You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Album Review: Deafheaven’s ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’

Few bands are as suitably named as Deafheaven, whose explosive mixture of black-metal ferocity, majestic melodies and complex song structures makes for a volatile and continually shifting sound. Blistering riffs, blast beats and George Clarke’s throat-shredding snarl morph into serene instrumental passages that recall Radiohead or the calmer moments from avant-metal outfits like Pelican and Mono; they’re the kind of band where you’ll adjust the volume multiple times over the course of an album or even a single song (and Deafheaven’s songs regularly break the 10-minute mark).

Those extremes are thrown into more dramatic relief than ever on the veteran Bay Area outfit’s fourth album, “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love,” which opens with a bucolic, piano-driven instrumental section (including a female spoken-word voiceover) that doesn’t shift into aggro mode until the end. Indeed, the band’s quiet side is more prominent here than on any of their previous albums: “Near” is a ballad sung relatively conventionally (and almost intelligibly), and the gothic “Night People” is a gentle duet with NoCal singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, whose soft, stern tones add yet another dimension to the band.

Yet there’s plenty here to keep the faithful sated: The 11-minute “Honeycomb” is possibly the definitive Deafheaven song to date, with the first half combining full-scale aggression with towering, anthemic riffs before the second half eases into a gorgeous, gentle instrumental lilt (the band has a bright future in soundtrack work if they ever decide to take that course). And while guitarists Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra have simplified their approach, going for resonant melodies rather than shredding, longer tracks like “Canary Yellow” and “Glint” have the trademark ferocious, spiraling middle sections that send fans into frenzies during the band’s live shows, and the closing “Worthless Animal” has twin lead guitars that would do Thin Lizzy proud.

“Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” is the album fans would hope for — one that finds the band evolving from the high bar set by their last effort, 2015’s “New Bermuda,” while still remaining unmistakably themselves. And most crucially, it’s the first album of 2018 that’s made me want to play air-guitar.


Album Review: Deafheaven's 'Ordinary Corrupt Human Love'

More Music

  • Henry James Mason R Kelly Manager

    R. Kelly's Former Manager Turns Himself in on Threat Charge

    R. Kelly’s former manager has turned himself into Georgia authorities on a charge of threatening a man who alleges that Kelly has indoctrinated his daughter into a sex cult. Henry James Mason, 52, is accused of threatening to harm Timothy Savage, who was prominently featured in the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” Savage alleges that [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Dropped by Sony Music

    Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly, Variety has learned. No external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future, says a source, who added that the company took its time to wade through the issues “responsibly” and avoid legal ramifications. R. Kelly was removed from the RCA [...]

  • Ikea Sonos

    Ikea Plans to Launch Its Sonos Speakers in August

    Furniture giant Ikea is getting ready to roll out its Sonos-powered smart speakers later this year: The company revealed in a video Friday that it will launch its Symfonisk line of smart speakers in August. Ikea and Sonos first announced their collaboration in late 2017. Under the plan, Ikea will build internet-connected speakers that are [...]

  • RENT: Top L-R to Bottom L-R:

    How Fox's Live Version of 'Rent' Honors and 'Enhances' Jonathan Larson's Vision

    In the more than 20 years since Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” first debuted on Broadway, the conversation of adaptation has often come up: Film director Chris Columbus infamously brought the story to the big screen in 2005, Michael John Warren similarly shot one of the final performances of the original theater run in 2008, and talk [...]

  • Foo Fighters Preview Pre-Super Bowl Concert

    Watch Foo Fighters Preview Pre-Super Bowl Concert With Comic Football Video

    Super Bowl week is turning into an extended music festival, with the days before the big game in Atlanta including concerts by Bruno Mars and Cardi B; Migos, Lil Yachty and Ludacris; Future; and the Foo Fighters, whose “DirecTV Super Saturday Night” on Feb. 2 at Atlantic Station with Run The Jewels is sold out [...]

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B’s Anti-Government Shutdown Rant Is Now a Pretty Hot Song …

    Cardi B’s Instagram messages usually have a solid cadence to them, and meme savants the Gregory Brothers have turned their songifying skills to her passionate rant against President Trump and the GOP over the government shutdown. Titled “Yeah B—h / Nah B—h,” the short clips mashes up several of Cardi’s lines with the beat from [...]

  • Album Review: Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Remind

    Album Review: Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’

    As she’s said in recent interviews, many life changes went into veteran indie singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten’s fifth and latest — and dramatically different — album, “Remind Me Tomorrow.” She summarizes it thus in the album’s bio: “I wrote this record while going to school, pregnant, after taking ‘The OA’ audition,” she says, referring to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content