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In a turn of events surprising tens of people, Deafheaven are already making a strong showing on various Best-Of 2013 lists. Among various others, the group's newest album, Sunbather, landed at #22 at Spin and #2 at
Stereogum, right under Kanye West.

Genre sub-classification debates aside, it is notable that a band full of blastbeats and screaming is being mentioned in the same breath as he-who-wronged-T.-Swift.

Deafheaven just announced their first tour of 2014, sandwiched between seasoned vets Intronaut and headliners Between the Buried and Me. The Kindred, a young Canadian prog band signed to Sumerian Records (who sound exactly like you'd expect) will open. At first glance, it's a strange lineup, but Deafheaven is no stranger to those — in 2011, they toured alongside KEN mode and played Sound and Fury, a now-defunct festival which catered mostly to a hardcore audience. In October, they played Pitchfork Paris alongside, um, Panda Bear and The Knife.

On second glance, this is a deft business maneuver. While Invisible Oranges doesn't cover Between the Buried and Me very much, it's important to remember that in the greater metal underground, BTBAM very much qualifies as a big band — their last album, Parallax II: The Hypersleep Dialogues, reached #22 on the Billboard top 100. I have trouble coming up with many other bands Deafheaven could tour behind if their goal is to monetize all that critical acclaim.

While BTBAM, Deafheaven and Intronaut play — to these ears — different styles, there is a common strategic thread in their approaches to music. Each group marries abrasive metal influences with more accessible and melodic sounds. Whether it be BTBAM's prog-pop interludes, Deafheaven's shoegaze riffs, or Intronaut's two-part vocal harmonies, each band cuts their relative metal extremity with something...pretty.

This is a gateway drug tour. As such, BTBAM and Intronaut have something to gain as well: the attention of people whose interest in heavy music begins at 2013 top-album lists, who like Sunbather but don't like metal...though they could, some day. Tours like this grow the fanbase — if you're looking for a show to attend with a mainstream significant other, or a morbidly curious family member, this is your ticket. The dates are below.

— Joseph Schafer

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Between the Buried & Me, Deafheaven, Intronaut — 2014 Tour Dates
2/20 West Springfield, VA Empire
2/21 Huntington, NY Paramount Theater
2/22 Clifton Park, NY Upstate Concert Hall
2/23 Boston, MA Royale Nightclub
2/24 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
2/26 Montreal, QC Corona Theater
2/27 Quebec City, QC Imperial De Quebec
2/28 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
3/1 London, ON London Music Hall
3/2 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
3/4 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection
3/5 Palatine, IL Durty Nellie's
3/6 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
3/7 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre
3/8 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
3/10 Reno, NV The Knitting Factory
3/11 Oakland, CA Oakland Metro
3/12 Pomona, CA Glasshouse
3/14 Lubbock, TX Jake's Sports Café
3/15 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit
3/16 Grand Prairie, TX Quiktrip Park
3/18 Sauget, IL Pop's
3/20 Ybor City, FL The Ritz
3/21 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
3/22 Athens, GA 40 Watt
3/23 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall

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