Thursday, September 18
San Francisco’s Deafheaven deal in tension and anxiety in a way that is cinematically intense and similar in nature to the sounds of Explosions in the Sky or Sigur Rós. Which is odd, because there are not a lot of metal bands that are easily compared to post-rock bands—these days metal tends to be short and brutal or epically progressive—but Deafheaven are kind of the exception to the rule. Metal, as an overarching term that includes black metal—the closest subgenre that Deafheaven touches on with their rolling blast beats and snarling vocals—is not really a sufficient genre-description. On their latest album, 2013’s Sunbather, Deafheaven takes those black metal characteristics combines them with pop-sensible melodies, and creates songs that tend to be structured in a way that is more similar to most post-rock pieces, with tracks like the 14 minute and 37 second album centerpiece “Vertigo,” which adds layer upon layer until it gradually peaks in intensity before subduing once again. This formula lands the five-piece band somewhere between Swans’ drone-ability, Mogwai’s heavy post-rock (they even slipped in a bonus Mogwai cover on Sunbather) and My Bloody Valentine’s noise-layered melodics. Mix in some guttural screaming from vocalist George Clark of which Jacob Bannon of Converge would be proud (he signed the band to his label, Deathwish in 2010) and some relentless drumming and you still probably don’t have an idea what Deafheaven sounds like but it’s a start for a band that eludes categorization. Deafheaven comes to the Tralf Music Hall on Thursday (Sept 18) with support from Canadian indie rock band No Joy and fellow Canadians Indian Handcrafts.
– cory perla
7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / tralfmusichall.com) $14 advance, $16 day of show