Just out via eighth tower records, the latest opus from label boss and head curator of the unexplained sounds group Raffaele Pezzella here masquerading beneath his sonic alter ego Sonologyst. Ominously titled ‘apocalypse’, we were forewarned by Mr Pezzella that this was going to be a heavy listen, an understatement we’d like to think. In an age of political turbulence, division and deceit along with greed and hate have pushed civilisation to a grim precipice, across long established democracies the moral compass is being reset, the brutality of man to his own and the domain he was entrusted to care and look after has never been at such odds. The  experiment that was mankind has failed and a deathly spectre looms casting its lengthening shadow across the globe. ‘Apocalypse’ serves as a soundtrack for those oncoming end of days. A journey into darkness, the final stop the end. It emerges from the dark side of the newly augmented Radiophonic Workshop, from the moment opener ‘abandoned cities’ ghosts into view, you are immediately frozen to the spot in its disquieting glare, the spectral pulsars exhaling a deathly contagion, in its wake a chilling finality cuts a path where nothingness remains. This is truly remote stuff, the oncoming ‘Sulphurous Rain’ does little to ease the overarching sense of dread, its microlite timbres probing the deepest of fears dispelled of both light and hope, its minimalist phrasing etching a bleakness more accustomed to a Roadside Picnic or Revenant Sea uttering, all the time the modulations creeping with sharpening intensity. A memory spectral, ‘hypnosis’ lifts the tension momentarily, its locked grooved dream cycle reverberating to a radiantly mesmeric pulse tone before the stilling eeriness of the sparsely weaved dystopian future view of ‘stay in your homes’ comes to roost with the pursuing ‘global threat’ serving to heighten the feeling of isolation and futility. ‘dying oceans’ casts a mournful atmospheric to proceedings, quite possibly the most tender and beautiful moment of the set, its hollowed etchings rallying to a sweetly sombre symphonic hush both head bowed and sighed in a tear stained bruising which at its fall come the forlorn echoes of euphoric snow bursts. ‘towers of sand’ – the album centrepiece, is frosted in a hymnal haze, the last flickering lights of life slowly fading into a sleeping memory extinguished by what sounds like a celestial afterburn, strangely tranquil all said. ‘prayers from nowhere’ rounds out this colossal set, probably the most disquieting moment of the whole album, spiritual echoes trapped in the ether locked and submerged in an icy silence.

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