Rating:
9.3
Deafheaven - Roads To Judah
26 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 And Deafheaven, a seemingly withdrawn American quintet, are here to take you by the hand.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.

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


Band profile: Deafheaven
Album: Roads To Judah


 



Written on 15.06.2011 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 41  
Users visited: 371  
Search this topic:  


Fat & Sassy! - 15.06.2011 at 04:43  
"Every song is dancing at the edge of a climax."

This is KEY to this kind of stuff it seems. I remember when I first was getting into post-rock stuff way back when, this was one of the ways I describe Radiohead's music and why I loved it.

Also, I was JUST talking to my friend about the new post-rock/shoegaze element trend (primarily black) metal bands are taking. And to be honest, I fucking love it, so I'm definitely checking this out. Great review. Hoping I perceive it just as you described. ;3
Troy Killjoy - 15.06.2011 at 04:59  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 15.06.2011 at 04:43

"Every song is dancing at the edge of a climax." This is KEY to this kind of stuff it seems. Hoping I perceive it just as you described. ;3

Indeed, when I'm on the edge waiting for it to get better, knowing that it will get better...well that's just fucking awesome, really.

Thanks for checkin' my latest scripture.
Timmeh - 15.06.2011 at 08:37  
Nice review Troy, I think you've summed up the album's dreamy architecture well. I'm also falling in love with this new "Blackgaze" movement, it just seems like a wave of fresh air into a contemporary metal scene that's maybe starting to feel a bit stale.
Pyramid God - 16.06.2011 at 13:09  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKUSNv6hSYk&feature=related

Who the hell would've guessed they looked like they do? I'm really trying to get into but I'm having a hard time, I'll keep at it though.

Edit: I just can't....I gave it a real shot but I just don't like it. They have some parts I really get into and others that sound as bad as nails on a chalkboard.
Fane - 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.
Troy Killjoy - 16.06.2011 at 14:40  
I think their image is all part of separating themselves from the stereotype of black metal.

Akercocke and A Forest of Stars members happen to dress rather sharp on stage as well, further removing them from the stereotype of corpse paint and bullet belts.
Merchant of Doom - 16.06.2011 at 14:42  
Ah, ah, yes, Weezer playing black metal... Regardless of how they dress, it's still boring shit.
Being and Time - 16.06.2011 at 15:42  
Not to mention this was done over a 4 day span. Well deserved rating.
Krankheit - 16.06.2011 at 15:45  
Would never realized that Deafheaven is a black metal band by looking at band pics of them.
Mindheist - 16.06.2011 at 19:16  
To me, it's a great thing that they have separated themeselves from the usual kvlt metal stereotype. I don't know about you but I think it's ridiculous to see middle-aged musicians covered in corpsepaint and sheep blood. I bet, had they spent the hours putting make-up on their wrinkled faces to come up with new stuff like Deafheaven and few other black metal bands have, the black metal scene would have been more exciting to follow.

I enjoyed reading this review by the way. You've always been good at writing reviews but I think this is the first time that you've decided to take a different approach in writing them. Good job .
Unhealer - 16.06.2011 at 20:04  
I agree with the "third stance" thing. I've been telling everyone I can about it.
2010's best efforts IMO were from Ihsahn, Agalloch and Enslaved with this intelligent, beautifully executed black metal.
Hopefully this gets massively recognized as such!

Definitely going to check this album now then
Unhealer - 16.06.2011 at 20:07  
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.



Pretty much like Cult of Luna
nilzardo - 16.06.2011 at 22:24  
HAIL THIS BAND.
Lokaeda - 17.06.2011 at 00:08  
Nice review this album is so far among my top 5 of 2011
Troy Killjoy - 17.06.2011 at 05:01  
Written by Mindheist on 16.06.2011 at 19:16

You've always been good at writing reviews but I think this is the first time that you've decided to take a different approach in writing them. Good job .

Thanks a lot! Indeed I took a much different approach this time. More...philosophical maybe, or at least in touch with the feel of the sound as opposed to just the perception of the music, if that makes sense.

One of my next reviews - for Moon's 2011 re-release - will be written in a similar way. Hopefully I don't crap the bag.
hadriel - 17.06.2011 at 07:57  
Loved this album when I first listened to it and it has still managed to grow on me and it's shaping up to be one of my favorite releases of the year. Very excited to see what this band can create going forward, incredibly impressed.

May just end up being a fad, but I can't get enough of this blackgaze movement.
Pyramid God - 17.06.2011 at 14:41  
I wish I hear what apparently everyone else hears. I really tried but I couldn't stomach when the droning guitar riff kicked in over the semi-screeching vocals. I must have an untrained ear or something but I just didn't get it. I listened to them for almost an hour trying really hard but it never happened.
Kuroboshi - 20.07.2011 at 12:47  
This is an absolutely stunning album! Leaps and bounds above their demo. Great work guys!

I'm also getting absorbed by this new movement... If you find this interesting you should try Lantlos, another awesome band in this genre.
Frost Beast - 22.10.2011 at 22:04  
Written by Pyramid God on 17.06.2011 at 14:41

I wish I hear what apparently everyone else hears. I really tried but I couldn't stomach when the droning guitar riff kicked in over the semi-screeching vocals. I must have an untrained ear or something but I just didn't get it. I listened to them for almost an hour trying really hard but it never happened.

