“Honeycomb,” Deafheaven’s first new song since 2015, offers the band’s fans no surprises. From its opening seconds, it sounds as if the shoegaze/black metal outfit has been screaming uninterrupted behind some thick, soundproof curtain ever since we left them. This may be for the best; if you’ve worked up a sound this oceanic, you might as well luxuriate in it for a good long while. And so on “Honeycomb,” they do just that.
For 11 minutes, the song flies weightlessly down its well-paved path without hitting a single bump: The guitars still move from major to minor in shuddering bursts, George Clarke’s shredded vocals still peel away from the music as if to escape it. In the long, dreamy outro, in the chiming guitars and light tambourines (which could be from a folk-rock record), we are still given a vision of the electric guitar as a holy instrument, firing deep into the imagination. Deafheaven aim us toward a vanishing point only they see, a nexus where all guitar music melts together in an ecstatic blur. If they seem to be repeating themselves somewhat, maybe it’s because we’re still not there.