There’s always been a quiet beauty about Deafheaven, even when their lush, soaring guitar soundscapes have been laced with exquisitely ugly black metal screams. On fifth record ‘Infinite Granite’ there is more space to appreciate this than ever, with the screams stripped back, for the first time ever, in favour of clean singing. Yet they haven’t blatantly discarded a string to their bow - instead, they prove how nuanced their music can be, how subtle, how aggressive, and how they can be both at once if they so choose. No track epitomises this better than opener ‘Shellstar’, beginning with a delicate, warm guitar line that gives way to a full-bodied, thunderous chorus. It’s this sense of attack that really makes these songs, particularly on the moody ‘The Gnashing’, and even when it seems absent, tracks like ‘Villain’ and ‘Mombasa’ pack a sting in their tails that beautifully disarms the listener. It has the potential to be an outstanding listen, and it would have been if ‘Other Language’ and ‘In Blur’ had a slightly stronger sense of direction, but Deafheaven has still crafted a record to get lost in. The metal purists crying sellout will sorely be missing out.
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It’s released on 20th August.
They’re heading to the UK in September.
It follows last year’s ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’ LP.
As the year draws to a close, our last Tracks edition of the year sees Team DIY pick their favourite track from the past 12 months.