Context matters and with that in mind let’s just quote Fenriz to sum up some thoughts on the first two Deafheaven records – “you call your metal black / it’s just plastic, lame and weak”. With that out of the way, one can just as easily concede that “New Bermuda” is the most ambitious and well-crafted record the band has put forth so far, at least showing something else besides a shoegaze and atmospheric black metal hybrid, especially in songs like “Brought To The Water”, which upon its release could lead one to expect a record less placid than it is, especially during its excruciatingly uninspired second half. Unfortunately, what it lacks today is the same element which has eluded them their whole career: a bloody good riff. You know that “suburbia” George Clarke keeps going on and on about at the end of “Luna”? This is what rock n’ roll would look like if it was a product of one of those plastic upper-middle-class suburbs. Safe and predictable, soothing and pretty, lest one’s activities disturb the neighbour washing his car. It’s not for not being grimness nor having evil imagery that this lacks interest, but because there is just no urgency whatsoever, no creative fire to write home about. Doesn’t wonder it sells like it does. After all, as much as we prefer the Sunn O))) mantra, the one describing popularity in music goes more like “minimum challenge yields maximum results”.
P.S.: in no way do we mean to imply that black metal and post-rock or shoegaze cannot be combined with good results, as that is precisely what the mysterious Dutch collective An Autumn For Crippled Children has been doing for the past six years. No hype nor mainstream attention, just good records one after the other.