The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

The most headbangable records ever, from Metallica's Black Album to Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'

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Deafheaven, 'Sunbather' (2013)
100
94/100

94. Deafheaven, 'Sunbather' (2013)

Deafheaven guitarist Kerry McCoy and singer George Clarke grew up together in Modesto, California – they met in high school when McCoy spotted Clarke wearing a Slayer T-shirt, while Clarke noticed McCoy was wearing a Dead Kennedys patch. Naturally, they had to start a band. That blend of influences has made Deafheaven one of the most polarizing and controversial metal bands of recent years. As McCoy put it, they claim "this triangle of extreme music, experimental music and very sad indie rock. That's what we were into." The San Francisco band blew up with their second album Sunbather, the 2013 breakthrough that defined their expansive style of black metal. In fiercely emotional tracks like "Dream House" and "The Pecan Tree," they weave in elements of post-punk indie noise bands like Mogwai, along with shoegaze elders like My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive. "Sunbather musically and lyrically sums up what we were thinking; it's very hopeful and bright and fast and energetic," McCoy said. "Lyrically, it's very yearning." And it sounds like nothing else, though Deafheaven make no apologies for that. As McCoy told Rolling Stone, "That mixture of influences has kind of always been our thing, much to some people's annoyance." R.S.

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