Deafheaven - Roads To Judah review

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Band: Deafheaven
Album: Roads To Judah
Release date: April 2011

01. Violet
02. Language Games
03. Unrequited
04. Tunnel Of Trees

Black metal is arguably enduring its third shift in stance - the first wave being essentially "evil" speed/thrash metal, the second being grimm and frostbitten kvlt metal, and this, the unofficial third wave, being "hiptellectual": Gorgoroth meets Jefferson Airplane or Pink Floyd or Radiohead or something...

Anyway, like it or not, it's happening. Northern skies are being blazed, tragedies are being blown...the black metal realm is expanding. And Deafheaven, a seemingly withdrawn American quintet, are here to take you by the hand.

Roads To Judah. It's a magical journey, a storied undertaking; musically it transforms reality and breathes new life into your vapid existence. It's energy, with the goal of awakening a sleeping giant, to uplift and sustain. It's aggressive, but is careful not to assert itself as spiteful. Is it pretentious? Not even half as much as this review.

What makes the story worth reading here is how playfully the words roll off the tongue, in that the lulling effect of the guitars and hazy, dream-like atmosphere slowly tug at your pant leg from the depths of murky waters before gripping your ankles and pulling you under at 2,000 meters a second. Every song is dancing at the edge of a climax. It's ugly. It's beautiful.

The instruments are mired in a thin-sounding production, with the drums choreographing the chaotic dance among the flowery meadow as piercing shrieks are heard in the background, only to drown in the pool of blastbeats.

The harmonies become lost -
lost in the desolation of love,
the passion they reap and sow.

It's Fenriz on Prozac, searching for happiness in the music, in the melodies, digging through the dirt of daily life only to find a bottomless pit. It's a black hole made up of the world's negativity. It's a beacon of hope. It's nothingness. It's essence.

It's a road to Judah.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 15.06.2011 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 41   Visited by: 403 users
25.11.2011 - 16:57
Mr. Doctor
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.11.2011 at 03:20

Such a shame you mentioned the horribly generic Gorgoroth at the beginning of this review.

Yeah it could have been like... any other well known black metal band that is actually respected... It's not like there's a total lack of those!
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
25.11.2011 - 20:58
Troy Killjoy
I mentioned Gorgoroth because they're a well-known hip black metal band, not because I think they're well-respected.
Prettier than BloodTears.
02.01.2012 - 22:52
Lost To Apathy
Someone (*cough* Troy *cough*) suggested I read this review. Sounds interesting. I may have to give this a listen...
"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
06.01.2012 - 18:19
I liked the line: "Is it pretentious? Not even half as much as this review".

Still, 9.3 from Troy.... gotta check it out now.
06.01.2012 - 20:01
Ooh this album is the shizzle and Troy, your review is excellent. I totally agree with the whole "unofficial 3rd wave" thing happening. And that's fine with me. Time will tell, of course, but you certainly will be able to say you called it.

This music is so lovely I MAY have to find a way to squeeze it into my top list... maybe.

Oh, and I lolzd: "Is it pretentious? Not even half as much as this review."
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
06.01.2012 - 20:49
Learning To "X"
Written by Susan on 06.01.2012 at 20:01

I totally agree with the whole "unofficial 3rd wave" thing happening. And that's fine with me. Time will tell, of course, but you certainly will be able to say you called it.

The exciting perks of reviewing
Out of all the recommended bands (or the ones I took myself) this one is the best. Woods of Desolation was also awesome but I can't invest myself emotionally in it.
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
06.01.2012 - 22:16
Troy Killjoy
Well you've gotta admit, this is one of the most pretentious reviews ever written.
Prettier than BloodTears.
21.01.2012 - 22:21
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
I want to hear this.
Checkout my band here!
10.03.2012 - 06:13
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
I really like this...
Checkout my band here!
28.03.2012 - 18:11
Written by Fane on 16.06.2011 at 14:24

This band proves the statement about the theatrical aspect of black metal. The music is something I would give a well-earned 9.5, but if I was attending their live show, I couldn't do much else than laugh. The situation would seem to me as if a teddy bear was giving a lecture about killer clowns.

Well put together Troy! This review sums up the album in its entire glory.

I just saw them play a live show, and if you saw them I think you would change your mind. The vocalist is intense as hell and really puts on a good show, such amazing energy they blew everyone off the stage.
03.05.2012 - 15:30
I might be the most stupid, paranoid, crazy, mad guy on this site*, because, at first, I hated this. Then I moderately liked it and now I believe it is becoming my ALL time favorite album. Timeless magnificence. I don't think I've heard an album so atmospherically-crushing (Maybe only Weighing Souls With Sand).
*Based on my opinion of this album, and not taking into account my OTHER mishaps.*
In that case, man is only air as well.

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