Oh, what a feeling to be lost in the music.
Last week, Deafheaven released their fifth album, “Infinite Granite.” It marks the band’s continued evolution of their sound, moving away from their sophomore record “Sunbather,” a post-metal shoegaze album — which if you haven’t listened to it, do it, it’s an incredible album.
With “Infinite Granite,” Deafheaven has shifted deeper into the realm of shoegaze, opting instead for a more somber and lighter sound within the sub-genre. It’s still heavier rock music than most, but compared to their other work, it’s not as harsh or intense. But, it fits into their album trajectory up to this point.
The album consists of nine songs, including one instrumental track titled “Neptune Raining Diamonds.” There’s more attention brought to the vocals on the album, deviating away from the screaming found on their other records. Instead, they are more traditionally sung, echoing through the space of the songs almost as if their vocals are originating from a distant canyon.
There still is some screaming on the album. This time, the scream singing is sparsely placed, creeping within a few songs only to burst out near the end — but it never felt out of place. Actually, it was some of the closest that this album felt to Deafheaven’s previous work without feeling derivative.
That isn’t to say that this new direction is bad. It’s quite great, exploring these sonic landscapes and reflecting a feeling of weightlessness inside of a vacuum. This is an album that a listener can easily get lost in, which is a good thing if you let it wash over you.
A few highlights from the album include “Great Mass of Color,” “Lament for Wasps” and “In Blur.” They cover some of the more beautiful moments on the album, especially within the song writing.
The lyrics feel like little reflections of time, capturing the feeling of a moment more than the moment itself. This is also represented in “Villain” and “Other Languages,” which best capture what Deafheaven is all about musically and lyrically.
The lyrics probably aren’t the deepest or have much weight behind them, but it fits the mood of the album, whether you’re listening closer or just letting it blend within the music itself. Along with that, it sometimes feels like the band is just going through the motions to make a shoegaze album.
Regardless, it works, even if it might not be representative of the height of the sub-genre.
There’s a lot to enjoy on “Infinite Granite.” Even though I’m more partial to “Sunbather,” it’s refreshing to see a band not be afraid to experiment with their sound and what they want to accomplish in their music.
Fans of Deafheaven should find elements to latch onto and love in this album. It’s definitely not as harsh as their previous work, but it’s a great album to get lost in. If you’re a diehard fan of their more intense music, you might not love this album. But, it was a wonderful experience finding myself lost within the confines of “Infinite Granite.”