User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 282 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 282

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  1. Jun 12, 2013
    10
    I've honestly never heard anything like this. Granted, I'm not as seasoned in metal, but it skews more post-rock than anything. That being said, as an album, this is truly a remarkable effort from a group that has something interesting to say. There's a lot of complex songwriting, and enough of a dynamic experience that this is as an accessible of a challenge any newcomers are ever goingI've honestly never heard anything like this. Granted, I'm not as seasoned in metal, but it skews more post-rock than anything. That being said, as an album, this is truly a remarkable effort from a group that has something interesting to say. There's a lot of complex songwriting, and enough of a dynamic experience that this is as an accessible of a challenge any newcomers are ever going to find. One of the best of the year. Expand
  2. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    If you are unsure of this album, please disregard the backlash from all those "purists" out there. I'm referring to the people giving this album 2's and 0's, and for what, their album cover? Their vocalist's trendy haircut? Oh, brother...

    Granted, I don't feel this album exactly lives up to its hype, it certainly delivers on several, albeit familiar (think Mogwai meets Ulver w/Blast
    If you are unsure of this album, please disregard the backlash from all those "purists" out there. I'm referring to the people giving this album 2's and 0's, and for what, their album cover? Their vocalist's trendy haircut? Oh, brother...

    Granted, I don't feel this album exactly lives up to its hype, it certainly delivers on several, albeit familiar (think Mogwai meets Ulver w/Blast Beats), levels. Everything from the production to the instrumentation is stellar. The album's seamless ebb and flow, from gorgeous soundscapes to desperate moments of tension, make it an extremely enjoyable journey for any fan of heavy music.
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  3. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    One of the best records this year for sure. Regardless of genre.
    It plays like a huge metal symphony: elegant, intelligent & furious.
    The negative user reviews reek of close mindedness & a lack of understanding.
  4. Kas
    Jun 12, 2013
    9
    Yo, do yourself a favor and ignore the comments and user score because it's all just a bunch of reactionary and amateur-level trolling. I'm guessing Sunbather will end up between 80 to 90 once all the reviews come in, so I'm rounding up to 9 to correct for the trolls. Hey, if album-ratings politics is your thing then you'll get a kick out of this thread, but if you don't want to takeYo, do yourself a favor and ignore the comments and user score because it's all just a bunch of reactionary and amateur-level trolling. I'm guessing Sunbather will end up between 80 to 90 once all the reviews come in, so I'm rounding up to 9 to correct for the trolls. Hey, if album-ratings politics is your thing then you'll get a kick out of this thread, but if you don't want to take anyone's word for it which you have every right not to then maybe you should, I dunno, LISTEN TO THE GODDAMN ALBUM. Expand
  5. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    I've never heard an album like this is truly unique and has a certain attraction that I like, is an exquisitely produced album. Sunbather flows like air, is a long drive but it is a fast album, trances toughest interspersed perfectly. You may drop them sticks everywhere, but I think Deatfheaven deserves a big opportunity to shine with his music and I think everyone should take theI've never heard an album like this is truly unique and has a certain attraction that I like, is an exquisitely produced album. Sunbather flows like air, is a long drive but it is a fast album, trances toughest interspersed perfectly. You may drop them sticks everywhere, but I think Deatfheaven deserves a big opportunity to shine with his music and I think everyone should take the opportunity to listen. Expand
  6. Jun 17, 2013
    10
    I made an account just to review this album. It is hardly deserving of the numerous 0's it is receiving by the users. Please note that anyone who gives this album a 0 is either a troll or a very closed minded person who does not appreciate/understand black metal. For this reason, while I normally would've given the album a 9, I gave it a 10 to balance out the reviews.

    This work is truly
    I made an account just to review this album. It is hardly deserving of the numerous 0's it is receiving by the users. Please note that anyone who gives this album a 0 is either a troll or a very closed minded person who does not appreciate/understand black metal. For this reason, while I normally would've given the album a 9, I gave it a 10 to balance out the reviews.

    This work is truly an emotional masterpiece-it brought tears to my eyes the first time that I heard it. It cannot be described in words; it can only be felt. So do yourself a favor and go listen to it/buy it and support these artists and their incredible work of art.
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  7. Jun 18, 2013
    9
    Ugh; already reactionary bad reviews are piling on. Guess I'll add to the fire in hopes of nullifying all the super low votes which are obviously just backlash garbage reviews based on their brevity. So it's not quite "Black Metal" but it has it's dense and heavy moments which even with some fairly technical playing can be kind of jarring in a chaotic kind of way the first few listenUgh; already reactionary bad reviews are piling on. Guess I'll add to the fire in hopes of nullifying all the super low votes which are obviously just backlash garbage reviews based on their brevity. So it's not quite "Black Metal" but it has it's dense and heavy moments which even with some fairly technical playing can be kind of jarring in a chaotic kind of way the first few listen through's. It's not quite "Post-Rock" with all the eagle screeching which you come to expect from Black Metal, but it has the ebb and flow of a compacted GY!BE album and definitely doesn't drown the sound out with double bass which I can dig. I'm more a fan of the post rock side of that equation but I can appreciate what these guys accomplished here and do find it fills a unique niche If that sounds interesting to you, check it out. I know some people do generally dislike this kind of music but those aren't the kind of people that write garbage reviews like the negative ones here; those reviewers are trying to tell the reader how they're cooler than whats cool and how we're all sheep for liking something that was reviewed so well. Get a life guys. mumubare any review of a band's MUSIC, that starts by critiquing it's ALBUM ART is already too pretentious to read beyond that point. Deafheaven are the musicians who made the music here, not the cover art, geez. Expand
  8. Jun 21, 2013
    9
    As someone who loathes metal, I have no idea how this album appeals to me, but it does. Love the post-rock feel. The "singer", who just screams through the entire album is somehow compatible with the music. Yet I still question whether or not the album would work better if the lead singer of the band used a less death-metal style of vocals.
  9. Jun 22, 2013
    9
    One of the best of the year. The instrumentation and pacing of the album are just incredible. If you don't normally like metal, seriously give this one a go (especially if you like My Bloody Valentine, the shoegaze feel to the album is a big positive).
  10. Jun 24, 2013
    9
    I really wasn't sure what to expect from this album going into it. With the critics just fawning over the product, especially with the "Black Metal" label, made me curious to listen to it but not go out of my way to do so. Therefore, I left this sitting in my Spotify queue for the past week or two.

