Songs Illustrated: Deafheaven’s “Gifts for the Earth” by Becky Cloonan

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Songs Illustrated: Deafheaven’s “Gifts for the Earth” by Becky Cloonan

In Songs Illustrated, we enlist our favorite comic book artists and cartoonists to translate songs into sequential art.

Black metal pioneers Deafheaven has spent half a decade exploring the contrast between euphoric washes of ethereal noise and relentless tidal waves of barbed metal glory. Blurs of serrated guitar, heart attack percussion and George Clarke’s sandpaper rasp have pushed the group into a new space that straddles traditional Scandinavian chaos with something much less definable. That hybrid intensity reached a new apex with 2015’s “New Bermuda,” an album that seamlessly gallops along assaulting guitar lines and tear-jerk adagio piano outros with equal conviction. And don’t get us started on the live shows.

In our latest Songs Illustrated, writer and illustrator Becky Cloonan channels eight-and-a-half-minute album closer, “Gifts for the Earth,” into a visual elegy of haunting beauty with an insidious core—which couldn’t be more appropriate. Cloonan currently co-writes the eerie underside of Batman’s stomping grounds in Gotham Academy as well as the cosmic horror slow burn of Southern Cross. Here, she harkens back to the brutal, lonely lament of works like her self-published one-shots Wolves, Demeter and The Mire as well as her stint on writer Brian Wood’s viking epic, Northlanders.

Deafheaven is currently on tour and Ms. Cloonan is currently prepping her new ongoing Punisher run at Marvel.


More Songs Illustrated
Josh Ritter’s “Henrietta, Indiana” by S.M. Vidaurri
Bear in Heaven’s “Demon” by Tula Lotay
Saintseneca’s “Bad Ideas” by Julian Dassai
The Good Life’s “How Small We Are” by Noah Van Sciver
Neko Case’s “Wild Creatures” by Emily Carroll

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