When I was a child, my mother always taught me to never judge anyone by the way they look or present themselves because I have no idea who that person may be until I have a conversation with him or her. As most children did, I ignored my mothers advice and have been casting judgment upon souls for the last decade or so. Now being in my mid-twenties, times have changed and I’ve learned those lessons that my graceful mother tried to teach me in the past. Learning the hard way of never judging is over for me, hopefully, but some bands still trick me into their little traps of confusion with presenting themselves in a way that you would never think they play more extreme music. deafheaven, yes it’s spelled with a lowercase “d”, fooled me into thinking they were some indie rock project from some unknown city in some state that nobody cares about but I was wrong on all levels. deafheaven is exactly what nobody would guess, an atmospheric black metal/post-rock outfit out of San Fransisco, California that might just change the way us black metal lovers look at “outsiders”.
“Roads To Judah” can be described in only a couple words but I’ll go more in-depth than that. The first word, apocalypse – as hell begins to freeze over and the dead start to walk the earth, “Roads To Judah” is what might help me survive the end of days. Letting this record blast from my iPod as I do somersaults over the walking dead, decapitating each one that thinks it can mess with me. The sounds of screeching guitar riffs slamming my brain against my skull is only motivation to reach the next spot where I can plan out my next move. The next word, undeniable – even though deafheaven was only created last year, they can’t be denied access to anyones collection. “Language Games”, the second track on the record, destroys all of my negative thinking about normal, average, everyday dudes making some black metal, very well and creepy black metal at that. The last word, freedom – finally I can stop worrying about the American black metal scene. I understand that certain bands like Absu, Black Witchery & Wolves In A Throne Room pretty much have it down for us but we don’t have it down to the point where other countries respect us for it, at least in my opinion. “Roads To Judah” is sort of like the air conditioning inside your house after you’ve been out in a hundred degree heat for half the day. It’s refreshing and very welcoming, just like the cold side of the pillow when you flip it over.
So, in a world were we judge people because what they wear, how they walk, how they talk, the clothes they wear or the music they listen to, we never care to understand and get to know the person behind it all. deafheaven and “Roads To Judah” has taught me that no matter what you support, love, hate or agree with, black metal comes in many forms and you don’t have to “look the part” to create hypnotizing yet chaotic and obscene music to bless your ears with. I know that some have been bashing black metal for years because of certain acts in the genre and you all know who you are. If any of you are reading this, check out deafheaven and give this record a chance because unlike Liturgy, these Americans give you raw black metal with no hope of ever coming back from the lake of Hell.