    This was not what I expected. It's an interesting fusion between black metal and
    I really wasn't sure what to expect from this album going into it. With the critics just fawning over the product, especially with the "Black Metal" label, made me curious to listen to it but not go out of my way to do so. Therefore, I left this sitting in my Spotify queue for the past week or two.

    This was not what I expected. It's an interesting fusion between black metal and post-rock. Melodic, raw, and powerful sum up this release. I do recommend giving it a try as I believe it is a good record. The more I think and listen to it, perhaps the potential exists for it to become a great record, canonical for a more mainstream version of this genre of music, but I have yet to be convinced. All said, it's a fun one.
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  11. Jun 14, 2013
    9
    I don't know if this music even has a genre. Some songs are pretty slow with weird samples, but the others reach instrumental perfection, coming from a fan of post-rock and post-hardcore. But it is definitely neither of those. It is something else entirely, and you will need a very open mind to stomach it. Once accessed though, it is the most powerful music you'll ever experience in years.I don't know if this music even has a genre. Some songs are pretty slow with weird samples, but the others reach instrumental perfection, coming from a fan of post-rock and post-hardcore. But it is definitely neither of those. It is something else entirely, and you will need a very open mind to stomach it. Once accessed though, it is the most powerful music you'll ever experience in years. Just don't expect any lyrical value. This is chaos unravelled. Expand
  12. Jun 28, 2013
    10
    Incredible album. Its as if angels decided to try black metal, of all genres. But its amazing. Record of the year so far hands down.
    To all the black metal purists out there, I understand that you feel the need to defend your genre, but just because this isn't one of your Norwegian old school black metal bands doesn't mean you need to bash it. Deafheaven is not trying to be straight up
    Incredible album. Its as if angels decided to try black metal, of all genres. But its amazing. Record of the year so far hands down.
    To all the black metal purists out there, I understand that you feel the need to defend your genre, but just because this isn't one of your Norwegian old school black metal bands doesn't mean you need to bash it. Deafheaven is not trying to be straight up black metal. It is what it is.
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  13. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    My favorite album of the year. If you are not predisposed to extreme music, best give it some listens before buying. But if you are adventurous, the type of album that rewards repeated listens.
  14. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    Best record in at least 10 years, maybe longer. Period. Listen for yourself. If you're not moved, check that, if you're not blown away by every aspect of this record, then you'd better check yourself for a pulse to make sure your still alive. Finally, some "NEW" stuff.
  15. Jun 29, 2013
    10
    This is a breakthrough album along the lines of Husker Du's Zen Arcade. Yes, the skinhead purists of the American hardcore scene shouted "sellout" in the summer of 1984 when the Minneapolis trio released that sonic masterpiece, changing forever the landscape of American punk rock. Sunbather transcends genres and subgenres. It is thrash that is both melodic and intense with chord changesThis is a breakthrough album along the lines of Husker Du's Zen Arcade. Yes, the skinhead purists of the American hardcore scene shouted "sellout" in the summer of 1984 when the Minneapolis trio released that sonic masterpiece, changing forever the landscape of American punk rock. Sunbather transcends genres and subgenres. It is thrash that is both melodic and intense with chord changes that recall Unforgettable Fire/Joshua Tree era U2. Deafheaven emerges from the black metal underground with a record that would also be at home on Will Johnson's or Glenn Branca's turntable. Expand
  16. Jan 30, 2014
    10
    Just because you are not a fan of a genre does not mean the album isn't good. These 0's that this album is getting are ridiculous. This is one of the best albums of 2013. It is a beautiful mix between post-rock and black metal. I seriously suggest people that cant get past the screaming vocals try to look past them and hear the music that is already washing out the vocals anyways.
  17. Feb 25, 2014
    10
    Never heard this band before until I saw Sunbather's metacritic score and it lit my interest. I've been listening to black metal, death metal etc for over 15 years so I've heard pretty much it all.. but Deafheaven was something different.. It was a crossover between Darkthrone and Oasis, which both I liked very much.. well, Darkthrone not so much but still.. Since the first song ofNever heard this band before until I saw Sunbather's metacritic score and it lit my interest. I've been listening to black metal, death metal etc for over 15 years so I've heard pretty much it all.. but Deafheaven was something different.. It was a crossover between Darkthrone and Oasis, which both I liked very much.. well, Darkthrone not so much but still.. Since the first song of Sunbather started to play, I was sold.. It just was so great and all those great reviews are earned. Expand
  18. Jun 15, 2013
    9
    Lots of genre junkies will hate this because it is not purely this or that. Don't fuss so much guys, open your mind and ears and just listen to the complexity, beauty and skill offered by Deafheaven on this new release.
  19. Jul 4, 2013
    10
    For anyone who loves traditional black metal AND post rock. If you're a fan of Burzum and also a fan of Explosions in the Sky, I recommend this album.
  20. Jul 24, 2013
    9
    The best album of the year with post punk and heavy metal sounds......I generally do not prefer listening tracks that last over 6 min but the tracks in this album are intriguing and exceptional.
  21. Jun 19, 2013
    9
    I wouldn't call any Black Metal fans purists anymore, give me a break. Any good genre should strive to evolve and become more intricate. I have a pretty solid background in all sorts of metal, and music in general. I listen to everything from mainstream to super unknown locals acts. I will tell you, if you're open minded to something new, this is a great album to start with. Black MetalI wouldn't call any Black Metal fans purists anymore, give me a break. Any good genre should strive to evolve and become more intricate. I have a pretty solid background in all sorts of metal, and music in general. I listen to everything from mainstream to super unknown locals acts. I will tell you, if you're open minded to something new, this is a great album to start with. Black Metal has been having an interesting resurgence lately and attracting a whole new group of fans. Personally I think Black Metal was due for something new. It had always been beautiful, acts like Alcest make a great example of going for the beautiful side of Black Metal. The guitars on this album switch between your general black metal speed, with absolutely gorgeous slow sections. The vocals also blend nicely into the wall of sound Deafheaven has instilled. It's a truly great new Black Metal album, anyone who denounces for the reasons of "purist" is probably a close minded moron whose opinion is mute. It's good stuff, give it a chance. Expand
  22. Jul 2, 2013
    10
    I had never heard of Deafheaven before, but I feel like I've been waiting for this album for years.

