Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (Anti-) 2018
I’m going to skip the genre bullshit (because I like to believe that’s over by now) and just go straight to the facts: Deafheaven has affirmed itself as one of modern Metal’s most unique outfits by now. All of their three albums prior to Ordinary Corrupt Human Love have been well-received overall and have sparked plenty of debate over the potential of Metal’s fusion with other genres and aesthetics. So what does this new album bring us? In essence: a near-perfect blend of all of the band’s previous output, with some added sprinkles of finesse and maturity.
Now… because there are a lot of good things about this album, I feel we should get rid of the not-so-memorable spots of the album first. “You Wihout End” is a gentle and idilic introduction to the record, but the barely audible screams and spoken word passages keep the song from being great. The track “Near”, for instance, is a pleasant interlude, but very passable overall. And though “Worthless Animal”, the album’s final track, is good and ties in very well with the album’s beginning, I can’t help but feel like the fade-out ending feels a bit anti-climactic. It’s odd how the beauty of the compositions is often marred by strange production choices.
As for everything else, it’s all gold. After “You Without End”, faith is renewed as soon as “Honeycomb” comes chiming in with its powerful blend of Black Metal and Emo and extremely intense drumming, and even when things slow down the emotional humph of the track remains. An immediate classic within the band’s repertoire. The instrumental beauty of the previous tracks carries over to “Canary Yellow”, with well though-out chord sequences and melodic lead guitar lines. By now, it also becomes clear that the band’s attention to dynamics has been expanded and paid of immensely. “Glint” first resembles the mid-section of “The Pecan Tree” until it explodes into a thunderous combination of double-bass drums and washes of melancholic guitar chords, with George Clarke’s agonizing howls and snarls propelling the track into another dimension. Guests Chelsea Wolfe and Ben Chisolm add very soothing vocals and production to “Night People”, making it one of the album’s most vulnerable spots, and seguing perfectly into the mysterious closer, “Worthless Animal”.
Deafheaven have crafted another solid record. And although Sunbather will always have a special place in my heart, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love turns out to become a very close second choice for me in the band’s oeuvre. Equally devastating and uplifting.