“Sunbather“, DEAFHEAVEN‘s 2013 record, was included in almost every best-list of the year on the internet. Their mix of black metal, post-metal and shoegaze was critically acclaimed. Their second offering “New Bermuda“ can live against the hype. The show in Cologne is sold out prior to the show.
DEAFHEAVEN seem to be a hipster band, so it is no surprise that only a few significant metalheads are among the crowd. Most of the people are wearing short haircuts and shirts of hardcore bands. Supporting act MYRKUR, also a hip but far more traditional black metal band, consisting of singer Alamie Bruun and fellow live musicians (the former Danish Chanel-model did record most of the instruments by herself in the studio). MYRKUR start with ,Den Lille Piges Død‘, a song for last year‘s “Adult Awim Singles Program“. The rest of her set consists of tracks of her “Myrkur“ ep and 2015‘s debut record, simply titled “M“. Bruun manages the elf-like vocals as well as harsh screaming. Neither of both skills suffer. The 30 minute long set is great, even though it appears to be too traditional, too much black metal for most of the crowd.
Then DEAFHEAVEN hit the stage. The light is dimmed to a nice orange, that embraces all of the stage, bells are ringing and the band kicks in with ‘Brought of the Water‘, the opener of “New Bermuda“. The sound is great and crystal clear, you can also hear some details, that you haven‘t heard on the record yet. Vocalist George Clarke kills it with his screams. I was afraid his voice might sound too thin live and couldn‘t keep up with the pressure coming from the guitars and drums, but Clarke sounds perfect! Also, he is the centre of attention. While the musicians are standing still, he is moving. He headbangs, he kind of dances, he comes close to the crowd.
The setlist consists of “New Bermuda“ played front to back. It‘s hard to highlight any particular song, because every track gets the same euphoric response from the 600 attendees. But the encore, ‘Dream House‘ taken from “Sunbather“, is clearly the highlight for most people. For more than 60 minutes DEAFHEAVEN deliver on hell of a good metal show. I have seen only a few that‘ve been better. Great metal-evening!