show review: Deafheaven – Wicker Park Fest (150726)

150626 - Deafheaven, Wicker Park Fest: is a shitty pic better than no pic?:photo by drumnmike
150626 – Deafheaven, Wicker Park Fest: is a shitty pic better than no pic?:photo by drumnmike

“You don’t mix emo with black metal.  The Norwegians would kill you.” said one accented chap as I was following the massive herd towards the exit when they were finished.

To the purists he might be right, but considering the large group of people watching something like this on a Sunday night at 9pm the majority tends to think it’s good.

Since i’m writing about the show, I find myself in the latter.  I must admit when I first heard their stuff I was hooked.  I really like the shoegaze, spacey aspect of them and I also dig the fast black metal drumming.  I’m starting to fade on insanely aggressive metal screaming, but for the time being it works for me.

If you’re not familiar you can check their highly acclaimed album Sunbather (released in 2013).  You’re either into the black metal style or not.  Seeing them live gave me more appreciation for them, but mostly the drummer.  The guitarists had a fairly mid tempo to faster strumming, while the drummer was insane about 70% of the time playing extremely fast 32nd or 64th notes with his blast beats, then moving over to fills, essentially playing very fast fills for the duration of songs.

One of the 2 founding members and vocalist George kept the crowd interested with his energy while the string instruments mostly stood around jamming.  George would dance around, rally the crowd into applause and cheers, and provide theatrical movements to the builds and punctuation in the songs.  He’s no stranger to being on stage and his excitement showed.

As with most festival/outdoor shows when I’m blown away like I was I’m upset I didn’t get to attend their indoor performance at SubT the previous night.  Seeing their intensity in a small space would have been overwhelming but it could’ve been a heck of a show.

They do a nice interpretation of the black metal style with an affinity for other styles of music which can help break up some of the monotony of black metal.  Although the monotony can be half the fund of it, their style blending adds a unique touch to what they’re doing.

George teased and then on July 28th the band confirmed their new album New Bermuda will be released in October. Looking forward to it.