Good things often come in pairs, but stronger punches hit in three’s, touching base with Deafheaven who originally established in San Francisco back in 2010. The group has since gone on to rise in both popularity and member numbers as the first two-piece shoegaze group eventually poured into a five-man display of foreboding beauty.
Their third record to date, New Bermuda is a graceful display of melodic metal that courses over rugged waters to clarity. Peace of mind comes through the five-tracks that span a total of 46-minutes. Deafheaven is well known for their ability to stretch these long-winded adventures onto a record while simultaneously building both tension and falling action. With New Bermuda, the theme of water surrounds the record almost as if it was a lost island at sea.
Somehow even when the record is at its most noisy, there is still a layer of gloss that hits among the sound with excellent producing and musician craftsmanship. Deafheaven is made up of George Clarke on vocals, Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra on guitars, Daniel Tracy on the percussion, and Stephen Clark on the bass which works Jack Shirley in as the producer to tie the entire construction together. First balancing the opening track “Brought to the Water” as a formal introduction set in a thunderstorm of earshot ability. Paired with this unrelenting chord structure, Deafheaven quickly forms under pressure of the instruments coming unanimously to crush and rebuild.
They are excellent in their methods to transition between the harsh and rapid movements to the more graceful works that better display their attention to detail. With the frankly gorgeous chords that reign through the midpoint of the track, “Brought to the Water” is a perfect example of how adaptable and deeply layered the sound from Deafheaven can be. It combines their ability to blend both the allure and the grotesqueness of metal. Where the boat becomes rocked on New Bermuda comes from their raging following track, “Luna” that flies overboard in a frenzy.
“There is no ocean for me, there is no glamour. Only the mirage of water ascending from the asphalt,” describes Clarke in a writing style that tells a more abstract story through imagery than frontal description. Using the idea of water, there is a dissonance within the narrator that follows a common theme of isolation in New Bermuda’s sound. Told better through the vocals that work to form behind the backing of the instrumentals, this droning pain seems to continue as endless waves crash against Deafheaven.
As the sea seems to practically freeze over through New Bermuda, every step toward damnation comes in the form of a quarantined description from Clarke. Between the music, the lyrics, or the way that Deafheaven conducts themselves through sound, every piece of power comes at price through a refined madness.