Rarely does a band’s demo sound so fully formed, but Deafheaven’s 2010 demo was. Essentially, Deafheaven emerged out of the proverbial womb as a seven foot, 300 pound behemoth. With their demo, they were already able to demonstrate a mastery of mixing many diverse genres and approaches. Their music expertly mixed black metal, post rock and hardcore in a masterful way. Less than a year later, they have released their first full length for Deathwish Inc and it is no lightweight either.
Along the length of Roads to Judah’s you will be constantly lulled into a sense of security and then have that security smashed into pieces. One moment, the music will be soaring and atmospheric and then suddenly you will be immersed by shrieking guitars and blast beats. Nothing about the band can be taken at face value, not even the album’s title. It is not some sort of religious allegory about Jesus, Judas and the roads toward treachery. Instead it is simply a reference to the band member’s commute on the San Francisco municipal transportation system.
It is this ability to subvert expectations and reward patience through constant listening that makes Deafheaven and Roads to Judah a great record. If you enjoy anything from Cursed, My Bloody Valentine, Explosions in the Sky, Converge, This Will Destroy You, Blacklisted or Godspeed You, Black Emperor this is an album that will definitely be worth the investment.