    A necessary redirection of instrumental post-rock, combined with the welcome recent resurface of shoegazing. Jaw-dropping.
  23. Jul 4, 2013
    10
    From post-hardcore guitars to metal drums to elegant piano-- it is a wonderful collage of genres narrated by George's screaming voice. Excellent. Listen and re-listen.
  24. Aug 13, 2013
    10
    Sunbather is a masterpiece that somehow manages to be crushingly heavy and ethereally beautiful for the entire 60 minutes that it lasts. It's very nature is polarizing, and I wouldn't say this album is accessible, even to fans of the genres it takes takes its influence from. It's not necessarily a new idea either, but it provides some of the most epic moments I've heard in recent memory.Sunbather is a masterpiece that somehow manages to be crushingly heavy and ethereally beautiful for the entire 60 minutes that it lasts. It's very nature is polarizing, and I wouldn't say this album is accessible, even to fans of the genres it takes takes its influence from. It's not necessarily a new idea either, but it provides some of the most epic moments I've heard in recent memory. The title track stands out especially with it's airy beginning and the shift in the middle of the song that absolutely explodes into apocalyptic fury. The slower moments in between the heavier tracks don't have a lot to say on their own, but really tie the album together nicely as a whole. The greatest strength of the album is scope and ambition, as it takes quite a few listens to swallow, but will give you still give you goosebumps after the 20th time you've listened to it. Easily the best album of 2013 so far, and I don't see it being beat. Expand
  25. Dec 29, 2013
    9
    As the other reviews, and my own personal experience, infer, Sunbather is an impossible album to classify as one specific kind of music. Though the screamed vocal and pounding guitars suggest their earlier black metal, the slowed down moments of the album are clearly more attuned to post-rock like Tortoise, and the wall-of-sound feel of a majority of the album suggests shoegazing in theAs the other reviews, and my own personal experience, infer, Sunbather is an impossible album to classify as one specific kind of music. Though the screamed vocal and pounding guitars suggest their earlier black metal, the slowed down moments of the album are clearly more attuned to post-rock like Tortoise, and the wall-of-sound feel of a majority of the album suggests shoegazing in the vein of My Bloody Valentine. However, one thing that is certain is that this album is one of the most unique and emotionally intense (almost too much so) additions to metal ever, and is hopefully the sign of a new movement in metal music to bring to a new level of art (since, in my opinion, most metal now barely qualifies as music, much less art). If I was to describe this album to someone interested, the only comparison I could possibly think of is that it like Explosions in the Sky if they released a heavy metal album. Expand
  26. Jan 19, 2014
    6
    This warrants a positive score for uniqueness alone. Sounds like a blend of Black Metal and This Will Destroy You. Overall, uniqueness aside... the album is a bit monotonous in my opinion. Worth a listen.
  27. Jun 12, 2013
    9
    Getting sick and tired of close minded Black Metal 'fans' that wouldn't recognize good music if it came and bit them on the ass.
    How on earth would you rate an album as intense, original and beautifully lous a "0" is beyond me and those of you who made seperate accounts to vote it down should get a life.
    Now to the actual review. This is an album that is so well thought out, so well
    Getting sick and tired of close minded Black Metal 'fans' that wouldn't recognize good music if it came and bit them on the ass.
    How on earth would you rate an album as intense, original and beautifully lous a "0" is beyond me and those of you who made seperate accounts to vote it down should get a life.

    Now to the actual review.

    This is an album that is so well thought out, so well played, so beautifully paced and just screams (quite literally) an entire spectrum of emotions at its listeners, it defies belief.
    There is so much to be gained from repeat listenings, so much hidden in the layers of sound, such craftmanship in the recordings that it is almost weird you can still hear the fun the musicians had while making it. There is so much passion oozing out of the grooves, so much love for music and such originality that I cannot think any other release will top this in 2013.
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  28. Jun 13, 2013
    10
    I'm just reviewing this so the user score goes up. This is an incredible album that fully deserves the score it is getting from the critics. This is dope
  29. Jun 11, 2013
    9
    Regardless of what genre this album is, the fact remains that it is an astonishingly gorgeous release that ranks among 2013's best. Simultaneously accessible and challenging, this record brings in the spacey brilliance of Post-rock acts with the addition of pained harsh vocals, the murky haze of shoegaze, and the fast-moving tempo of percussion techniques previously used within blackRegardless of what genre this album is, the fact remains that it is an astonishingly gorgeous release that ranks among 2013's best. Simultaneously accessible and challenging, this record brings in the spacey brilliance of Post-rock acts with the addition of pained harsh vocals, the murky haze of shoegaze, and the fast-moving tempo of percussion techniques previously used within black metal. With such a mixed bag of influences, it is hard to define exactly what Sunbather is. If you read interviews with the band, they claim that Deafheaven merely aims to be Deafheaven. In this melting pot of a musical era that we live in, this is a perfectly acceptable sentiment; bands are allowed to question labels and simply make the music that they desire. In the case of Sunbather, it is clear that there is a looming sense of beauty and emotional urgency that desires escape via music. Resulting from this emotion is an evidently controversial instance of beautiful music that is incredibly well-executed. On a technical level, the album is nearly perfect. I don't think there was a better manner in which this album could have been recorded and produced. In addition to this, the songs (and the album itself) are structured into intriguing forms, defying traditional structures and surprising the ear at times. Sometimes, the most important releases are somewhat hard to define or accept. Will Deafheaven usher in an era of harshly-influenced post-rock? Maybe. Maybe not. Only one way to find out. I, for one, am excited to see what happens.

