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Album Review: ANTEMASQUE – Antemasque

2 min read

Having only formed at the start of the year, Antemasque have just released their stunning debut. This album is the result of a new project from The Mars Volta veterans, Cedric Bixler Zavala (vocals), Omar Rodrigues-Lopez, who also plays guitar for post-hardcore outfit, At The Drive In, and drummer David Elitch. The self-titled album was recorded in Silverlake, California in a studio owned and operated by Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea, who also features as bassist on the record.


The album starts off strong with 4AM, a driving rock tune that immediately grabs your attention. Zavala’s vocals have a strength and clarity suited to early glam rock, and with a fast pace and sing-along chorus, this track is immediately enticing. The energy continues into I Got No Remorse, with Flea’s distinctive bass already becoming a highlight of the album.

Ride Like The Devil’s Son is slightly darker, but still packed with energy. Carried on the wings of a perfect drum and bass pairing, this is a charging track, the highlight of which is the swelling guitar solo that comes to life two minutes into the tune.  With the final touch a stripped back breakdown, Ride Like The Devil’s Son is considered and perfectly resolved.

As the second single off the album, In The Lurch is certainly a standout. A mixture of progressive and punk rock, every member of this collective is effortlessly united, despite the complex nature of what they are playing. The slightly aggressive vocals are infectious and stay firmly in your head long after the album has ended. Flea is in his element in this track too, bringing with him an unmissible groove.

The following 50,000 Kilowatts is a straightforward classic rock track with some time signature trickery to keep listeners on their toes. Though Antemasque have shown they have developed a winning formula and are sticking to it, by this point some people might find the pace and energy a little repetitive.

However, a few tracks later Drown All Your Witches brings an impeccably timed change of pace, with a more acoustic and psychedelic approach. The introduction of strings throughout the chorus provides a short breather from the high-intensity rock energy of the rest of the album, while Zavala’s echoey vocals take centre stage and demonstrate his impressive range.

With Providence Antemasque return to a heavier and darker rock sound. Zavala switches between intriguing, whimsical verse vocals and a gusty, roaring chorus with ease, and maintains the slightly hypnotic aspects of the previous track. In addition, Flea once again proves why he is, in my opinion, one of the greatest bassists around.

Antemasque is the flawless coming together of four incredible musicians, who are fully deserving of this 4.5 star rating. Hopefully we’ll see more of this wonderful group’s energy in the not too distant future.