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Deafheaven, Sunbather
(Deathwish Inc. Records)

07/04/13
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Metacritic’s review-meter is pegged over these guys, with everyone from Spin to Pitchfork declaring this a slam-dunk album of the year.  There’s a simple explanation: once every year or so, hipsterazis, after overdosing on the current flavor or two (in this year’s case, banjo/fiddle-flogging hillbilly-alt and Grizzly Bear clone-age), find themselves looking for something, anything, to provide relief. Thus we had rave reviews for Sunn0))) a few years ago, when suddenly it was all about that band’s pointless Marshall bliss and endless ringouts (for about five seconds total). Cut to now: For years there’s been the threat that black metal was going to break big, at least on the college charts. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, long a fan of that gunk, recently joined Twilight, so black metal has to be useful, right? Anyway, drop the needle in most places on this LP and you’ll hear Black Dahlia Murder-style enraged-puma shrieking, but the catch is that there are Swans-like industrial noise interludes and traces of beauty, the latter owing to Kerry McCoy’s guitar half-ripping-off the dopamine-jacking solo to Journey’s “Faithfully.” Would I rather hear this than the latest album from Satanic Warmaster? Sure, but I’d also rather hear Honey Boo Boo recite Miley Cyrus’s last 500 tweets than the latest album from Satanic Warmaster. BEric W. Saeger





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