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Deafheaven: Sunbather

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Deafheaven: Sunbather

Old 06-30-13, 09:25 AM
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Deafheaven: Sunbather

Shoegaze black metal, it's been around before, but I think this is the definitive album. Wolves in the Throne Room is darker, Liturgy is more experimental. In contrast, Deafheaven is melodic, structured and euphoric. Long songs, beautiful interludes, it is almost poppy. This is the narrow edge of the wedge to get people who have never listened to extreme metal to listen to it.
Old 07-01-13, 02:44 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Never been a huge black metal fan, although I can handle it in small doses (Alcest, Lantlos and others of that ilk) but I definitely enjoyed this album. The metalheads are up in arms because "it isn't metal" and they kind of have a point, but the distinction is silly to me. Besides, what else are you going to call it? I enjoyed it to a point (probably 3.5 stars from me) but I don't see myself coming back to it time and again. With all the glowing press it's getting, and the relative inaccessibility of the musical style, I can definitely see it being a gateway album.

I'm a little disappointed that I left the SXSW show they played two years ago before their set, just to say I'd seen them, but I needed the ride home.
Old 07-01-13, 03:44 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

I would buy this if it were instrumental. I guess I don't "get" them, because the vocals ruin it for me.
Old 07-01-13, 04:01 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

I used to call myself a metal fan, until shit like this became the norm. Now I call myself a classic rock fan. I'd be embarrassed if people thought I actually listened to garbage like that.
Old 07-01-13, 04:21 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I used to call myself a metal fan, until shit like this became the norm. Now I call myself a classic rock fan. I'd be embarrassed if people thought I actually listened to garbage like that.
Hey, thanks for the obnoxious, insulting threadcrap.
Old 07-01-13, 04:39 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
Never been a huge black metal fan, although I can handle it in small doses (Alcest, Lantlos and others of that ilk) but I definitely enjoyed this album. The metalheads are up in arms because "it isn't metal" and they kind of have a point, but the distinction is silly to me. Besides, what else are you going to call it? I enjoyed it to a point (probably 3.5 stars from me) but I don't see myself coming back to it time and again. With all the glowing press it's getting, and the relative inaccessibility of the musical style, I can definitely see it being a gateway album.

I'm a little disappointed that I left the SXSW show they played two years ago before their set, just to say I'd seen them, but I needed the ride home.
I definitely see it as a midpoint between something like Curve and perhaps Emperor. Again, far from a new idea, after all Burzum was already hinting at this twenty years ago. It's probably helpful to not think of this as metal, after all there no way in hell most traditional metal fans are going to like this album. IMO, it's much more targeted at people who have old Spacemen 3 LPs in their collection, enjoy Arcade Fire, ride fixed gear bikes and drink craft beer. There's something unique about this particular strain of music where truly repugnant NSBM bands can coexist with environmentalist Pacific Northwest hipsters like Wolves in the Throne Room. Is it all metal? Who knows, who cares.
Old 07-01-13, 04:55 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

I don't really care what genre it is, if it's good, it's good. I just don't understand why it needs vocals. They don't really add anything to this type of music IMO.

I think of bands like Periphery. What are they djent or something like that? Doesn't matter. Anyway, they must have felt obligated to have a front man on stage because they had these weak screamo-type vocals all over their debut, and people kept asking them for an instrumental version of the album, which they obliged.

I think there's a stigma about a band being purely instrumental, like people won't want to see you live if there's no "frontperson". This band seems like a perfect candidate to lose the vocals.
Old 07-01-13, 05:32 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
I definitely see it as a midpoint between something like Curve and perhaps Emperor. Again, far from a new idea, after all Burzum was already hinting at this twenty years ago. It's probably helpful to not think of this as metal, after all there no way in hell most traditional metal fans are going to like this album. IMO, it's much more targeted at people who have old Spacemen 3 LPs in their collection, enjoy Arcade Fire, ride fixed gear bikes and drink craft beer. There's something unique about this particular strain of music where truly repugnant NSBM bands can coexist with environmentalist Pacific Northwest hipsters like Wolves in the Throne Room. Is it all metal? Who knows, who cares.
It's definitely not going to appeal to trad-metal fans, but there's almost no trad being released anymore so if you're trying to stay current with music you have to develop an appreciation for harsher vocals or go the progressive route. There's almost nothing left in the middle nowadays.

Metal is the big tent of genres. So many disparate types of music all fit under the same umbrella, even though they are often at cross purposes with each other. I think that's why it's my favorite type of music; there's endless variety if you're willing to keep an open mind.
Old 07-01-13, 11:12 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
It's definitely not going to appeal to trad-metal fans, but there's almost no trad being released anymore so if you're trying to stay current with music you have to develop an appreciation for harsher vocals or go the progressive route. There's almost nothing left in the middle nowadays.
I realize now I will continue to show my age by wanting some form of melody in the vocals, even if it's not all the time. Most people these days don't seem to care about it. Now it's like, "oh your band actually sings? That's unusual." To me, a band like Opeth's vocal approach is perfect. His vocals are legitimately brutal and don't sound like a weak wannabe, and yet he's got one of the best clean voices I've heard.

