Deafheaven go beyond metal with 'In Blur'

6 August 2021 | 12:10 pm | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Deafheaven ditch the black metal & lean full-tilt into shoegaze on 'In Blur' to great effect.

Deafheaven ditch the black metal, leaning full-tilt shoegaze on 'In Blur.' 

By this point in time, now three singles deep, forthcoming record 'Infinite Granite' is going to be Deafheaven's least metal album. Shit, it doesn't even seem to be metal at all: 'Great Mass Of Colour' had a huge climactic finale that dipped its toes back into metal with some of Geroge Clarke's curdled screams, but that was the absolute heaviest either of these new songs reached. Now things strictly shoegaze, and I'm into it. This side of Deafheaven that they're exploring now was always there; it's been one half of their blackgaze sound for almost ten years now. They've brought it to the forefront harder than ever before, and they've made that transition seamlessly.

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If I was to rank this new album's three singles so far, 'Great Mass...' would be at the top. It's one of 2021's greatest songs. 'In Blur' would be at a close number two, with 'The Gnashing', which I haven't cared to go back to, sitting in last spot. Here on 'In Blur,' Deafheaven's future blossoms widely. There's more chorus-bathed guitars than ever, and some seriously heart-warming guitar figures spreading their wings, like what hits just before this song's four-minute mark. Deafheaven's rhythm section still moves with a purpose, growling away under the ether of dreamy guitars. There's strong 80s post-punk vibes, and some light pop elements sprinkled in like with the pitched-up vocals in the last section, plus George is stepping up as a singer. Serenading and crooning in a lovely fashion that fits this new direction's timbre wonderfully. It's a huge progression!

'In Blur' sees Deafheaven ask: "Who are you now?" With Biblical lyrical allusions and a hazy, VHS-styled music video seeing the band play out a modern take on the Greek myth of Sisyphus, 'In Blur' seems like one of those meta-commentaries on cycles and patterns of any kind. On trying to break them. On a band feeling like they've been pigeonholed into one sub-genre of extreme metal and wanting to really change that perception, maybe?

Dive into Deafheaven's latest dreamscape below. 'Infinite Granite' releases August 20th.