DEAFHEAVEN

Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love ANTI Post-black scene lead­ers let go of their bal­last

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews - STEPHEN HILL

lit­tle world we live in when you con­sider that, were you to start dis­cussing the most di­vi­sive bands of the decade, the name Deafheaven is nailed on to ap­pear next to the likes of Babymetal and Five Fin­ger

Death Punch at the very top of the list. It’s a bizarre sit­u­a­tion, and a con­ver­sa­tion that re­ally should end now with the re­lease of their fourth al­bum. Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love is an al­bum that will surely both dis­gust and re­lieve the black metal purists who have poured such scorn on the band over the last five years. They wanted Deafheaven to stay away from black metal… and it would ap­pear they have fi­nally got their wish.

In fact, there is a very real con­ver­sa­tion to be had re­gard­ing whether or not Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love is pre­dom­i­nately a metal al­bum at all, let alone a black metal one. In­stead, the pre­vi­ously cited loves of Mog­wai, The Smiths and My Bloody Valen­tine take cen­tre stage along­side in­flu­ences from everything from clas­sic rock to Am­ne­siac-era Ra­dio­head to the cur­rent un­der­ground Amer­i­can emo and post-hard­core scene.

Where pre­vi­ous al­bum New Ber­muda felt like a re­ac­tion to the crit­i­cism of 2013’s break­through Sun­bather by up­ping the beef and be­ing de­lib­er­ately, ex­plic­itly metal, this feels like a shrug and a wave goodbye to the peo­ple who they have ac­cepted will never ac­cept them. Opener You With­out End is pre­dom­i­nately lush pi­ano, min­i­mal­ist clean gui­tar and de­liv­ered in spo­ken-word by ac­tress Na­dia Kury. Even when vo­cal­ist George Clarke does en­ter the fray with his griz­zled, high­pitched vo­cals, the band’s sole tie to ex­treme metal at this point, the pace and tone of the band re­fuses to budge. Se­cond track Hon­ey­comb does in­ten­sify, but even when they go hard it’s more at a pace rem­i­nis­cent of newer alt-punk bands like Pup or Soror­ity Noise at their an­gu­lar nois­i­est. Third song, and al­bum high­light, Ca­nary Yel­low, swings from dou­ble-time blast­ing, to som­bre gangchant vo­cals and an outro piece of solo­ing of pure old-school rock that is far more Slashup-a-moun­tain than Ab­bath-in-the-for­est.

Only the fu­ri­ous dou­ble-bass heavy pum­melling and pure metal twin gui­tar leads of Glint truly have any of the DNA of black metal within it. That it’s fol­lowed by the Dis­in­te­gra­tion-era

The Cure-style, Chelsea Wolfe-fronted, elec­tronic throb of Night Peo­ple as the ul­ti­mate palate-cleanser acts as a telling in­di­ca­tor to Deafheaven’s in­ten­tions and at­ti­tudes to genre con­ven­tions.

With its vast sonic tem­plate, sense of wist­ful­ness, sor­row and lovelorn re­gret and lyri­cal ref­er­ences to ‘the lan­guage of flow­ers’, Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love is nei­ther as instant a thrill as New Ber­muda, or as co­he­sive a lis­ten as Sun­bather. Due to this it might be a harder sell to many metal fans. Ob­vi­ously mil­i­tant diehards will sim­ply scoff at it as cat­nip for hip­sters, while the more open-minded will paint its de­trac­tors as closed-minded elit­ists. But maybe the eclec­ti­cism and ex­cel­lence of this as a piece of mu­sic marks this as the mo­ment we should all just start prais­ing Deafheaven for the am­bi­tion and hon­esty of what they are, rather than be­moan­ing what they aren’t, and clearly have no in­ter­est in be­ing.

FOR FANS OF: MOG­WAI, CHELSEA WOLFE, THE CURE

Deafheaven care not for your pi­geon­holes

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