Vermilion Sands

Memento Mori Depeche Mode

released: 2023-03-24
on label: Columbia
artist: Depeche Mode
genre: Synthpop
listen at: Apple Spotify YouTube Music

Death and loss loom large over the mournful Memento Mori, Depeche Mode’s 15th album and first without founding member Andy Fletcher. Started long before his passing in 2022 and influenced more by the effects of a global pandemic, the somber set took on even more gravity and significance after he died. Understandably subdued and emotionally heavy, this is the sound of two old friends reeling from tragedy while keeping an eye on the days that remain. Memento Mori is their most solid effort since Angel and a catalog best, a wonder coming four decades into their career.

Facing mortality and the inevitable sunset of their lengthy, storied careers, Gore and Gahan transform tragedy into something profound and universally relatable. Though not their most immediate offering, Memento Mori is their most heartfelt, thoughtful, and moving statement in decades.