140 / 150 Gram Vinyl Record
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• 140 / 150 Gram Vinyl Record
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"Taking their sound into a much darker (and riffier) realm comes as a bit of a surprise, but the band pulls it off with such excellence and grace that the shift isn't even jarring." — Absolute Punk, October 2015
The third full-length album from the California black metal quintet and their first on the Anti- label. George Clarke (vocals), Kerry McCoy (guitar), Dan Tracy (drums), Stephen Lee Clark (bass), and Shiv Mehra (guitar) recorded New Bermuda live to tape at 25th Street Recording in Oakland, CA and Atomic Garden Recording in East Palo Alto, CA in April 2015. It was produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Jack Shirley who has worked with the band on their previous releases.
San Francisco's Deafheaven found massive critical success when their 2013 album Sunbather was an unexpected crossover hit, earning the band a 92/100 Metacritic score and ending the year as the best reviewed album of 2013. No one could have anticipated a band that drew from equal parts Weakling and My Bloody Valentine ascending to such heights, and that incomprehensibility added to the band's singularity and allure. Two years later, founding members George Clarke and Kerry McCoy began working on their Anti- debut, New Bermuda, with a new perspective. Says Clarke: "Sunbather yearned for something better. New Bermuda focuses on the idea of false promise, achieving something and wondering if it's what you really wanted in the first place." McCoy shares that sentiment: "Sunbather sounds like people who have nothing but are satisfied with life. There's an uplifting quality to it. But New Bermuda is a very tense record."
McCoy cites death metal demigods Dissection and Morbid Angel, the blackened death pioneers Behemoth, and Cliff Burton-era Metallica as influences on the new album. As New Bermuda progresses, Deafheaven travels further outside of their comfort zone, feasting on other niches of underground metal and offsetting the blunt force of their feral rage with more complex and nuanced beauty. A sophisticated and subdued pop element kicks off "Baby Blue", before the band abruptly shifts into an amalgam of NWOBHM's anthemic urgency and thrash metal's racing chugs. There's a brief comedown where the band veers into the musique concrete soundscapes and hushed melodrama of early Godspeed You! Black Emperor before "Come Back" resumes the band's merciless assault of stampeding drums and vitriolic guitar harmonies, only to shift mid-song into the somber territories of 4AD's early catalog. Which is not to say that Deafheaven have softened their approach; New Bermuda offers the most punishing music of the band's career in the wake of their greatest success.
Clarke says that he came up with the idea of New Bermuda to describe a new destination in life, a nebulous point of arrival, and an unknown future where things get swallowed up and dragged into darkness. The album artwork for New Bermuda is an oil painting, dense in brush strokes of darker tones and deep blues, by Allison Schulnik. The layout was designed by art director Nick Steinhardt.
|1. Brought To The Water|
|3. Baby Blue|
|4. Come Back|
|5. Gifts For The Earth|