I'm starting to like this, and I really think you should give them another try.
Chobo_jokeR - 24.11.2011 at 17:14  


I had initially glanced over this release. I thought it was pretty good, but never really gave it much thought. I recently have listened through it many more times and well...glad I did, because its quite the little gem.
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 20:25  
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 17:14
I had initially glanced over this release. I thought it was pretty good, but never really gave it much thought. I recently have listened through it many more times and well...glad I did, because its quite the little gem.

Did you make that image yourself? I can't imagine too many people know about this release to make it part of a meme.

Glad you checked it out and like it though. Perhaps between this and my WoD review I was a bit melodramatic, but I wanted to capture the sort of ... grandiose feel I had when listening to it.
Chobo_jokeR - 24.11.2011 at 21:10  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 20:25

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 17:14
I had initially glanced over this release. I thought it was pretty good, but never really gave it much thought. I recently have listened through it many more times and well...glad I did, because its quite the little gem.

Did you make that image yourself? I can't imagine too many people know about this release to make it part of a meme.

Glad you checked it out and like it though. Perhaps between this and my WoD review I was a bit melodramatic, but I wanted to capture the sort of ... grandiose feel I had when listening to it.


actually I didn't haha. I liked the cover of the album so much that I googled it to see a larger image, and this meme came up as one of the pictures.

WoD and this release are awesome little albums. You definitely got your point across that these two albums should NOT be missed. I also enjoyed the Fell Voices release that you have on your list. I've used your list for alot of my listening this year actually.
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 21:14  
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:10
I've used your list for alot of my listening this year actually.

Thanks! It's always nice to hear people take note of your work, be it a review or a list. Once I'm done with a few more of my negative reviews (kind of a mini-series project) I'll be reviewing albums people SHOULD check out.
Chobo_jokeR - 24.11.2011 at 21:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 21:14

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:10
I've used your list for alot of my listening this year actually.

Thanks! It's always nice to hear people take note of your work, be it a review or a list. Once I'm done with a few more of my negative reviews (kind of a mini-series project) I'll be reviewing albums people SHOULD check out.


Awesome to hear. I enjoy reading the reviews where you bash albums too. Quite entertaining. Are you doing one for Estoeric's new release by chance?
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 21:20  
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:17
Are you doing one for Estoeric's new release by chance?

I want to. DerRozzengarten called dibs on it so I'd have to ask him. Although if he still wants to review it I'll leave it up to him; he has a much nicer way of saying nice things about stuff than I do.
Chobo_jokeR - 24.11.2011 at 21:25  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 21:20

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:17
Are you doing one for Estoeric's new release by chance?

I want to. DerRozzengarten called dibs on it so I'd have to ask him. Although if he still wants to review it I'll leave it up to him; he has a much nicer way of saying nice things about stuff than I do.


Are you both not allowed to review it and perhaps offer differing insights?
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 21:29  
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:25
Are you both not allowed to review it and perhaps offer differing insights?

Well I know for a fact we'd both only have glowing things to say, and we're both Staff members so it'd appear on the front page, and he called dibs on it first. If he were going to give it a 4 or 5 then I could write one up since I'd give it a clear 9.0, but since our opinion on the matter is so similar two reviews would be overkill. Or at least two reviews in the same month.
Chobo_jokeR - 24.11.2011 at 21:32  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 21:29

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:25
Are you both not allowed to review it and perhaps offer differing insights?

Well I know for a fact we'd both only have glowing things to say, and we're both Staff members so it'd appear on the front page, and he called dibs on it first. If he were going to give it a 4 or 5 then I could write one up since I'd give it a clear 9.0, but since our opinion on the matter is so similar two reviews would be overkill. Or at least two reviews in the same month.



Yeah I suppose thats valid reasoning. Any idea of what albums you are going to write reviews for, or is that top secret?
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 21:35  
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.11.2011 at 21:32
Yeah I suppose thats valid reasoning. Any idea of what albums you are going to write reviews for, or is that top secret?

I can tell you the next few, but then we'll have to take it to PMs or something because this is really off-topic.

Cavalera Conspiracy - Blunt Force Trauma (currently being proofread)
The Haunted - Unseen
Pestilence - Doctrine
Ajattara - Murhat

Then the negative reviews are done.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.11.2011 at 03:20  
Such a shame you mentioned the horribly generic Gorgoroth at the beginning of this review.
Mr. Doctor - 25.11.2011 at 16:57  
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!
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 20:58  
I mentioned Gorgoroth because they're a well-known hip black metal band, not because I think they're well-respected.
7thSlave - 02.01.2012 at 22:52  
Someone (*cough* Troy *cough*) suggested I read this review. Sounds interesting. I may have to give this a listen...
Mattybu - 06.01.2012 at 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.
Susan - 06.01.2012 at 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."
Milena - 06.01.2012 at 20:49  
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.
Troy Killjoy - 06.01.2012 at 22:16  
Well you've gotta admit, this is one of the most pretentious reviews ever written.
BoxCar Willy - 21.01.2012 at 22:21  
I want to hear this.
BoxCar Willy - 10.03.2012 at 06:13  
I really like this...
tmclane - 28.03.2012 at 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.
Oaken - 03.05.2012 at 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.*

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Deafheaven - Roads To Judah 6 02.05.2011 by
Reviews The Royal Arch Blaspheme - The Royal Arch Blaspheme 4.5 03.05.2010 by Mikyz
Reviews Solution .45 - For Aeons Past 4.5 04.08.2010 by JÄY
Reviews W.A.I.L. - Wisdom Through Agony Into Illumination And Lunacy 4.5 02.03.2011 by BloodTears
Reviews Valediction - The Primitive Architecture 4.5 08.05.2011 by MechanisT



Hits total: 5695 | This month: 72