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Grayscale Photo of Explosion on the Beach

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a strange fascination with the end of the world. I know, I know – it’s practically a worn out cliche in 2020, when everything from SARS-CoV-2 to militarized police brutality casts an apocalyptic shadow over our lives…but I just can’t help myself. Part of it is a product of my religious upbringing – even if I’ve become a skeptic over time, certain things still temporarily give me pause. For example, I watched with fascination as mysterious trumpet-like sounds blasted out of the sky from every corner of the globe – knowing that there’s a scientific explanation (stealth aircrafts, the hum of a meteor, HAARP experiments), but also allowing myself to tumble down the rabbit hole enough to imagine that we’re actually hearing some sort of ominous preamble to Revelation‘s famed seven trumpets. Toss in the blood moon tetrad from 2014-2015 (“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord”), rampant locust outbreaks, COVID-19, riots, and now a historic continent-spanning dust storm that is blotting out the sun in certain regions – and it’s enough for even a cynic to begin wondering.

From a musical perspective, mewithoutYou’s 2015 LP Pale Horses rekindled my obsession with “the end” via terrifying accounts of a nuclear holocaust which fused Biblical and secular imagery. Trump’s shocking election the very next year and subsequent “fire and fury” rhetoric sent chills up my spine. Brand New followed suit in 2017 with ‘137’ – a song aptly named after the radioactive isotope Caesium-137, a component of nuclear fission that was never detected in Earth’s atmosphere until after the detonation of the first nuclear bombs during World War II. In 2018, Foxing dropped the mercurial Nearer My God while comparing modern society to the RMS Titanic. The album’s very title is a reference to the song that the Titanic’s band stoically played while the ship sank – “Nearer, My God, To Thee” –  and it’s the same song CNN plans to air for the end of the world in lieu of a newscast. 2020 has been chock-full of these kinds of hopeless endtimes songs, even in pop music: from Poppy’s “Don’t Go Outside” to Tame Impala’s “One More Year”. Last week, Phoebe Bridgers joined the trend with the brilliant but fatalistic “I Know the End”. As these tracks continue to pour in, I decided to begin amassing them in a playlist.

Despite my best efforts, the playlist is skewed towards the present and inherently biased towards my preferred genres. I could use your help to balance things out: Please recommend ONE (1) apocalypse jam that isn’t already on the playlist, and I will add it (disclaimer: song must be available on Spotify). Please also INCLUDE THE YEAR of release, as I’ve been keeping the tracklist in chronological order. I’ve been limiting it to one song per artist for greater diversity, so if one of the artists already selected could have been better represented, feel free to say so and I’ll consider changing it.

Together, let’s create the grimmest looking musical apocalypse that the world has ever seen!

.





SowingSeason
06.25.20
This is the only playlist in the world to feature Britney Spears and GY!BE. It has to be, right?

Relinquished
06.25.20
yea it’s absolutely horrid

portrayal of guilt - the end of man will bring peace to this earth (2020)

SowingSeason
06.25.20
Added!

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
collaborative playlist of doom, hooray! this playlist probs needs something from Miss Anthropocene, but someone else can rec that. wanted to rec something from Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's Of Natural History, but spotify is as disappointing as ever and it ain't there - you can have good ol' Earthmover by Have A Nice Life (sure it's technically about wanting to die, but there are dead/dying civilisations here and it's huge enough that it might as well be apocalyptic lol)

as someone who finds the general idea of the apocalypse vaguely interesting but most of its realisation in music a little moot (137 is a good example here), I've been wondering why Pale Horses sticks so hard for me. the doomsday stuff on that is obvs great (especially when it comes in a scramble - that Lilac Queen bridge and Watermelon Ascot verses!), but i feel there's no overemphasising how much weight the dead father + newly married themes add to its overall shape - imo, some of the most moving parts of the album (D-Minor bridge + Rainbow Signs opening and closing sections) come through how much pathos the apocalyptic framing of Aaron's own unique psyche draws, rather than the idea of the end of the world of all of us. maybe that's just me, idk

also The Apocalypse Song is a nice underrated St. Vincent pick

luci
06.25.20
anohni - 4 degrees

unclereich
06.25.20
Aphrodite's Child - “The Four Horsemen”

luci
06.25.20
release year: 2016

unclereich
06.25.20
Mine came out in 1972 the year if our lord

Mythodea
06.25.20
Great idea for a list. I can't decide which one to suggest, so pick whichever you think fits best

