Dream House

Deafheaven Dream House

(Sargent House)

Before you even press play on Dream House, the latest track from San Francisco black metal act Deafheaven, you can clearly tell something’s not right. The album cover for their new album, Sunbather, is a bright, rosy pink – easily the least black metal color available – and the track’s title sounds more fitting for a Cocteau Twins song than a metal band. But it’s the track’s uplifting, bright sound that truly dismantles any and all black metal conventions. The basic elements are still there – crusty, tremolo picked guitar leads; shrieking, hell-spawn vocals; semiquaver drum assaults – but while most bands in the genre use these elements to conjure a nihilistic void, the escalating riffs of Dream House create purely triumphant bombast that launches you into the stratosphere rather than drag you down into murky depths. After a nearly six minute barrage, the band breaks things down and suspends their riffs in mid-air. It’s something you would expect at the end of a GY!BE or Explosions In The Sky crescendo, only in this case, the entire track acts as one enormous, bracing climax.