Deafheaven and Marriages - Yucca Tap Room, Tempe - 6/19/2013

Last night, I came to the conclusion that Deafheaven is black metal's Vampire Weekend.

I've never thought up an uglier string of words to describe what is fundamentally a thing of beauty. To see Deafheaven is to not see a black metal band but to see black metal being curated by hardcore and indie types in the same way that Vampire Weekend is a bunch of indie dudes curating afro-pop.

This is not a cry of "posers!" by any means. People who look like regulars at Bay Area coffee shops have just as much of right to play music with blast beats and trebly, reverby riffs as any Scandinavian person wearing corpse paint. In fact, it's good that they try to have a go at it. Deafheaven establishes black metal's validity as a genre to a broad audience of people who wouldn't normally find themselves going out to see Mayhem when they roll into town.

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Mike Bogumill
Contact: Mike Bogumill