In the sunshine of California, Deafheaven have created a style of ambient black metal that has both captured the imagination and divided the opinion of American rock fandom.
After growing up in Modesto, California together as self-professed bratty metal upstarts, vocalist George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy moved to San Francisco in 2010 and formed Deafheaven, a band whose contrasting mixture of metal and post rock has made them both a success story and a curiosity for critics and fans alike. After recording their four-track demo, the duo became a five-piece band, signed up to Deathwish Inc for their debut album Roads To Judah and took their strange new sound on the road. After the strains of touring led the three new recruits to leave, McCoy and Clarke released their second LP, Sunbather, in 2013, a watershed release for the band for its lush shoegaze and even pop-leaning elements, and their third LP, New Bermuda, in 2015, on Epitaph sister label ANTI. Rotating new bands members in recent years, Deafheaven’s reputation for physically intense live shows and a “fuck you” attitude to metal convention has seen them contemporarily aligned with the new “North American Black Metal” sound (alongside groups such as Wolves In The Throne Room and Liturgy) – an innovative blend of black metal vocals and suspenseful, cathartic ambience.