Sunbather - Deafheaven
Sunbather Image

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 269 Ratings

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  • Band members: George Clarke, Kerry Mccoy, Daniel Tracy
  • Summary: The second full-length studio release for the San Francisco-based black metal band formed by George Clarke and Kerry McCoy was produced by Jack Shirley.
  • Record Label: Deathwish Records
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, Black Metal
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Jun 13, 2013
    You can spend hours dismantling Sunbather and cooking up a neat sub-sub-genre for it (post-black-metal-gaze-death-dreamcore-whatever). Or you can just call it one of the year’s best records.
  2. Jun 11, 2013
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jun 11, 2013
    The result is a perfectly flowing album that is, at times, as calming as it is chaotic.
  5. Jun 17, 2013
    Sunbather needs not to be judged as black metal, post metal, or any other subgenre, but simply as heavy music--loud, visceral, beautiful heavy music.
  6. Jun 12, 2013
    Sunbather is every bit as explosive and engaging as any metal album you’re likely to hear all year.
  7. Aug 12, 2013
    The mood stays ominous, even as sonic details thrill headphone-equipped headbangers.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 78
  2. Negative: 13 out of 78
  1. Jun 15, 2014
    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 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
  2. Jun 13, 2013
    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 Expand
  3. Jun 12, 2013
    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 going to find. One of the best of the year. Collapse
  4. Jun 15, 2013
    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. Expand
  5. Jul 15, 2014
    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 even accessible to those not as familiar to the genre. Expand
  6. Jun 16, 2013
    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. Expand
  7. Jul 21, 2013
    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.

See all 78 User Reviews

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