It is a truly arduous task finding a fresh statement in heavy music. Genres have splintered into sub-genres which have given way to a deluge of predictable, formulaic, and, if I may be honest, mediocre fare that sneaks by on the often-blind enthusiasm of the metal community. If it's heavy, it's heavy, right?
However, San Francisco's Deafheaven has succeeded in defiantly bold fashion with its second full length release, Sunbather, a strikingly original album that blends the drowning guitars and expansive atmospheres of British shoegaze with the tortured screams and relentless percussion of black metal. It demonstrates the band hitting its stride, graduating from the awkward gait that characterized 2011's Roads to Judah.
Sunbather spent the months following its release heralded as a masterpiece by everyone from the top alternative metal blogs to more mainstream music outlets including NPR and Spin. While many in the metal community find the band a polarizing progression, the acclaim Sunbather has received is completely unprecedented for a record painted in such abrasive colors. We spoke with Deafheaven frontman George Clarke before the band's Friday night show at Revolution Live.