    Genres change. Music evolves. Question labels and genres. Listen for yourself. Listen to Sunbather with open ears and bask in its richness.
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  30. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    An incredible release. Deafheaven continues to evolve. Roads to Judah was a masterpiece and Sunbather is no different. Cannot wait to hear what these guys do next.
  31. Jun 13, 2013
    9
    Kevin Shields must be irritated, because after waiting for years and years to release the new My Bloody Valentine record he got one-upped by Deafheaven. I'm not a big black metal fan, and don't particularly care about genre tags or "real" metal, but I am a huge fan of this record. Just massive. Beautifully layered guitars, and surprisingly adept drumming. More tone poems than songs,Kevin Shields must be irritated, because after waiting for years and years to release the new My Bloody Valentine record he got one-upped by Deafheaven. I'm not a big black metal fan, and don't particularly care about genre tags or "real" metal, but I am a huge fan of this record. Just massive. Beautifully layered guitars, and surprisingly adept drumming. More tone poems than songs, but well worth a listen. Expand
  32. Jun 17, 2013
    10
    I never knew such a thing could exist but I personally believe this is a perfect album. A great mixture of 90's screamo/Post Hardcore/Speed Metal/Black Metal. Lyrically phenominal. I've played it over and over and it never gets old. 10/10
  33. Jun 11, 2013
    9
    First time I've been able to really enjoy blackened metal, though I don't even think you can call it that. It's like My Bloody Valentine meets Kvelertak, with some Hammock-like ambient/post-rock thrown in for good measure. Rest-assured though, this is more clever than just a mix of styles. It's really upbeat, even epic sounding and despite the technical styling of black metal that theyFirst time I've been able to really enjoy blackened metal, though I don't even think you can call it that. It's like My Bloody Valentine meets Kvelertak, with some Hammock-like ambient/post-rock thrown in for good measure. Rest-assured though, this is more clever than just a mix of styles. It's really upbeat, even epic sounding and despite the technical styling of black metal that they apply to their music, it's overall mood doesn't exactly scream depression and/or hatred.

    Overall, this is something that anyone who likes various post-rock, shoegaze, or metal NEEDS to listen to at some point. I think you'll be surprised.
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  34. Jun 16, 2013
    7
    A good album to be sure, but the hyperbole surrounding Deafheaven is a bit ridiculous. Wolves in the Throne Room are just as intriguing. They've also maintained quality over several albums.
  35. Oct 15, 2013
    5
    Frankly this album didn't live up to the hype at all. Was never a big fan of metal to begin with so the vocals were a bit of a turn off from the get go. Musically it is quite dull as well. Didn't feel any reason to relisten to it at all.
  36. Jun 13, 2013
    9
    "Sunbather" is a stimulating, brilliant record that does an impressive job at keeping a dense, vibrant atmosphere while also blending other genres and influences.
  37. Jun 13, 2013
    9
    The layered guitar tracks, heavy hitting drums, shrieking vocals and ultimately rich production is what makes Sunbather the densest and most intense sounding record to come out this year (so far).
  38. Jun 13, 2013
    5
    This is probably not going to appeal to people who aren't big fans of the genre or music critics. Don't let the 97 rating fool you into thinking this is something for everybody.
  39. Jul 8, 2013
    0
    What a horrible record. It has no sense, it repeats the same guitar sound and the same screams for around 10 minutes sometimes. There are short "songs" but they are made only by sounds of people talking and a poor beat. I don't understand the 95/100, really.
  40. Apr 9, 2014
    0
    Simply awful. Deafheaven do not seem to have grasped what makes post rock or black metal good. Instead, they have taken the absolute worst parts of both genres and combined them into something unlistenable. I love post rock and black metal. One for its beautiful guitar tones, soundscapes and general laid back feeling and the other for its ugly, raw energy. But what Deafheaven have done wasSimply awful. Deafheaven do not seem to have grasped what makes post rock or black metal good. Instead, they have taken the absolute worst parts of both genres and combined them into something unlistenable. I love post rock and black metal. One for its beautiful guitar tones, soundscapes and general laid back feeling and the other for its ugly, raw energy. But what Deafheaven have done was take the repetitive and monotone drums and vocals of black metal and the uninspired songwriting of bad post rock and made an album that is tedious, pretentious and, worst of all, boring. Anyone listening to this is either trying to prove that they are "trve black metal" fans or is deaf. Expand
  41. Jun 11, 2013
    1
    The fact that so many reviewers are naming Deafheaven "the greatest or most significant or most influential" black metal band ever only tells you how far black metal music still is from becoming a serious art. Complete pleb crap. It's black metal for people who don't like black metal. The problem with this starts with the cover. It just screams "I'm-a-teenage-girl-who-uses-tumblr" in allThe fact that so many reviewers are naming Deafheaven "the greatest or most significant or most influential" black metal band ever only tells you how far black metal music still is from becoming a serious art. Complete pleb crap. It's black metal for people who don't like black metal. The problem with this starts with the cover. It just screams "I'm-a-teenage-girl-who-uses-tumblr" in all it's pink eye scourging awfulness. Once you get past that, you then need to subject yourself to listening to it. Good luck with that.

    Sunbather? More like Sunpooper. It was like having turds dropped into my ears for about 70 minutes. Never again. Never again.
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  42. Jun 13, 2013
    0
    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.; where to start with this stinker of an album? Well, the vocals are in the fashionable strangulated manner. I don't know what effect this is supposed to produce, but to my ears it just sounds both affected and silly. As for the music, it's a bog-standard heavily compressed dirge. The guitar is monotonous, the bass pedestrian and the drumming unvarying for theOh dear, oh dear, oh dear.; where to start with this stinker of an album? Well, the vocals are in the fashionable strangulated manner. I don't know what effect this is supposed to produce, but to my ears it just sounds both affected and silly. As for the music, it's a bog-standard heavily compressed dirge. The guitar is monotonous, the bass pedestrian and the drumming unvarying for the most part. There are moments of quiet, which are a relief from the tedious sonic assault found everywhere else, but they are brief. Candidly, this is a juvenile way to make music and this album is both deeply uninspiring and deeply disappointing. As I said in the first line, it's a stinker. Expand
  43. Jun 12, 2013
    0
    This is a perfect example of how polarized and messed up the music community and reviews are. This album has a 99 on Metacritic (of 6 reviews). Meanwhile, the user ranking is 6.6 (out of 10). I previewed it to see why such high marks by the reviewers and it's a bunch of noise droning stuff. I don't even know how to properly detail what kind of "music" this is because I can't fathom anyoneThis is a perfect example of how polarized and messed up the music community and reviews are. This album has a 99 on Metacritic (of 6 reviews). Meanwhile, the user ranking is 6.6 (out of 10). I previewed it to see why such high marks by the reviewers and it's a bunch of noise droning stuff. I don't even know how to properly detail what kind of "music" this is because I can't fathom anyone liking or listening to this. It just puts a really bad taste in my mouth. Expand
  44. Jul 21, 2013
    0
    Basically sounds like a British art rock band playing at a stage too close to a death metal band. If you like Funk/metal and other tasteless hybrids, you may like this. It's sad.

