The bright pink color of Deafheaven’s 2013 breakthrough Sunbather serves as a great indicator of what the band will sound like. Their music is like a pink sunrise: It comes in hazy and pretty and then blinds you with a harsh, burning glare.
The dark colors on New Bermuda foreshadow the stormy, harsher new direction they were pushing their signature “blackgaze” sound. The oceanic waves of paint also evoke the more beautiful passages on the album, like the gorgeous lull in “Brought to the Water” where the instrumental fury abates and luminous guitar notes move through the song like ripples in a pond.
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is the first time they’ve had a human face on their cover since their debut, Roads to Judah. It’s a fitting choice because Love is their most down-to-earth and human album yet. Early singles showcase what the band do best: “Honeycomb” is a headlong rush of throat-shredding vocals and frantic guitars, while “Canary Yellow” kicks off with an effervescent post-rock instrumental section that sees the band beating Explosions in the Sky at their own game. But they’re also songs that have a newfound widescreen sweep to them, that pulse with a desire to make music that sounds as epic and melodic as Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream.
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Deafheaven will be playing on Wednesday, July 11, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $18-$20 at crescentphx.com.