Litanic Mask aren't just reinventing darkwave—they're destroying it. And then putting it back together again, very carefully. In fact, the attention to detail on their new demo is almost frightening. The Mask's deliberate deconstructions of gothic and industrial electronics hit on a raw nerve not often explored in pop music, one that forces the listener's attention with emotional volatility and beauty. This is the stuff dreams are made of: gauzy and nightmarish, full of unpredictable magic.
Somewhere between the dramatic affectations of This Mortal Coil and the warped baroque devotionals of Swans, Litanic Mask is equal parts beauty and horror, and when the two collide, something truly amazing happens. The real trick here is the noisy, sparse programming courtesy of Silentist's Mark Burden, which underscores Kenna Jean's roaring voice in a way that's more than enough to thrust this band beyond the reach of their peers (take that, Zola Jesus). Listening to the monolithic "Nightplay," you have to wonder what's next for the Portland duo. Big things, I'm sure.
Litanic Mask - "Nightplay"
Litanic Mask plays the Unifactor party next week at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Wednesday November 30, 9:30 pm, $3.