    Metal in cardigans and corduroys.
  45. Jun 11, 2013
    3
    Hype metal.
    Even worse than regular metal.
    Listen to weakling instead, then move on with your life.
    Or alternatively, give into the hype and be a pathecitc virgin for the rest of the summer. Loser.
  46. Nov 2, 2013
    7
    Occasionally lapses into melody after testing the limits of your ability to stand the sheer, um, screeching chaos. I don't think it's my thing but I also don't think this is a 9 out of 10. This kind of thing makes me hate music critics and seriously mistrust metacritic. I'll give it a try now and again but it's not what I would at all call 'gorgeous' or remarkable or beautiful or great.
  47. Aug 21, 2013
    1
    They're playing their hearts out and the production is really good. But why even have lyrics and voice if there is no coherence to the lyrics or character to the vocals? It's almost an insult to the instruments. This was over before it began.
  48. Jul 13, 2013
    1
    Hype and nothing more. This is crap. Seriously, is this even an album? 70 minutes of nothing repeated on and on and on. Of course, top rated in 2013. And every damn time I fall for it. Trick me once, shame on you, trick me five hundred times, shame on me.
  49. RNG
    Jun 11, 2013
    6
    Not up to par with the band's previous effort in my opinion. Still a solid album but I feel like they are trying to do too many things, and spreading themselves quite thin as a result. It can't decide how much influence it wants to incorporate from any of the many genres it pays lip service to (post-rock, screamo, black metal, shoegaze) and suffers as a result.

    What I'm most worried
    Not up to par with the band's previous effort in my opinion. Still a solid album but I feel like they are trying to do too many things, and spreading themselves quite thin as a result. It can't decide how much influence it wants to incorporate from any of the many genres it pays lip service to (post-rock, screamo, black metal, shoegaze) and suffers as a result.

    What I'm most worried about is other interesting "blackgaze" albums being lost in the rather substantial hype, or being compared to Sunbather. This is a good album, but not one to define a genre by as many reviews suggest.
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  50. Jun 14, 2013
    5
    Before I comment on this, let me just say I'm not really a fan of this genre, but seeing a ridiculous critic 97 rating on this thing I decided to check it out.

    For me the music certainly has merit from an instrumental standpoint it's compelling stuff and ranges from anywhere from catchy to stunningly beautiful. Having said that, this album does not deserve nearly as much universal
    Before I comment on this, let me just say I'm not really a fan of this genre, but seeing a ridiculous critic 97 rating on this thing I decided to check it out.

    For me the music certainly has merit from an instrumental standpoint it's compelling stuff and ranges from anywhere from catchy to stunningly beautiful. Having said that, this album does not deserve nearly as much universal praise as it's getting; it will certainly NOT be "universally acclaimed" by everyone.

    This is mainly because the vocals are not only completely incomprehensible but often clash with the wave of emotion the instrumentation works so hard to create. It almost feels like I'm on a bus listening to an great instrumental album on my headphones with a shouting arguing couple sitting next to me. This music stands on it's own, and shines beautifully through its powerful instrumentals I give it a relatively solid rating just because of the stunning instrumental portions but the screaming vocals are just too much for me. Of course that's just par for the course with this genre, but screaming vocals are just not something I'm into at all.

    SUMMARY (In my opinion): For it's genre, it's awesome. Not an album for everyone and not a 97 by any means. If you're cool with screaming vocals, then you're good to go. If you're not into this genre then don't expect to be consistently blown away but check out the instrumental parts, because they're worth it.
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  51. Sep 20, 2013
    8
    When i saw that this album had that high scores and people were calling it "masterpiece" and "perfect" I just had to listen to it. When i heard Dream House, my jaw dropped. It was so beautiful, it brought me so many emotions and in my mind came up pictures of random places i had never seen before. it was something different, fresh and just stunning. When irresistable came i thought it wasWhen i saw that this album had that high scores and people were calling it "masterpiece" and "perfect" I just had to listen to it. When i heard Dream House, my jaw dropped. It was so beautiful, it brought me so many emotions and in my mind came up pictures of random places i had never seen before. it was something different, fresh and just stunning. When irresistable came i thought it was a fitting continuation to cool down from the screams, grinding drums and loud guitars, again just a beautiful track. But when the middle came up it wasnt really something new, it was pretty okay i guess. that until The Pekan Tree came up. I was blown away yet again, a perfect opener and closer but the stuff between keep it from being so exeptional. Although I have just listened to it my first time now, so maybe i will like it more the second, third or sixth time. Expand
  52. Aug 27, 2013
    2
    This is just a reasonably standard late 90's early 2000's post rock album, but with someone incomprehensibly screaming all over it. I guess that kind of thing can suit the campy, theatrical nature of black metal, but hear it just sounds completely out of place. The scores this thing is receiving it utterly mystifying.
  53. Jul 7, 2014
    10
    this album is great, every song is well recorded and all the ambient of the songs is just amazing.
    This album rocks! All the circle-jerking black metal elitists are jealous, your genre has been hijacked by Deafheaven.
  54. Jul 27, 2013
    9
    Metal for non metal fans. Metal for open-minded fans of metal. Sweeping, majestic, delicate, beautiful, painful, haunting, violent, visceral: everything a forward-thinking metal album should be.
  55. Feb 19, 2014
    10
    Wonderful album. Meant to be taken as a whole. Vocals are great and it's a great listen all the way through. Along with The Mire, my favorite metal album of 2013 onward. People hating on Sunbather probably don't understand the concept or sound of the album.

    Hate on, while we listen with glee.
  56. Jul 26, 2013
    8
    Black metal, shoegaze, emo/sceamo, hardcore, and post-punk. Throw all those genres together and to most bands would completely butcher, but for Deafheaven, it's one of the most ambitious, loud, and beautiful records of 2012 so far. Sunbather is a hit from left field, completely throwing you for a loop the first few times you listen to it. Patience unravels this album with bliss. It's aBlack metal, shoegaze, emo/sceamo, hardcore, and post-punk. Throw all those genres together and to most bands would completely butcher, but for Deafheaven, it's one of the most ambitious, loud, and beautiful records of 2012 so far. Sunbather is a hit from left field, completely throwing you for a loop the first few times you listen to it. Patience unravels this album with bliss. It's a rewarding record once you understand it and it clicks. It's an hour long album consisting of only seven tracks that absolutely assault the senses from start to finish. The times they decide to slow down and have soft melodic instruments also show off some of the best parts.

