SATURDAY (March 12) saw Victoria Warehouse in Manchester host this years Cosmosis Festival. Will Stevenson runs his eye over Deafheaven…

American black metal band Deafheaven set the standard for their ferocious performance from the word go, bursting onto the small Earth stage with the brutal “Brought to the Water” from their latest album, New Bermuda.

They blast through an hour long set featuring three other songs from lasts years release and finishing with a one-two punch of “Dream House” along with the title track from 2013’s critically adored breakthrough album “Sunbather“. Though the set was filled with thrashing guitars and impressive, pounding drums courtesy of sticksman Daniel Tracey, that isn’t all Deafheaven have to offer. Indeed, the band are known for their shoegaze and post rock influences.

Ocassionally, such as in “Baby Blue” the intensity dies down and guitarists Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra are able to entrance the audience with swelling, melodious riffs over huge walls of sound.

Despite all of this though, charismatic frontman George Clarke keeps the eyes of the packed out audience glued to him throughout the set, howling his raw vocals at individual audience members at a time, staring at them and offering his bare emotions for the crowd to see.

When he’s not screaming his lungs out, Clarke is dancing with his hands and body, conducting the crowd with such ease they eat off the palm of his hand.

By the time he and bassist Stephen Clark are jumping into the crowd as the set reaches its final moments he and his band have taken the audience on an intense journey across a vast musical soundscape.

By Will Stevenson

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