BravePicks 2018 – DEAFHEAVEN's Ordinary Corrupt Human Love #12
December 19, 2018, a month ago
Another gruelling year of heavy metal debauchery is almost over! Killing is our business ... and business is good! And this year the metal scene killed it with a myriad of heavy intrigue! So the votes are in and the compiling is complete! It's time to crown the winners and call out the the disappointments.
So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2018 each day in December! And our devout scribes killed it as well, putting their collective metal minds together to build the ultimate lists including individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2018? and Metal Predictions For 2019. All will be showcased come the New Year!
'Tis the season to commence the good, bad and ugly of 2018! On with the cream of this year's crop!
12) DEAFHEAVEN – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (Anti-)
Deafheaven’s new fourth album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, is another revelation in their varied discography. Working with old friends again, the Jack Shirley-produced and Nick Steinhardt-art directed collection gets its title from Graham Greene’s novel The End Of The Affair, referencing a moment when someone is looking for love, in all of its imperfection and simple beauty. This sentiment is carried throughout the hazy, yearning romanticism of the record with song titles and words as sumptuous as the sounds around them. It’s a feeling of a loved one growing distant, medicating yourself with empty sex with strangers, and tears in a place faraway from home. Deafheaven’s opus takes the #12 spot on our countdown.
Taking more literary cues, the lyrics to the expansive “Honeycomb” reference seminal Argentinian writer Julio Cortazar, author of the elaborately structured stream-of-conscious novel Hopscotch while another song, "Canary Yellow," includes the line “I have wondered about the language of flowers.” Theres an abundance on Ordinary Corrupt Human Love—layered psychedelic vocals, classic rock riffs, jazzy percussion, a song reminiscent of Slowdive—and it all makes sense within the Deafheaven universe. Piano, always an element of the band’s sound, has a more prominent place here. It drives “You Without End,” which opens with the forlorn spoken word of Nadia Kury, who reads a moment from a short story by Oakland author Tom McElravey depicting the poetry of small, basic moments: you light a joint, look at a mural, burn yourself, and gaze at a surprise flock of geese flying overhead. In addition, Chelsea Wolfe and her regular collaborator Ben Chisolm add vocals and production to the dusky piano piece, “Night People.” Still, it’s all clearly Deafheaven. These songs have forward momentum and upward lift, Clarke’s pained howls and snarls and growls.
Defeat has inspired some of our best art. If you survive something terrible, you surface on the other side, walk toward the light, and come back to life. Everybody deals with hurt, everybody’s been the cause of their own implosions, and everybody has the capacity to overcome and love again. With Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, Deafheaven have found a way to externalize all of this, and in making their most complete record to date, they turn it into a balm, a warm blanket, and a cathartic exorcism.
BravePicks 2018 Top 30
12) DEAFHEAVEN - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (Anti-)
13) RIVERS OF NIHIL - Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade)
14) IMMORTAL - Northern Chaos Gods (Nuclear Blast)
15) BLOODBATH - The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn (Peaceville)
16) AMORPHIS - Queen Of Time (Nuclear Blast)
17) BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Grimmest Hits (eOne)
18) IHSAHN – Ámr (Candlelight / Spinefarm)
19) THE DEAD DAISIES - Burn It Down (Spitfire / SPV)
20) MELIAH RAGE - Idol Hands (Metal On Metal)
21) ALICE IN CHAINS - Rainier Fog (BMG)
22) HIGH ON FIRE - Electric Messiah (eOne)
23) MAMMOTH GRINDER - Cosmic Crypt (Relapse)
24) ICARUS WITCH - Goodbye Cruel World (Cleopatra)
25) UNLEASHED - The Hunt For White Christ (Napalm)
26) SATAN - Cruel Magic (Metal Blade)
27) GRAHAM BONNET BAND - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage (Frontiers)
28) MONSTROSITY – The Passage Of Existence (Metal Blade)
29) GRUESOME – Twisted Prayers (Relapse)
30) DIMMU BORGIR - Eonian (Nuclear Blast)