Deafheaven – 10 Years Gone: Album Review

Deafheaven release 10 Years Gone; a live album in lieu of not being able to tour for their ten year anniversary. It’s rather special.

Released: 4th December 2020

Label: Sargent House

Format: CD / LP / Digital

Deafheaven are a band that have long been at odds regarding whether to give you a cuddle or punch you in the mouth. If Deftones are the kings of the loud/quiet aesthetic, then these guys undoubtedly take the beauty/brutality throne.

10 Years Gone is being released as a kind of apology for the band not being able to do a ten year anniversary tour due to you know what. This is what the set list for said tour was due to look like, meaning this essentially acts as a kind of greatest hits.

For the uninitiated their sound hops mercilessly between elements of black metal, post-rock, alt-rock and shoegaze, amongst others. Merciless being the key word here. At times they sound more like Smashing Pumpkins than Smashing Pumpkins, at others they channel the relentless fury of the likes of Bathory. What they always do though is surprise you, through a sound that weaves in, out and beyond many worlds.

Picture: Bobby Cochran

Oftentimes these genre bender types of bands can fall foul of having too much going on, but in my opinion Deafheaven absolutely own this and have as good as cemented themselves as their own sub-genre. Sub-genre of which genre, is up for debate, but over the course of their four superb studio albums, they have done what they do extremely well. And 10 Years Gone plots the course of their career tremendously.

The album opens with From The Kettle Onto The Coil. A fan favourite released as a single between the Sunbather and New Bermuda albums. A stunningly relentless attack on the senses that offers a brief and beautiful hiatus at the halfway point. Then after indulging in the visceral Daedalus – the first song Clarke and McCoy ever wrote together – I have to double and triple check that this is indeed a live album. It is. Now I have not had the pleasure of seeing Deafheaven live before, but if this is what lies in wait then I will be skipping my masked face merrily to the front of the queue. To my untrained ears this sounds utterly faultless.

I could go through the track list and tell you just how good each song is, but it wouldn’t make for great reading. It would basically descend into an exercise in flicking through a thesaurus to find unused superlatives. By the time the stupefying ( closing track Dream House had come to an end, I was left a little exhausted. Even though I was familiar with all the songs on the album, it felt so new and fresh to me in a way the ‘best ofs’ rarely come close to achieving

It is tricky though to recommend Deafheaven to everyone. The foundations of their sound are steeped in elements of black metal, which can be quite off-putting to the fainthearted. What I would say to those unfamiliar with the genre is, give it a shot. This could be the bridge you need to open up a whole new world.

Listen to Glint from 10 Years Gone from Deafheaven.

Deafheaven: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

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