Deafheaven is back after three years with Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, released on July 13, 2018 through Anti- and produced by Jack Shirley who also did the producing on their previous three records. The visceral new release is probably a convergence of everything at once. Just like how they’ve always been, they stay true to their idealism when it comes to their sounds and they don’t seem to belong to any specific scene or categorization. It is a record that settles to break boundaries vehemently and radiates triumphant vibes with all its aggression on eradicating the status quo of genre stereotypes.
As a band that is free from stereotypes, Deafheaven have diverse elements ranging from post-metal, shoegaze, post-rock, ambient, black metal, to dream pop. I personally can sense the references of Darkthrone’s blasting riffs, as well as the soaring post-rock vibe of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s. Being a subdued yet aggressive record that it is, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love speaks of love and loss, of existence, of both hope and anguish, and the record has done a remarkable job in manifesting the complexity of the profound feelings that it offers. The record takes the subject of human relationships into a more visceral level, just like the lyrics of “Canary Yellow”, which vocalist George Clarke describes as “..a song about living on in the memory of others.”
The poetic opener “You Without End” features a spoken word poetry piece performed by guest Nadia Kury, taken from excerpts of Black and Borax by Tom McElravey. In this tune, the sounds are expansive and it features ethereal piano lines that are also accompanied by subdued guitar lines and a drum transition. “Honeycomb” is intense with its fast-paced raging riffs with convoluted vibes. It is a heavy track but also the kind of tune that shows a ray of light to its listeners. The lengthy “Canary Yellow” possesses vibrant colors and shoegaze elements, while the anthemic “Glint” is strong on metal vibes and distortions. “Night People” features a remarkable additional vocal performance from Chelsea Wolfe and it’s an eclectic tune that breaks stereotype, possessing a dream-pop vibe. It also features a lot of clean vocals. “Worthless Animal” did a good job as a subliminal closer that appears to be chaotic in the end.
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is a piece on healing, repair, and regrowth— it just seems as if Deafheaven redeemed themselves with all the liveliness that this album has to offer, after dwelling in some sort of impending desolation before. It is full of hope and redeeming qualities.