When Deafheaven released their debut album “Roads to Judah” in 2011, they were a little-known band from the Bay Area with a unique sound that blended black metal, shoegaze, and post-rock. The album was critically-acclaimed, but they remained a cult act.
Three years later, they released their sophomore album “Sunbather”, which catapulted them to mainstream success. The album was praised by critics and fans alike, and was named the best metal album of the year by Rolling Stone, Spin, and other publications.
In March of 2014, Deafheaven released a demo EP called “Untitled”. The EP was recorded in 2012, before the release of “Sunbather”. It features four tracks, three of which were later re-recorded for “Sunbather”.
The EP is a precursor to “Sunbather” in many ways, and showcases the band’s evolution from a black metal band into a more eclectic and melodic band. The tracks are shorter and more concise than the tracks on “Sunbather”, and the production is rougher and more lo-fi.
Despite its rough production, “Untitled” is a gem of an EP. The tracks are sonic masterpieces, and showcase the band’s incredible talent for crafting beautiful and melodic songs.
The opening track, “Dream House”, is a haunting, ethereal song that builds to a powerful crescendo. “Windows” is a slower, more introspective song, while “Vertigo” is a fast and furious black metal track. The closing track, “The Pecan Tree”, is a beautiful, acoustic ballad that showcases George Clarke’s powerful vocal range.
“Untitled” is an essential listen for fans of Deafheaven, and showcases the band’s early sonic experiments that would later lead to their breakthrough album “Sunbather”.