Deafheaven rocks The Ready Room

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Deafheaven rocks The Ready Room

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Chaos comes in many forms, and on Monday night at The Ready Room, two of these forms of chaos were demonstrated perfectly.

The first type of chaos was insane chaos, which was given to the crowd courtesy of the Swedish group Tribulation. Pre-concert, the band manager came out and lit incense on both sides of the stage and candles that were hanging from the mic stand. The band then walked out to a minimalistic violin track, but with a look that contradicted this introductory sound. The four band members had heavy makeup on and long flowing hair, doused in baby powder that flew everywhere upon first headbang. When the first note was played, the sound lined up much more with the bands appearance. The band members were flailing around the stage as if their lives would’ve ended had they stopped moving. Tribulation was a great mashup of many metal sounds: thrash, death, and melodic all combining to create a sound that makes the listener want to hit somebody, but in a good way. Though their style seemed much more of the stereotypical metal kind, Tribulation were very unique in their music and were a great opener for the evening.

Deafheaven represented the opposite end of the chaos spectrum, that being controlled and beautiful chaos. You may be thinking, controlled chaos? Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron? Yes, but at the same time, the band embodies that idea of controlled, beautiful chaos perfectly. They are also a magnet for contradictions – the crowd that night had metalheads, hipsters, and average music lovers all in attendance. Singer George Clarke says this wide range of fans doesn’t surprise him, because “We incorporate a wide spectrum of influence in our music, so it feels natural to have fans approaching us from different perspectives.” Touring in support of their new album, “New Bermuda,” the band had a setlist that showcased this new record, playing all five of the songs on it, while also playing two standout tracks from their 2013 breakout record, “Sunbather.”

“New Bermuda” had some critics wondering if the band was going to progress in their sounds, or simply create a sequel to “Sunbather.” They very well could have done the same record over again, and it would have been loved all the same because of how well they mix the black metal and shoegaze genres together. The band didn’t settle though, and instead continued stretching the genres and influences of their music. Hints of everything, ranging post-rock to indie to thrash music, all come out in the record. To a listener, there is an appeal from every side of the musical spectrum.

Opening their set with “Brought to the Water”, the first song on their new album, the band immediately showcased their immense talent as musicians. Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra, the band’s two guitarists, were playing scales and changing keys at a lightning pace, at points playing faster than anyone could possibly headbang to. Stephen Clark’s pounding bass kept things grounded while George Clarke’s vocals ran wild. It is insane how someone can scream with that much force night after night without losing their voice. The real standout of their band is Daniel Tracy though. His drumming abilities are beyond this world, and he was playing with such intensity and speed that it left more than a few with their jaws agape. The only thing I could liken it to is the scene in the move “Whiplash” where Miles Teller plays the drums so ferociously that his hands bleed. This is how Tracy was playing his drums, but for eight songs over 80 minutes. Even the most casual of metal fans, like me, could acknowledge the incredible musicianship that was on showcase for all those in attendance.

For all these traits of a metal band that they displayed, it would seem as they’re just any other group. And yet Deafheaven is anything but that, because in between between these fast paces of music, there is often a shoegaze interlude of beautiful music that can only be described as captivating.

In new songs “Luna” and “Baby Blue,” these were exemplified and were generally two minutes of bliss that were a nice change of pace from the fast craziness of the majority of the show. During these breaks, Clarke would peruse the stage and dance about, another thing not typical of many bands of their genre. Once the interlude was over, he would go back to his terrifying stage presence of screaming his heart out and staring out into the crowd while the band chugged along with the same ferociousness they had all throughout the show. Clarke’s ability to command the crowd was unprecedented; one circle of his hand, and a mosh pit would form, one wave forward, and the whole crowd would push against the barrier. It was as if he were a puppeteer, and the fans were simply being controlled by his actions.

During the encore, he crowd surfed for a brief moment and got back on stage and finished the song with no mic, simply screaming along with those in the front row. It was a moment of passion that would be hard for anyone to try to match, and a great image to end the show.