Deafheaven - Sunbather
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2013 Ratings: #1 / 952
Year End Rank: #26
User Score
Based on 555 ratings
2013 Ratings: #3
June 11, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Deathwish / Label
Blackgaze / Genres
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Your Review


A.V. Club

What’s undeniable is that moments from Sunbather will resonate long after the pointless babble has died down, proving that sometimes the greatest beauty can only be found in the face of chaos.

The Skinny
Ultimately, Deafheaven's songwriting talents have improved in a big way here; each track more consciously built around the bigger picture, making for a consistently gripping, emotionally cleansing whole.
NOW Magazine

The record alchemizes shoegaze's hazy wall of distortion and black metal's quick-fire drumming and tormented, raspy howling.


Deafheaven’s second outing is wondrous celebration of boundless ambition and pure artistic vision.

Beats Per Minute

Sunbather is a future classic, no matter where you pigeonhole it, and that’s the mark of a true sonic masterpiece. Black metal, not black metal, just call it what it is: perfect.

The 405

This quest for perfection has yielded the most emotive and powerful music Deafheaven have yet written. Their sound is much more expansive than before, and even more varied.


Deafheaven’s audacity and artistry are hard to deny, which is but one of many reasons why Sunbather is an essential listen, and one of 2013’s boldest works of art.

Consequence of Sound

Sunbather is a developed, mature, and, above all, an original statement that truly lives up to the unbelievable amount of hype it has earned.

No Ripcord

Sunbather is an absolutely massive, all-encompassing experience, one that’s both frighteningly intense and indescribably beautiful – often simultaneously.


Many bands go through their entire career without making an album as well crafted, fully realized, and downright gorgeous as Sunbather, and somehow, Deafheaven have managed to nail it on their second outing, with an album that seems to get bigger and more affective with each listen.


There’s something deeply relevant about Sunbather, as if it touches a sort of inner anxiety and insecurity that currently lingers in many of us.

The result is a perfectly flowing album that is, at times, as calming as it is chaotic.
It’s a bit bloody brilliant. A record everyone with half an experimental ear should experience, even if they run from it, screaming.
Crack Magazine

Deafheaven’s new full length and follow-up to 2011’s Roads to Judah, is a near masterpiece. We can say that. It is an incredible piece of work.


It has the ability to capture the attention of people who don't normally listen to heavy music. It's also one of the most successful examples of a band using black metal as a starting point and ending up somewhere else entirely. 


Sunbather comes laced with post-rock grace and a pop-like accessibility. Nor are those elements sequestered from the black-metal bombardment: They are part of it, or, depending upon your perspective, it is part of them. 

The Needle Drop

West Coast metal outfit Deafheaven has really improved their sound on this latest outing of theirs, delivering sharper, more triumphant compositions through a barrage of black metal-style instrumentation.

Rolling Stone
Deafheaven make shoegazer metal that does its dark work in the background but refuses to stay in one place.
If the world was coming to an end, this is the record I would listen to. I would walk out of my house put "Sunbather" on my iPod and I would feel at peace. One final deafening roar before an eternity of silence.
Metal music for people who don't like metal. Brilliant album!
how can it be metal.............. if the cover is pink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's called """""""black"""" metal for a reason... not PINK metal... everyone knows the true PINK metal already belongs to Boris. ... read more
EDIT: i grew some balls and learned to tolerate the screaming vocals. this is an amazing album from start to finish

loved the instrumentation, but im a lightweight, and i cringe when i hear piercing screams for vocals. i have no doubt that this is an impressive metal album, however i personally just cant get through someone screaming at me through my headphones. still a brilliantly produced LP though.
Anything that even touches metal from the little that I've heard, just isn't for me. I feel like I'm being yelled at the whole time, like I somehow offended the signer and now he's gonna murder me in my sleep. Eh it's probably because I'm too sensitive but I can't help feeling that way. The instrumentals are alright but I probably don't have the appreciation for them that I "should" have. The parts I enjoyed the most were the quieter ones where I didn't feel like I was being suffocate ... read more
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Track List

  1. Dream House
  2. Irresistible
  3. Sunbather
  4. Please Remember
  5. Vertigo 
  6. Windows 
  7. The Pecan Tree
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Added on: May 22, 2013