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Album Review // DIIV ‘Deceiver’

Birthed out of the wreckage of their past traumas, DIIV’s latest approach to music is helping them reach catharsis and new beginnings.

DIIV Deceiver 2019

In the three years that have transpired since their critically-acclaimed album Is The Is Are, DIIV have undergone a kind of transformation. Approaching their newer songs in more of a collaborative effort, this is the first time that each member in the band had some input into the arrangements.

Deceiver details catharsis in trying to resuscitate a world that is crumbling around you, by your own self-destructive means. In doing so, you find the ability to look inward and reach into the depths of yourself for progression and escapism from the negative aspects. With this comes the perspective of those around you, and what transpires is an entirely new clarity into relationships and friendships. In DIIV’s case, this altered their entire world and, as Deceiver shows, has made them stronger from it.

Zachary Cole Smith’s vocals are ever hazy and melancholic. This adds extra weight to the subject matter of Skin Game – which was written during his time recovering from troubles with addiction – “I can’t live like this anymore / we used to fight but then they took away the sky” and the realisation in Between Tides of where it all stemmed from: “it seems by pain was self-imposed.”

Sonically, there is a broodingly bleak world which DIIV paint so effortlessly, unlike anything we have seen from them before. Casting us into a searing desolation that is polar opposite to the shimmering indie elements found on their debut album Oshin, it truly feels as though the band are re-claiming their downfalls and purging all of the cynical elements that remain with juggernaut guitar solos which can be found in Taker and Blankenship.

Lorelei summons your heart from your chest with its wailing, and blisteringly devastating 6-string assault on the senses. Echoing the harrowingly solemn tones of Vacancy by Codeine; it is distinct shock to the system when the song ends and catapults you into the rumbling urgency of Blankenship – which further solidifies the band as masters of guitar-work – before you’re thrust back into the desolate expanse of Acheron. As 7-minutes transpire with guitars hammering away in the background like unholy moans, Acheron is the perfect expulsion of the DIIV’s prior strife and a shedding of old skin; ready to start anew.