    All In All, Sunbather is a great record that will be looked upon highly a few years from now. B+
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  57. Feb 15, 2014
    3
    http://bit.ly/1jDqoeq For me this is just unnecessary noise. Though other critics don't share that opinion. I'm hesitant to give it any score at all but I'm going to. While it was interesting I didn't like it. I found the experience mostly unpleasant and poorly arranged although it was performed fine.
  58. Dec 20, 2013
    9
    It's annoying seeing people rating this album while prefacing "Was never a big fan of metal to begin with" blah blah blah. Then what were you expecting?
  59. Sep 26, 2013
    8
    I've never heard of Deafhaven. I've never really listened to metal. I hate when people scream the lyrics and you can't understand them whatsoever. But there is something about this album, especially when listened to in its entirety, that is pretty remarkable. It evoked several emotions, and the band members prove to be musically talented enough that this is not for scream-o fans only.
  60. Jul 10, 2013
    8
    Brutality has never been so gorgeous. It’s an album that carefully weaves chaotic beauty into a surprisingly accessible formula, despite the long length of it’s songs. The length of the songs work both ways though, whilst they benefit by being able to evolve in front of you that will put you into a state of wonder, it can also alienate you at points, maybe making it hard for others toBrutality has never been so gorgeous. It’s an album that carefully weaves chaotic beauty into a surprisingly accessible formula, despite the long length of it’s songs. The length of the songs work both ways though, whilst they benefit by being able to evolve in front of you that will put you into a state of wonder, it can also alienate you at points, maybe making it hard for others to understand why you enjoy walls of noise and screaming for ten minuets.

    What is good about Sunbather, the second album from Deafheaven, is that it balances the heavy and the light. “Irresistible” flows from “Dream House” and “Please Remember” is more than a nice interlude between “Sunbather” and “Vertigo”. The first five tracks mix these different melodic dynamics and present you with images of the sun, both in a state of dying and birth.

    Despite the overall strength of the album, it becomes weaker in “Windows” and “The Pecan Tree”. The former is a very atmospheric track with audio clips and feels very much like an epilogue, which then in turn ruins “The Pecan Tree” which just feels like a poor encore; we want more, but really we’re satisfied with what we have been presented with, it oversaturates the album.

    Overall, the elements that are in Sunbather melt into one of the strongest albums of the year, an album that gives until you can no longer take.
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  61. Jul 23, 2013
    8
    A great metal album, rock album, noise, progressive rock, whatever you want to call it. I like that it uses influences from many other sounds in the same family while making them seem coherent. Though some tracks steer too traditionally to it’s family members and even sounding similar to some of the tracks on the same album, this LP is a great listen for long time metal fans, and is evenA great metal album, rock album, noise, progressive rock, whatever you want to call it. I like that it uses influences from many other sounds in the same family while making them seem coherent. Though some tracks steer too traditionally to it’s family members and even sounding similar to some of the tracks on the same album, this LP is a great listen for long time metal fans, and is even accessible to those not as familiar to the genre. Expand
  62. Sep 22, 2014
    10
    Deafheaven have obviously created one of the most controversial records on Metacritic—which is saying a lot, considering it's not by an allegedly 'washed-up' metal band or some album in the top 40. However, Sunbather deserves to be talked about. A lot. Even today. It's magnificent record to take in, whether you end up on its side or on the opposite. It has us talking and that's all that'sDeafheaven have obviously created one of the most controversial records on Metacritic—which is saying a lot, considering it's not by an allegedly 'washed-up' metal band or some album in the top 40. However, Sunbather deserves to be talked about. A lot. Even today. It's magnificent record to take in, whether you end up on its side or on the opposite. It has us talking and that's all that's important—at least there's something there to discuss.

    Let's get one thing out of the way: Sunbather isn't the first album conceptual art metal album on the market and it's certainly not Deafheaven's first time experimenting with this kind of sound. Their EP Roads to Judah was when the group gave us a vision into what we'd see in the future, however, we didn't expect it to be Sunbather, something so groundbreaking and well-detailed in a genre that began to lose its shine. George Clarke's faint yet deep-and-drenched-in-emotion screams haunt on every track. ("I'm dying"/"Is is blissful?"/"It's like a dream"/"I want to dream") The opening 9-minute rock opera "Dream House" has a finale that'll raise the goosebumps on even the most conservative of music listeners.

    The shoegazing influences are ingrained throughout the album like a forest; "Please Remember" is easily one of the most surprisingly ambitious and climactic highlights on the record, with its spoken word dialogue—which you should Google the words to as soon as possible if you want even more goosebumps—and seemingly lost musical composition of backwards guitar loops and a piledriving mechanic-esque noise that eventually dissolve into another beautiful acoustic moment. You'll find a lot of unexpected twists and turns on this album, despite using the same formula throughout: loud, humming guitars, seemingly time signature-less drums, and Clarke's screams leading into melancholy instrumental moments and spoken word speeches.

    Sunbather isn't for everyone and it'll have haters by the numbers, whether it's from the metalheads who refuse to buy into the hype or your mother simply saying, "It's still just screaming to me, turn it off!" But when an album creates that much controversy and develops that much of an interest from music listeners everywhere, you know it's more than word-of-mouth that drew them in and caused a reaction. But for my own opinion, I'm gonna call Sunbather a masterpiece. If I wanted to hate on it to sound 'unique' or love it to sound, again, 'unique', I wouldn't go into so much—still minimal compared to much, much better reviews written here, both good and bad—detail trying to explain why it is in fact one of the greatest albums in recent years.
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  63. Jul 10, 2013
    6
    What we have here is alternative pop/rock guitar (imagine no vocals or drums) with post-rock nuances such as bands like Tortoise or Slint and a post metal drone bands such as Isis or Sunn 0))). The only black metal traits would be that some of the tempos are fast, screaming vocals, and occasional blast beat drumming. It is artistic and is an interesting listen once through. As a wholeWhat we have here is alternative pop/rock guitar (imagine no vocals or drums) with post-rock nuances such as bands like Tortoise or Slint and a post metal drone bands such as Isis or Sunn 0))). The only black metal traits would be that some of the tempos are fast, screaming vocals, and occasional blast beat drumming. It is artistic and is an interesting listen once through. As a whole it is fresh, however the parts that contribute to the whole have been around. Same ingredients, yet new end result. Inspiring and entertaining moments are sprinkled sparingly, not emotionally moving, unless I am writhing in some cathartic emotional anguish that needs external soothing by this bipolar landscape. Expand
  64. Jul 11, 2013
    10
    "I'm dying"
    "Is it blissful?"
    "It's like a dream"
    "I want to dream"
    Deafheaven accomplished that goal, for me at least; this album is a dream. "Sunbather" is required listening, begging to be played at the loudest possible volume--Spinal Tap's mythical "11" setting. This work is the literal definition of awesome: a thing that inspires awe.
  65. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    Sunbather is the best album of this year, period.