Before I joined Divinity Compromised, I was checking out a lot of local bands who needed a bass player. On the clips of bands where it was worth listening past the first 10 seconds, the vocals almost always killed it when they came it. I am happy to be in a band with melodic vocals and sung harmonies.

I'm sorry but I will never see all screaming as anything but a shortcut to being a frontperson in most cases. It's like "oh shit we can't find a decent singer - fuck it just scream everything!" At least that's what it seemed like to me when this started to become a trend. Most metal bands I was in through the years were always trying to find a good singer, and only the good bands usually had one.

Most of these guys just scream out words in no particularly cohesive or interesting way to my ears. So they become an obstacle to enjoying what melody there might be in the instrumentation.
Old 07-02-13, 12:24 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

I almost completely agree with you for the most part, in that vocals completely make or break a band for me. If I hate the singer I won't listen to the music, no matter how good the music is. I just can't enjoy it.

That said, I've had it said to me by fans of black metal that you need to view the vocals, not as actual vocals but just another instrument. I suppose there are lyrics for Deafheaven, but damn if I can understand a single one of them. The vocals are mixed in the background as well so they blend in with the guitars and everything else. I obviously prefer melody in my vocals (and it's why I listen to very little black/death metal) but judging them by traditional vocal standards seems weird. If you don't like it, you don't like it, bad sadly there's less and less music out there on the non-progressive side of things that has much in the way of clean vocals.
Old 07-02-13, 01:49 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
It's definitely not going to appeal to trad-metal fans, but there's almost no trad being released anymore so if you're trying to stay current with music you have to develop an appreciation for harsher vocals or go the progressive route. There's almost nothing left in the middle nowadays.

Metal is the big tent of genres. So many disparate types of music all fit under the same umbrella, even though they are often at cross purposes with each other. I think that's why it's my favorite type of music; there's endless variety if you're willing to keep an open mind.
There is absolutely tons of traditional metal still being released today. Not sure how i feel about this album. Black metal vocals have always been hard for me to get behind. The sound is about as far from black metal as you can get though so even calling this black metal seems wrong. I don't hate it, but i don't think i would revist it much.
Old 07-02-13, 03:12 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

I love love love this album/band. I saw them tonight in Philadelphia and they were spectacular. The lead singer has such a menacing yet charismatic stage presence. Certainly one of the best shows I have been to. If you have the chance to see them live, do it.
Old 07-02-13, 09:32 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I almost completely agree with you for the most part, in that vocals completely make or break a band for me. If I hate the singer I won't listen to the music, no matter how good the music is. I just can't enjoy it.

That said, I've had it said to me by fans of black metal that you need to view the vocals, not as actual vocals but just another instrument. I suppose there are lyrics for Deafheaven, but damn if I can understand a single one of them. The vocals are mixed in the background as well so they blend in with the guitars and everything else. I obviously prefer melody in my vocals (and it's why I listen to very little black/death metal) but judging them by traditional vocal standards seems weird. If you don't like it, you don't like it, bad sadly there's less and less music out there on the non-progressive side of things that has much in the way of clean vocals.
I've heard that before about it being another instrument. But in my case that would be an instrument I don't want to hear LOL. It might as well be someone playing a harmonica (my most reviled instrument) over it, because they both would equally ruin the music for me.

Sometimes it's not even the fact that the vocals are extreme, but the type of extreme vocals. I don't like the high shrieky stuff at all like you hear in a lot of black metal. But I don't care for stuff like Cannibal Corpse either. I find vocals like Opeth's falls into the "just right" range for me.
Old 07-02-13, 09:54 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Musically I enjoyed this album, but the vocals really are irritating and kill it for me.
Old 07-02-13, 10:43 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by beavis69 View Post
There is absolutely tons of traditional metal still being released today.
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Just for grins I checked my favorite torrent tracker for releases tagged metal from 2013. Of the last 50 releases uploaded (a 2 day survey) this was the breakdown:

Traditional metal: 4 - Queensryche and Black Sabbath, plus a band called Dragonsfire and a crappy Power Metal band called Mastercastle
Death Metal: 13 releases
Black Metal: 13 releases
Doom Metal: 8 (some of this might hew a little closer to trad, but a lot of it is more in the funeral doom vein)
Crust/Punk/Hardcore: 7
Folk/Viking: 3
All the thrash I saw listed was of the blackened or death variety.

