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10 Years of Sunbather: Deafheaven in Los Angeles

The band's seminal record remains as astounding today as it once was upon its arrival.

deafheaven sunbather tour, sunbather, deafheaven, blackgaze.
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

Text, Photos by Ekaterina Gorbacheva (@ekaterinagorbacheva.art) at

The Novo in Los Angeles on December 8, 2023:


No matter how you slice it, Deafheaven's Sunbather (2013) was a forward thinking feat that saw a string of events (and albums) unfold within the contemporary black and post metal genres. Though controversial at the time of release and arguably still today, the full-length has a proven longevity that inspires, immerses, and astounds. Its effervescent aura is radiant in the live setting and on the night of December 8th, The Novo in Los Angeles was host to its greatness.

deafheaven sunbather tour, sunbather, deafheaven, blackgaze.
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

Sunbather was remixed and remastered earlier this year along with a physical re-release that breathed new life into the fan favorite record, a life that was ever so present from the moment Dream House hit the stage. The glorious track was spine chilling as shoegazey guitars flowed into a barrage spearheaded by George Clarke's piercing screams. The massive track drew pits in the crowd, great cheer, and eyes closed in vulnerability as the melodies washed over the many in attendance.


Like the album itself, The Novo's reaction was fluid and shape-shifting in response to the efforts on display. The beautiful Irrestible put minds at ease while the contrasting title track delivered a grounding auditory experience, all the while varying strobe lights shined on the band to provide hope amidst an otherwise somber stage presence. Not only did the darkness make for a great photo complement, it provided an element of aggression, or sadness even, to the emotional rollercoaster that was Deafheaven on stage. George Clarke, Kerry McCoy, Shiv Mehra, Daniel Tracy, and Chris Johnson were all at their best, feeding off of crowd energy.

deafheaven sunbather tour, sunbather, deafheaven, blackgaze.
Photograph by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

The Pecan Tree's wonder put a perfect closing touch to the album's performance, soon elevated by a concluding Brought to the Water from the next step, New Bermuda (2015). Whether it was intentional or not, the track's placement ended the night on a high note and symbolized an evolution.


The celebratory tour concluded over the weekend, but we have the below photo gallery to relive the momentous night. Scroll through and experience Sunbather once more.


Deafheaven Photo Gallery


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