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Deafheaven’s 10 Years Gone: post black-metal delirium live in lockdown

Modern metal visionaries Deafheaven don't let a pandemic get in the way of anniversary celebrations on new album 10 Years Gone

Deafheaven: 10 Years Gone
(Image: © Sargent House)

A decade has come and gone, and Deafheaven are still here – maybe more than ever. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their first release, the band had planned to set out for a celebratory tour – but evidently, 2020 had different plans.

All was not lost, though; instead of playing for a live audience, they performed their special set in a studio set-up for their anniversary live release, 10 Years Gone. And what a set it is; it contains Daedalus – the first song the band surrounding founding members George Clarke and Kerry McCoy had ever written for their debut demo – in a powerful cleaned-up version. Deafheaven also revisit the 2014 standalone track, From The Kettle Onto The Coil, and Glint off of their latest album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love.

It’s a sonic portfolio that shows the impressive evolution of one of our present moment’s most distinct metal bands, and it’s as little of a surprise that a good part of this retrospective focuses on Sunbather as it is that its opener, Dream House, forms the grand finale. This album, this song that catapulted Deafheaven into the mainstream in 2013, will probably forever be the standard they will have to meet. Not that they couldn’t. Glint, for example, gracefully ebbs and flows through different stages of melancholy for over 11 minutes here, proving overwhelming in its own right. But it is what it is: a studio-bound recording. 10 Years Gone doesn’t offer the energy, spontaneity and little mishaps that make the magic of an actual live album, but how could it? Ultimately, this record is the chronicle of a band reaching out to their community, to not only look back together, but to also push through an incredibly hard time for all of us. We can only hope that this community will be able to come together again very soon.