Deafheaven - Sunbather
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2013 Ratings: #3 / 1115
Year End Rank: #26
User Score
2013 Rank: #10All Time: #419
Liked by 559 people
June 11, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Deathwish / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
AllMusic

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.

100
NOW Magazine

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

100
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.

100
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.
92
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.

90
musicOMH

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.

90
Metal Injection

Sunbather is something to behold, and with the average vocal track averaging well over 10 minutes in length, the majority of the album's running time is well spent.

90
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.

90
Clash
It’s a bit bloody brilliant. A record everyone with half an experimental ear should experience, even if they run from it, screaming.
90
Exclaim!
The result is a perfectly flowing album that is, at times, as calming as it is chaotic.
90
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.

90
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.

90
No Ripcord

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

90
PopMatters

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.

89
Pitchfork

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. 

85
Spectrum Culture

Sunbather sees Deafheaven finding a way to make a personal, emotional statement without resorting to pure aggression and instead by finding places for insecurity within confidence, for instrumental complexity within the relentlessly heavy, and for the grey areas within black metal.

80
SPIN

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. 

80
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.

80
Metal Hammer
A superb and moving collection of tracks, pure and simple.
80
Kerrang!
It's not for the light-hearted, but Deafheaven have delivered a deranged, damaged, majestic treat here.
80
Louder Than War
Ostensibly some sort of black metal band or post black metal band or some sort of ambient post shoegaze band or a blackgaze band or whatever- this is the sound of barriers being smashed.
76
Sputnikmusic

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

60
Rolling Stone
Deafheaven make shoegazer metal that does its dark work in the background but refuses to stay in one place.
NR

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

lerkenfeldt
95

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.

UltimateLifeFrm
85

This hit like a ton of bricks!

Sunbather is the sophomore album from American metal band Deafheaven, released in June 2013. It was recorded in January that year at Atomic Garden Studios, based in California.

The band, initially a duo consisting of George Clarke & Kerry McCoy, began working on the album over the course of several days in Jan 2013. Over time, the process brought a third member, drummer Dan Tracy, who became a permanent part of the band since then.

Deafheaven's music drew ... read more

ashton
95

I LOVE THIS ALBUM

90

It’s so easy to get lost in the thick and hazy atmosphere this album provides. The aggressive screams blend pretty nicely into the very stark and aggressive instrumentation. A powerful showing of emotion and musical prowess. The interlude type cuts, while not my favorite do add to the overall album themes.

Mellesteen
96

If someone passes me the aux chord, I'm playing "Dream House". I don't give a fuck.

Damn, this music thing is pretty exciting, isn't it? I mean Christ, six years ago I was listening to Bred Sheeran and Hillsong fucking Worship. Now my favorite artists consist of blood-guzzling satanists, bible-burning degenerates and Alexis Marshall. Well, when I put it like that it doesn't seem so wonderful, but I'll have Kristin Hayter scream directly in my ear over hearing "What a Beautiful ... read more

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Track List

1Dream House
9:14
96
2Irresistible
3:13
90
3Sunbather
10:16
95
4Please Remember
6:26
86
5Vertigo
14:37
93
6Windows
4:42
82
7The Pecan Tree
11:26
94
Total Length: 59 minutes
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Added on: May 22, 2013