If you haven’t listened to “Brought to the Ocean,” the first taste of Deafheaven’s New Bermuda, you should probably do that now. It’s an ass-kicker of a song, and riffier than anything that was on their breakthrough album, Sunbather. And now that the band are doing interviews about the album, they’re admitting as such. Singer George Clarke says that the album was much more influenced by some of the metal bands that first got them into the genre, even if their brand of shoegaze/black metal doesn’t sound anything like any of those bands in particular. Speaking to Metal Hammer, he said as much:
“The songs are less airy and more riff-focused. More concise. There’s a lot more packed into each song than there was on Sunbather, which is more of an open-sounding record. This is more urgent and tight. We decided to go back and start listening to the stuff that got us into metal in the first place: early Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Vio-lence and all that Bay Area thrash stuff. We took a lot of that and threw it back into the record, utilising it in a way that was appropriate for Deafheaven.”
Elsewhere, guitarist Kerry McCoy spoke to Rolling Stone about the album, citing Morbid Angel as well as Slayer and Kill ’em All-era Metallica as influences:
“That mixture of influences has kind of always been our thing, much to some peoples’ annoyance,” laughs McCoy. “But a lot of this record is us being like, ‘Look, we are a metal band. We do a lot of other stuff, but we can solo; we can have some Slayer riffs in there. There was a lot of, ‘Hey, what if we throw some traditional thrash metal stuff in here, but just make it our own?’ And I think it worked really well.”
And during the Metal Hammer review, Clarke isn’t concerned about the “hipster metal” tag the band’s gotten, nor is he going to apologize for their merch choices, taking aim at Ghost and Mastodon without naming names:
“You’ve got some band selling booty shorts over here and another band’s printing a line of dildos shaped like their lead singer. But you get mad at the blanket man?”
New Bermuda will be out on October 2 on Anti.