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What’s the current situation with North American Black Metal? To answer that question we should probably turn our attention to California, which seems to be the creative epicenter for extreme music collectives with leanings toward this genre. Take for example Cormorant, Abigail Williams and the relatively new Deafheaven, whose Deathwish Records’ debut EP Roads To Judah announces the birth of one of the most arresting American bands in recent times.

California’s Deafheaven came to Tampa Bay on their current tour with French metallers Alcest. With their ferocious mix of Black Metal, Indie Rock, Shoegaze and Screamo, the band made a huge positive impression on the crowd. They were promoting their debut recording Roads To Judah. Images snagged on a Nikon D-90, Nikkor Lens 19-105mmm f: 3.5 and Tamron 28-75 mm f:2.5.

Traditionally, Tampa Bay’s audience doesn’t seem to be very fond of Metal bands with strong melodic leanings. Most fans (and bands) in this part of the US are still deeply rooted in the Death Metal revolution that took the underground by storm during the early 90’s. That’s probably why expectations weren’t high on the night that French metallers Alcest came to town to deliver their unique blend of ethereal Melodic Black Metal and Shoegaze. Surprisingly, all bets were wrong: a pretty decent crowd (formed mostly by 20 and 30 year olds) invaded The Crowbar, helping to create an intimate yet electrical atmosphere.