If you need something to keep you cool through what is sure to be one helluva hot ass summer, then check out the ice cold temperatures exuding from the sounds of Executioner’s Mask and their new full-length, Despair Anthems. Or as the band tells it, they’re “like drinking an ice cold zima on a hot summer day” which is a fairly accurate descriptor as well.
But I digress!
Despair Anthems is right! Desolate, unwavering, and unyielding in their pursuit of darkness, listening through Executioner’s Mask’s debut full-length is akin to hearing the most electric funeral march ever. Exciting and enthralling yet utterly soul-crushing at the same time, Despair Anthems is the perfect collection of anti-summer anthems for those of us who prefer the light of the moon to that of the sun.
“The Defilers” is a brooding, burgeoning heap of blustery bombast wrapped in a death shroud. Like the audio book to accompany some untold Edgar Allan Poe tale of woe, the track introduces the uninitiated to the synthetic mastery of Ryan Wilson as well as the charm of Jay Gambit and a new iconic baritone that’s sure to draw comparisons to Peter Murphy.
“No Funeral”, on the other hand, moves and grooves and captures those most perfect Factory moments from the early ’80’s when Joy Division was in their raw infancy and Jon the Postman was bouncing about like no one was watching. “Bury Me A Grave” is hypnotic and jarring with distorted drums and sounds cackling all around with Gambit’s voice piercing through Craig Mickle and Mac Stephen’s biting guitar tones.
“1988” is similarly jolting, relying on less noise and more an impending sense of dread while “In The Night” is transcendent and retro futuristic, humming from the low end programming as guitars and synths interplay to cause a discordant dynamic that delivers.
“True Blue” is the most electric funeral march you’ll ever hear, buzzing from shrieking guitars while a solitary melody leads the somber way with Gambit bemoaning life and love. Later, “Growing Distances” is a solid ’80’s throwback, bringing to mind many a New Wave/Goth anthem from the era while “Hatred Of Self” offers a moving march of malaise before “Ratboy” careens in with shimmering synths and crying guitar lines.
A cover of Scud Mountain Boys’ “Freight Of Fire” serves as a fiery precursor to the fitting finale of “Desperation Rising” which subtly pulsates with Gambit lamenting “this is the last goodbye”before the soundtrack for the darkest timeline comes to a close.
Despair Anthems arrives on July 10th through Profound Lore. Pre-orders are up now and can be perused and purchased by clicking here or here. For the latest on Executioner’s Mask, follow them on the socials by clicking here, here, or here.