    Sunbather is a unique and amazing black metal album that I truly enjoyed. With beautiful and rock hard beats that created a symphony of Black Metal in your ears, Sunbather proves to be an album that creates melodies that even I, a person who is not a fan of Black Metal, enjoys. That is saying something. Sunbather is a great album that
    Sunbather is the best album of this year, period.

    Sunbather is a unique and amazing black metal album that I truly enjoyed. With beautiful and rock hard beats that created a symphony of Black Metal in your ears, Sunbather proves to be an album that creates melodies that even I, a person who is not a fan of Black Metal, enjoys. That is saying something. Sunbather is a great album that even people who aren't fans of Black metal should listen to.
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  66. Aug 23, 2013
    9
    This is an amazing album. A band that gives us a new and excellent sound, an epic album with epic soundscapes that are beautiful and complex. It's one of the best albums of this excellent year for music.
  67. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    Black metal and shoegaze mixed, gets Blackgaze. Sunbather is a blackgaze album that is extremely melodic and pretty. The vocals being unintelligible isn't really an issue as much as I thought it would be. With very folky interludes, it's the long titans that really shine.
  68. Aug 24, 2013
    7
    For an album hailed for its crossover appeal (supposedly bringing together the best of post rock, screamo, "black" metal), it feels a little less multidimensional when taken as a whole without looking for comparisons. They brewed up an interesting mix of "hardcore" styles, and the results are often phenomenal, but I can see why the average listener would have a hard time enjoying this;For an album hailed for its crossover appeal (supposedly bringing together the best of post rock, screamo, "black" metal), it feels a little less multidimensional when taken as a whole without looking for comparisons. They brewed up an interesting mix of "hardcore" styles, and the results are often phenomenal, but I can see why the average listener would have a hard time enjoying this; it's a record that has to be slowly processed and picked apart to fall in love with, but if loud and insanely abrasive music isn't your thing, don't even bother. If do have the stomach for 10+minute epics of manic crunch and violent screams, mixed with dashes of clean melody, you'll find an album much deeper than the 5 song track list appears. The two immediate standouts are opener "Dreamhouse" and the title track; two sons that have the ability to blow your brains out with sheer noise while being more uplifting than a nostalgic arena rock act after several adult beverages. It's an interesting concoction, and one I will personally continue to revisit but Sunbather feels more like a stepping stone to me; as this group experiments and moves away for this exact sound (if they do), I expect greatness. This is original, and often spectacular, but it proves this band is legit more than anything else (i.e. their masterpiece may be just around the corner. This will easily qualify as a heat start if they follow through. Expand
  69. Sep 8, 2013
    8
    As far as metal albums go this is a home run. I have to admit the vocals aren't what I want to hear in music. However the vocals did blend amazingly well with the instrumentals. The album took about ten minutes of listening until the light bulb went off and i realized just how great it truly is. This album isn't for everyone but if you like great music or are a metal fan it's worth a listen.
  70. Oct 22, 2013
    10
    Instead of barraging listeners with a bunch of musical odysseys, the band breaks up their signature post-black metal songs with more post-rock and shoegaze interludes and influences.[With a] great mix of genres, awesome lyricism, impressive production and another reason to keep Deafheaven under the radar. Probably one of the Top 10 albums of the year, Sunbather, presents itself as one ofInstead of barraging listeners with a bunch of musical odysseys, the band breaks up their signature post-black metal songs with more post-rock and shoegaze interludes and influences.[With a] great mix of genres, awesome lyricism, impressive production and another reason to keep Deafheaven under the radar. Probably one of the Top 10 albums of the year, Sunbather, presents itself as one of the least accessible albums of the year. Open up to it and you won't regret it. One day when everyone looks back, Sunbather will be heralded as a modern classic, a beautiful symphony. It's what Deafheaven orchestrates that makes the entire project so enthralling, engaging, triumphant and yet it's haunting and angelic. To better put it, it's a masterpiece. Expand
  71. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    It's a deep experience listening to this music. Instead of thinking about genres if this is black-metal, post-rock or whatever, you'd better to feel so intense experience about dark and light, about music always rebuilding, about screams that really sound in a lot of moods.

