Deafheaven, “New Bermuda”
As with Sunbather, widely considered one of the greatest metal achievements of 2013, Deafheaven once again delivers a series of songs that rage with the black-metal intensity of a drug addict dying to score, and crescendo when the junkie finally gets his hit and tumbles gracefully into shoegazing bliss. Unlike its predecessor, New Bermuda mostly eschews interludes, so the concept-album feel is gone. Instead, it contains five relatively autonomous compositions, each of which could stand on its own as the quintessential Deafheaven song. While New Bermuda sometimes calls to mind the rawness of “Tunnel of Trees” from the band’s 2011 debut Roads to Judah, the new record also distinguishes itself with a handful of paralyzingly heavy thrash moments. These moments mark a band that is fully grounded and capable of executing some fresh metal maneuvers to boot. New Bermuda is the new black (metal).