Sunbather Image
Metascore
92

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

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 296 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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    90
    The result is a perfectly flowing album that is, at times, as calming as it is chaotic.
  5. Jun 17, 2013
    90
    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
    90
    Sunbather is every bit as explosive and engaging as any metal album you’re likely to hear all year.
  7. Aug 12, 2013
    60
    The mood stays ominous, even as sonic details thrill headphone-equipped headbangers.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 80
  2. Negative: 13 out of 80
  1. Jun 13, 2015
    10
    This is possibly the most polarizing album I've ever seen/heard. In my opinion, this album is an instant classic. Although I feel calling itThis is possibly the most polarizing album I've ever seen/heard. In my opinion, this album is an instant classic. Although I feel calling it "original" is a stretch, I can see where that description comes from. Although some of the album sounds like Alcest, it is original in that it combines those elements with some Godspeed-like moments. Overall, I think that the majority giving it bad reviews don't understand the music or haven't given it the time. It's both accessible and inaccessible at the same time. If you're not into this type of music, its quite hard to get into. If you have somewhat of a background in 90's screamo and a little metal, you'll fall in love. This album is one of my favorites in a long time. While I know Alcest has done similar in the past, he never made more than a song or two in the style of this album and the songs never reached the heights of these songs. It's a trippy, trancy, hazy, heavy wonderland of an album. I can understand not digging it, but I think anyone passing it up because of the "hipster metal" description that this album has apparently developed is seriously closed-minded and missing out on one of this decade's best albums Expand
  2. 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/SpeedI 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 Expand
  3. 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 beingI'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
  4. 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. II 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
  5. 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 thisIf 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.
    Expand
  6. 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 theBrutality 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.
    Expand
  7. 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 tastelessBasically 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.
    Expand

See all 80 User Reviews

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