Updated: May 25, 2021
Release Date: March 8, 2019 Genre: Shoegaze, Ambient Label: Human Blood Records
Dead Swords, the self-described Doomgaze band based out of New Jersey have released their debut eleven-track effort, Enders. The genre Doomgaze is a heavier form of the alternative rock sub-genre shoegaze. The band was formed in 2016 by the group’s two members Alex Rosamilia, the guitarist of The Gaslight Anthem, and Corey Perez of the bands Bottomfeeder and Let Me Run. Enders features an abundance of guest bassists, drummers, and vocalists throughout the album including Benny Horowitz, Alex’s bandmate in The Gaslight Anthem on drums on the track, “Tonight.”
On the album’s two interludes, “Interlude 04” and “Interlude 05,” the poet Mischa Pearlman is featured. For those who may be wondering where “Interlude 01,” “Interlude 02,” and “Interlude 03” are, you can find them on the band’s previous two EPs, Skeletons and Broken Souls, as the band’s debut album is a continuation of what has already been written and released. Enders is also produced and mixed with the help of musician, Kevin Dye, of the fellow New Jersey band, Gates.
Enders focuses on Alex Rosamilia’s morbid fascination with death and everything surrounding the subject. The obviously grim lyrical theme is prominent throughout the entire album by not only touching on death but also speaks of loss and what happens after you pass on. Despite the clear theme, the entire tracklist isn’t all gloom as the album does share a couple of songs about love and hope. It’s no surprise with the album's lyrics and along with the band’s genre of shoegaze, that Enders makes for a very dark, emotionally driven album straight from the heart and soul of Rosamilia and Perez.
Do not let the album's average track length of seven minutes deter you from listening to Enders. The energy, emotion, and creativity pumped out by Alex, Corey, and their many musical guests leave you with a strange euphoria through those eight-to-eleven minute tracks. What’s most notable is the feeling of the absence of time as you won’t even realize these tracks are so long.
Enders’ stand-out tracks have to be “Fumetsu,” “Perception,” and “Ender.” “Tonight,” which is a little slower than the rest of the songs on the album’s tracklist, is also worth considering among the top standout tracks as it is easily one of the most emotional tracks on Enders. The topic of not fearing death is prominently found in the lines, “Do not fear the winding down / We all have been since the first round / A dimming light, a deafening sound; to become a simple earthen mound.”On the track “Perception,” Rosamilia questions his sense of purpose on earth; “Are we angel souls / Encapsulated in these bodies / Trying to go home?” The track, “Black” is about grieving and not being able to accept the death of a loved one. This seeps through in the lines, “I still won’t admit that you’re gone/ After all, after all, that you’ve done.”
On Enders penultimate track, “Ender,” the constant overall theme of death hits a new height, when Rosamilia touches on it one last time. The song is about the last moments of thought before the end of one's life; “Before an eternity of white noise and black / Before an eternity of non-existence.”
“When I started Dead Swords, I really wanted to focus on letting the music be able to breathe,” Rosamilia says. “I have always been a fan of bands like Pink Floyd, My Bloody Valentine, or The Cure; bands that write songs that sprawl about over the course of seven to eight minutes. “Ender”, as well as the rest of the record, is my homage to those bands and those songs that take you for a ten-minute trip without you realizing how long you’ve sat there.”
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