One of our picks for the top metal albums of 2013, Deafheaven's Sunbather was a wedding of beauty and beast. This Bay Area group tempers outbursts of blasting black metal with gorgeous post-rock atmospherics, appealing equally to headbangers and Mogwai fans. The group walks precariously on the tightrope between brutality and lushness. The high-pitched screams of George Clarke are caustic enough to make blood curl; in any other metal band, they would be haunting on their own. But when you factor in the sheer beauty of Kerry McCoy's shoegaze-inspired guitar work, everything becomes just a little more chilling. This juxtaposition is what makes Deafheaven a truly special act in today's scene. Their ability to engulf a listener in total darkness, then pull that listener back into a world where the sun is shining, is absolutely stunning.
Fri., April 25, 9 p.m., 2014
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