There's a reason metalheads jump all over new trad releases like the latest Manilla Road and Satan (to name two higher profile 2013 albums)... that kind of stuff is few and far between these days.
Old 07-02-13, 11:05 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Hey Mordred, would you consider my band trad? I don't think we're quite prog. Maybe the next record.
Old 07-02-13, 11:45 AM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

I'd say Divinity Compromised falls firmly in the power metal genre with a strong symphonic flair (those keyboards!). You guys definitely have a big Euro-power influence. It's got progressive influences but it's not the focus.

I suppose I'm guilty of overlooking power when I think "trad-metal" but it's definitely in the same ball park.
Old 07-02-13, 01:33 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
I'm sorry but I will never see all screaming as anything but a shortcut to being a frontperson in most cases. It's like "oh shit we can't find a decent singer - fuck it just scream everything!" At least that's what it seemed like to me when this started to become a trend. Most metal bands I was in through the years were always trying to find a good singer, and only the good bands usually had one.

Most of these guys just scream out words in no particularly cohesive or interesting way to my ears. So they become an obstacle to enjoying what melody there might be in the instrumentation.
The mix on this particular album buries the vocal so deep that I'd be amazed if anyone could pick out a specific lyric. It just becomes part of the overall sound. It doesn't bother me at all, maybe because I listen to black metal frequently. I think without vocals, this would sound something like a more blast-beaty Pelican.

This vocal style is likely extremely offputting for the non-initiated, burying it in the mix is yet another example of the cross-over this band is attempting.
Old 07-02-13, 01:48 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I'd say Divinity Compromised falls firmly in the power metal genre with a strong symphonic flair (those keyboards!). You guys definitely have a big Euro-power influence. It's got progressive influences but it's not the focus.

I suppose I'm guilty of overlooking power when I think "trad-metal" but it's definitely in the same ball park.
I've always found the term "power metal" funny. I assume this harkens back to bands like Helloween and Stratovarius after them? Probably the constant driving kicks have something to do with it.

I think the next record is going to dip its toes into some extreme metal, and will likely try to be more eclectic all around. Who knows what our genre will be then!
Old 07-02-13, 01:49 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
The mix on this particular album buries the vocal so deep that I'd be amazed if anyone could pick out a specific lyric. It just becomes part of the overall sound. It doesn't bother me at all, maybe because I listen to black metal frequently. I think without vocals, this would sound something like a more blast-beaty Pelican.

This vocal style is likely extremely offputting for the non-initiated, burying it in the mix is yet another example of the cross-over this band is attempting.
Oh, I didn't know there was an initiation. How does one join this club?
Old 07-06-13, 05:36 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Just for grins I checked my favorite torrent tracker for releases tagged metal from 2013. Of the last 50 releases uploaded (a 2 day survey) this was the breakdown:

Traditional metal: 4 - Queensryche and Black Sabbath, plus a band called Dragonsfire and a crappy Power Metal band called Mastercastle
Death Metal: 13 releases
Black Metal: 13 releases
Doom Metal: 8 (some of this might hew a little closer to trad, but a lot of it is more in the funeral doom vein)
Crust/Punk/Hardcore: 7
Folk/Viking: 3
All the thrash I saw listed was of the blackened or death variety.

There's a reason metalheads jump all over new trad releases like the latest Manilla Road and Satan (to name two higher profile 2013 albums)... that kind of stuff is few and far between these days.
I would say anything pre 90s is considered traditional metal. This includes the genres doom, power, and thrash to name a few.
Old 07-09-13, 12:44 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by TheDuke View Post
I love love love this album/band. I saw them tonight in Philadelphia and they were spectacular. The lead singer has such a menacing yet charismatic stage presence. Certainly one of the best shows I have been to. If you have the chance to see them live, do it.
Was at this show as well. Great stage presence and really enjoyed them and the opening acts (Marriages, Nothing).

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Again, far from a new idea, after all Burzum was already hinting at this twenty years ago.
Never heard of Burzum... listening to "Dunkelheit" now. Pretty good. The two things I dislike in metal are distinctly Satanic imagery (am OK with general occult stuff but the less the better) and terrible screamed vocals. Usually the low growls are hysterical to me because it sounds like a 7-year old child trying to make a monster voice. Every single one of these bands sounds like that.

And I really like the music!

But it makes it hard to find stuff I like. My list right now is only Wolves in the Throne Room and Deafheaven.
Old 07-09-13, 12:49 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Oh, and Trash Talk!
Old 07-09-13, 02:33 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Never heard of Burzum... listening to "Dunkelheit" now. Pretty good.
Before you become too big a fan, make sure you read a bit about the history and context of that "band" (really one guy). Prepare to be shocked, it's one of the craziest stories in rock history.
Old 07-09-13, 03:52 PM
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Re: Deafheaven: Sunbather

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Never heard of Burzum... listening to "Dunkelheit" now. Pretty good. The two things I dislike in metal are distinctly Satanic imagery (am OK with general occult stuff but the less the better) and terrible screamed vocals.
uhhh yea i would defiantly say read up on the history of Burzum and Mayhem. Kinda the definition of satanic imagery.

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