    Music to listen out of prejudices. Maybe it's a real new path to run for old genres.
  72. Jan 4, 2014
    10
    Black metal. The only difference, it is ARMONIC Black Metal, and that is joyfull to hear. Deafheaven just means future and a new way of looking music for every single genre
  73. Feb 3, 2014
    8
    Although this strays away from the traditional grunge of death metal, it is an interesting blend that certainly deserves praise. The instruments sound like a mix between Explosions In The Sky and speed metal. I would have to disagree for making this album of the year. Overall, it is a strong effort.
  74. Mar 21, 2014
    9
    I'll never get tired of hearing subtle melodies overlapping the harsh black metal screams in this type of music. Death heaven is one of those bands ill be keeping an eye on.
  75. Apr 9, 2014
    9
    This album evades classification. To simply call it "black-metal" would be reductive, as this album utilizes shoegaze and post-rock sounds. Sunbather features complex, sophisticated song structures and oppressive guitars that the vocals struggle against. The vocals are very similar to those of Converge. In essence, this is a great album. Black metal may form the skeleton, but the album isThis album evades classification. To simply call it "black-metal" would be reductive, as this album utilizes shoegaze and post-rock sounds. Sunbather features complex, sophisticated song structures and oppressive guitars that the vocals struggle against. The vocals are very similar to those of Converge. In essence, this is a great album. Black metal may form the skeleton, but the album is fleshed out with a range of other genres making it a wildly experimental album. Expand
  76. Jun 2, 2014
    10
    This album is something else. When I thought I didn't like metal music, this started to ease me into it. Every main track has a melody to it and they all climb constantly, never slowing down or losing strength. And the interludes have this perfect and possessive quality that is almost like your in some drugged up movie scene. I honestly love this album. It is a lot of noise that is pushedThis album is something else. When I thought I didn't like metal music, this started to ease me into it. Every main track has a melody to it and they all climb constantly, never slowing down or losing strength. And the interludes have this perfect and possessive quality that is almost like your in some drugged up movie scene. I honestly love this album. It is a lot of noise that is pushed together and distorted into this trance like tune that seems to never end until the very last track of the album. A wild ride of strong melodies and screams that fit it so well, I seem to have fallen in love with it. Expand
  77. Jun 15, 2014
    10
    I've noticed that this album has totally polarized critics and fans. In my opinion, this is the best album of 2013, and the best album ever released since Converge's legendary Jane Doe. With that said, I feel like the audience is the reason for only an 8.0 on this album. The audience tends to be more of the hipsters who like indie/rock. From the consensus I've gathered, people love theI've noticed that this album has totally polarized critics and fans. In my opinion, this is the best album of 2013, and the best album ever released since Converge's legendary Jane Doe. With that said, I feel like the audience is the reason for only an 8.0 on this album. The audience tends to be more of the hipsters who like indie/rock. From the consensus I've gathered, people love the beautiful instrumentals but don't seem to like the vocals. That is the only problem here. Why is society THAT closed-minded? And needless to say, they all gave the album 0s for that. Okay, rant over, I will explain why I think this album deserves a 10. This album is an emotional roller coaster. The lyrics are some of the darkest/saddest/emotional lyrics I've ever heard. They alone should garner a good rating on this album. Okay, for the instrumentals, they are AWESOME. The inclusion of 3 interludes between each song is genius. It helps the album flow well and gives you a moment to get yourself together/brace yourself for the next song and the feelings associated with the fore coming song. Their drummer is an absolute beast. The guitar is meant to sound the same in most songs because it's Shoegazing music. Shoegazing is known for walls of distorted guitar riffs. It's not because of lack of talent. It's just the type of music they're making. The vocals are meant to be indistinguishable from the instruments. This is a type of symbolism. The album is dealing with issues and depression and how people just want to blend in and be perfect and no different from anyone else. The vocals are symbolic in that sense that they blend into the perfect family. This is not a production issue, and to me, I wouldn't want the vocals any other way. The album cover is also symbolism and it's also ironic. It's the colors people see when looking into the sun. Although the album is dark and emotional, it's a symbol to look up and be optimistic in your endeavors. Personally "The Pecan Tree" is probably my favorite song because I can definitely relate to the lyrics. I cannot put into words how awesome this album is. So with all of this said, take all things into consideration. Don't nitpick at the album. Take it for what it is. Listen to it with a great set of headphones. And do this on a day whenever you have the time to enjoy this from start to finish. Don't listen to individual songs. Appreciate this as a whole album. And for the love of god, stop with the closed-minded 1s and 0s. I'm sure many of you never even listened to this album and therefore should not be able to rate it! Sunbather is a modern classic Expand
  78. Jul 15, 2014
    8
    A great metal album, rock album, noise, progressive rock, whatever you want to call it. I like that it uses influences from many other sounds in the same family while making them seem coherent. Though some tracks steer too traditionally to it’s family members and even sounding similar to some of the tracks on the same album, this LP is a great listen for long time metal fans, and is evenA great metal album, rock album, noise, progressive rock, whatever you want to call it. I like that it uses influences from many other sounds in the same family while making them seem coherent. Though some tracks steer too traditionally to it’s family members and even sounding similar to some of the tracks on the same album, this LP is a great listen for long time metal fans, and is even accessible to those not as familiar to the genre. Expand
  79. Aug 26, 2014
    10
    There is no album I've ever listened to that delivered on every level possible. It's not really metal but as a fan of bands like Russian Circles, I loved it! Musically, it's unmatched in atmosphere. The chords echo in your head for hours after you've finished the whole album. It's tragic, yet beautiful. The vocals, clawed, yet suitable to the feel of Sunbather. ALL these elements combinedThere is no album I've ever listened to that delivered on every level possible. It's not really metal but as a fan of bands like Russian Circles, I loved it! Musically, it's unmatched in atmosphere. The chords echo in your head for hours after you've finished the whole album. It's tragic, yet beautiful. The vocals, clawed, yet suitable to the feel of Sunbather. ALL these elements combined create the most atmospheric post-rock album in history. Sunbather is my pick, as well as many other critics' pick for album of 2013. Anyone who dismissed this album based on the "Hipster Metal" label was really missing out. Expand
  80. Apr 28, 2015
    10
    What a mess. A beautiful mess. It’s hard to conceive the amount of work and dedication put in this record. Roads to Judah was a monster LP but I don’t think we’ll ever hear such an immense album any time soon. The album cover itself is incredible enough to make you want to dive into this 1 hour, yet 7 track masterpiece. I don't often use the word “flawless” because it doesn't make senseWhat a mess. A beautiful mess. It’s hard to conceive the amount of work and dedication put in this record. Roads to Judah was a monster LP but I don’t think we’ll ever hear such an immense album any time soon. The album cover itself is incredible enough to make you want to dive into this 1 hour, yet 7 track masterpiece. I don't often use the word “flawless” because it doesn't make sense but nothing else would fit for this case. It’s dark, painful, noisy, melodic and still very approachable by those who aren't used to metal. These unbelievably young architects have built a colossal and expansive monument to be remembered as, with zero doubt, the best album of 2013 and one of the best music albums of all time.

    Best track: Vertigo
    Exact score: 10
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Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Dec 2, 2013
    90
    Sunbather is an emotionally overwhelming but truly absorbing listen. But best of all, it’s cleansing.
  2. Aug 12, 2013
    60
    The mood stays ominous, even as sonic details thrill headphone-equipped headbangers.
  3. Jul 3, 2013
    90
    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.