Post-Rock, Shoegaze

Deafheaven – Infinite Granite (Review)

Photo credit: George Clarke
Band: Deafheaven
Album: Infinite Granite
Genre: Shoegaze, Post-Rock
Country: USA
Release Date: 20th of August, 2021
Released via Sargent House
Cover Artwork © Sargent House

“Nothing changes”, are the first words you’ll hear on the new Deafheaven album Infinite Granite and it couldn’t be farer from the truth. This album marks a new beginning for Deafheaven.

It is hard to pick a starting point in describing this album, because the band took what a lot of people love about them (in my case the beautiful Post-Rock-elements) and put it in a whole other context.

The opener “Shellstar” sets the mood perfectly for this album, dreamy in the verse, soaring in the chorus. George Clarke sings. He sings as if this was his natural vocal “habitat”. Screams and shrieks can still be heard, but they are far away from being the main choice of vocal delivery here.

Great Mass of Color“, the first single of this album is also one of my favorite songs of this album. A refrain that will stick with you all day and the ending is one of the best things Deafheaven have written in their career so far.

In Blur” contains at least two (maybe you’ll find more) references to their past work. The drum pattern at the beginning sounds a lot like “The Pecan Tree“, while the guitars in the bridge sound like the ending melody of “Worthless Animal“. The track itself is an Indie-song combined with the scenic-view of a Post-Rock-track.

A band that came to my mind while listening to Infinite Granite was Radiohead. “Villain” for example contains a drum pattern that instantly reminded me of “Where I End and You Begin” by the aforementioned band. The drums in general on this record are very filigree. Daniel Tracy is a master of his art, but instead of pushing the band forward by driving rhythms he now weaves a net that carries the band. „Lament for Wasps“ also has a slight hint of Radiohead („There, there“).

One could say that “Mombasa” serves as a hint that Deafheaven can still sound like the Deafheaven you know from the last album. If they want to. Great melodies, Post-Rock and a blast-beat laden finale. Opened with a soft acoustic intro, the song more and more evolves into a track, that could have been on Ordinary Corrupt Human Love.

The production and overall sound are further aspects that differ from the remaining Deafheaven albums. The aim was to make a more Hi-Fi-sounding album and Deafheaven achieved that goal. There are more details to the sound and especially with your headphones on you’ll hear waving sounds, wandering guitars and a George Clark that surrounds you with his voice.

Infinite Granite marks a new beginning for Deafheaven. After ten years of groundbreaking the sound of „Blackgaze“ / „Post-Black-Metal“ or whatever you want to call it, they almost peeled off “the Metal” completely and went with cultivating their skill to write great melodies and compelling songs.

With Infinite Granite Deafheaven shed their “Black” and all that is left, leaves us “Gazing” at the work of art they created with this album.

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