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It was a packed house (sold out) at the El Rey Theatre where Deafheaven made a pit stop on their North American tour. On their biggest headlining show to date, Deafheaven brought their ‘A’ game to the stage giving their lucky fans the experience of a lifetime. George Clarke’s formidable presence on stage is a sight to behold. His mannerisms resemble those of a sadistic prison guard crossed with an orchestra conductor yet at times he shows a peaceful side to him and a sense of vulnerability. If you dare get on stage with Clarke. he will personally make sure you promptly leave. The tones coming from Kerry McCoy and the rest of the band created an atmosphere that was downright intoxicating. They played so hard, drummer Daniel Tracy broke his snare drum in the middle of the set and had to borrow one from Earth’s drummer. Amidst the loudness and aggression, the band manages to carry the crowd to moments of serenity and solitude. Their fans, most of them anyway, are serious metal aficionados and not the “hipsters” some critics proclaim them to be. Supporting act Earth delivered a heavy dose of feedback and pinch harmonics to the audience. Marriages opened up for the night playing a short set of their indescribable music. I can’t wait to hear more from them.

See all Photos and words by Maximilian Ho at L.A Record

Los Angeles show announced - April 25, 2014

Deafheaven, Earth and Marriages at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, CA on April 25, 2014 

Tickets go on sale - Saturday,  March 8th here


Live Review & Video: Deafheaven At The El Rey Theater - June 29th 2012 

With the San Francisco band Deafheaven, it is all about announcing the Apocalypse, I mean, I am not sure of the meaning of the songs, as I couldn’t understand a word of what singer George Clarke was yelling in endless agonies, but they were installing a sort of atmosphere predicting that something terribly bleak was about to happen.

I remember seeing them at Vacation Vinyl, and I got to get very close to the singer who was screaming his lungs out, just under my nose, but here they were again, this time touring with Russian Circles and playing their unique mix of black metal grindcore, hardcore – can we even talk about a genre for this kind of music? – in front of the large public of the El Rey theater, last Friday night.

Their long, slow-burn songs often installed a hypnotic and throbbing shoegazing, before escalating or falling (depending on how you feel it) in hell, thanks to Clarke’s theatrical moves and tortured-beast howls, able to horrify the hell out of anybody. Holding his fantastic and triumphant pauses like an olympic Greek athlete, while grasping the mic stand with both hands, he was fighting against some invisible fury inside himself, or channeling some unearthly elements.

The spectacle was all around him, as the four other musicians were rather providing the momentum for his overwhelming despair and never-ending auto-crucifixion. Ruminating some wrath, he was staying still for long periods of time, looking at the crowd before exploding with a rare rawness and an endless torture. I am not exactly sure, they may have only played 3 or 4 songs, with the same violent intensity, the same thick sonic wall, indecipherable curious voices between the songs, and enough climatic assaults to keep you on the edge during the whole set.

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