiled down, Sunbather sounds like a heavier take on Écailles de Lune much credited to the cement mixing double pedal drumming and the ear shattering screamo vocals. You get the same huge wall of sound from the guitars - sounding like oceanic tidal waves feeding off one another in beautifully wavering patterns - the same nonchalant ways about the production side of things pulling the album neatly close to the current fad of Black Metal, and last but not least: the attempt at mixing all of these facets together in order to make something airy, heavy, dreamy and soaring. They do succeed on more than one occasion, but for my tastes there's a lack of subtlety. A non-existent vacuum of flow that eludes these guys from start to finish. Something that Alcest does so incredibly well.

These guys may sport chops the size of anabolic sheep farmers, but then again I've always preferred mind over matter - sauce over gravy - brain over brawl. The drums are a perfect example of this. Sounding like an amphetamine fuelled spastic, this guy seeks to highlight every note and shading to his surroundings, that every important peak seems to end up over-thought and hurried - like Mike Portnoy playing the drums during an uncomfortable pat down at the airport...

If you however are searching high and low for something comparable to the aforementioned French dreamer and furthermore feel indifferent about plagiarism, then you'll probably love this thing like sliced bread. To me personally, this is like hearing The Watch after a good Genesis sit down - or munching on an unpeeled potato after a big plate of pommes frites.

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 Roads to Judah by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.08 | 8 ratings

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Roads to Judah
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 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.

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 Sunbather by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 26 ratings

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Sunbather
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post and Math Rock Team

5 stars Deafheaven's Sunbather is a sophomore album that I wasn't really expecting much from. Sure the cover excited me and the descriptions of the upcoming tracks from The Needle Drop kind of perked my interest, but the band's debut album really left me cold, I thought it was just generic black metal with very little experimentation and elaborateness.

This album, on the other hand, is a definite improvement and I'm glad I tried it out.

Although it's basis is in black metal as was its predecessor, Sunbather draws influence from several different music scenes including shoegaze, post-rock, post-metal and even some subtler influences from alternative metal. These new injections from outside the band's previous realm are a welcome sound indeed, especially the post-rock leaning moments.

On this album Deafheaven has the crescendos and sound bites of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the vocals of Agalloch and the shoegaze-laden metal of Alcest, and the final product is a beautiful record, one of the best of the year, no doubt.

If the cover indicates anything, it's that this music is different. Different in a very good way. Different in ways progheads, metalheads and genuine musicheads can really enjoy.

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 Roads to Judah by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.08 | 8 ratings

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Roads to Judah
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by InfinityParadox

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

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 Libertine Dissolves by DEAFHEAVEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Libertine Dissolves
Deafheaven Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars 'Libertine Dissolves' - Deafheaven (6/10)

Deafheaven is a post-black metal band that is fairly recent on the wider scene, releasing this- their first official release- and a full-length debut just earlier this year. 'Libertine Dissolves' introduces Deafheaven as a band that should not meet unwelcome ears among fans of such other post-black metal acts as Fen, Agalloch, Wolves In The Throne Room, and a score of other bands that fuse the harshness of black metal with lighter atmosphere and even beauty in the more conventional sense. This two song EP shows Deafheaven delivering on both the abrasive, and lighter atmospheric fronts, and doing each quite well. Although the debut 'Roads To Judas' is a much more fulfilling experience, this short release is a fairly strong sampler for anyone looking to check out the band.

The music on 'Libertine Dissolves' begins as you may expect something in the black metal style to erupt; complete with black metal rasps, fast-picked guitar riffs and a grand sense of melancholy. This is woven in quite well with the lighter moments, which are fairly predictable by post-rock standards, but very pleasant to the ear. Deafheaven's greatest strength -as far as 'Libertine Dissolves' goes- is their innate ability to fuse the heavy and lighter moments together into cohesive compositions, which is sadly something that many bands who attempt it seem to overlook. The second track 'Daedalus' gets even better than the title track, with a nearly danceable rhythm and sense of optimism that screams shoegaze, or even post-punk to me. Powerful stuff.

While much black metal does tend to suffer (or benefit, depending on who you ask) from low fidelity production, Deafheaven's music hit me with a very gritty feel that took a second listen through to warm up on me. While it works very well with the more melodic moments of the music, the heavy sections here came through as more of an abrasive rumble than I may have cared for, but it is something that can be overlooked after the first listen.

Deafheaven is another band I can be excited about, and while 'Libertine Dissolves' is fairly rough around its corners, this and the debut have set a very steady foundation for the band to do great things with their music in the future.

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Thanks to CCVP for the artist addition.

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