Porcupine Tree - Radioactive Toy (1992)
Aenaon - Thus Ocean Swells (2016)
Aphrodite's Child - 666 (album) (1972)
A Perfect Circle - So Long and Thanks for the Fish (2018)
Blackfield - End of the World (2007)

SowingSeason
06.25.20
Good recs so far and thanks for including the years.

@Johnny - I totally agree, most "apocalypse" songs are better when there are personal layers too. Rainbow Signs is the perfect example with the storyline about his father that was set up earlier in the album.

Mythodea
06.25.20
If I had to pick only one of the above, I'd pick APC's one.

unclereich
06.25.20
I beat u dumbass

SowingSeason
06.25.20
I went with Blackfield because I had already selected APC's "Pet" - lyrics about war, new world order, etc.

Relinquished
06.25.20
mythodea reccing a whole ALBUM for a playlist gg dude

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
(oh lol I skimmed the playlist and missed Earthmover - go for Macaroom - Tsuiraku (from Homephone TE). should have rec'd that as a priority tbh, easily my fave apocalypse song. there's a lyric translation online, but none of the phrasing works in english - easy the follow the mood of the piece though, so you'll get the picture)

unclereich
06.25.20
Thanks wolfe for pointing that out

Mythodea
06.25.20
That is an album you listen in one sitting, you pleb

@SowingSeason yeah, cool, didn't catch them in the list

SowingSeason
06.25.20
"(oh lol I skimmed the playlist and missed Earthmover"
@Johnny - It's there because you rec'd it! It was not present prior!

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
Haha I'm an idiot. Swap it for Tsuiraku anyway, that song is something else ;]

SowingSeason
06.25.20
OK will do!

unclereich
06.25.20
We need a sputpocalypse fan fiction

Mythodea
06.25.20
we need a sputpocalypse, now!

SowingSeason
06.25.20
"We need a sputpocalypse fan fiction"
Not sure it'd be fiction if we're talking about a website adaptation.

unclereich
06.25.20
You can tyrone

Relinquished
06.25.20
sputpocalypse would prob involve either sowing getting sacrificed viciously or exalted in a throne of melted vinyl wax

unclereich
06.25.20
I always felt bad for tyrone in that movie and never knew it was Laurence Fishburne until a decade after i watched it first

SowingSeason
06.25.20
I become the Sputnik antichrist, ban everyone who rates a pop-punk album lower than a 4, and mandate that all avatars depict a specific Taylor Swift single.

unclereich
06.25.20
Hahahaha sowing plays the bearer of light ala some sort of cormac mccarthy fiction. Only to pass away at the very end unceremoniously

unclereich
06.25.20
Sowing becomes andcas

Relinquished
06.25.20
andcasseason

pissing away the apocalypse

SowingSeason
06.25.20
Deviant. returns in the final hour to vanquish me, and everyone raves to some electronic music I've never heard.

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
i want a reverse Good Omens version of sput co-starring deathbat and snide trying to bring about the apocalypse

unclereich
06.25.20
Johnny gets covid-19 and changes his name one final time to JohnnyohWell

TheNotrap
06.25.20
Europe - The Final Countdown (1986)

Relinquished
06.25.20
lol reich

Mythodea
06.25.20
> Johnny gets covid-19 and changes his name one final time to JohnnyohWell

That was tasty

Mythodea
06.25.20
Also, if I may add, Iron Maiden have many songs. I won't suggest any, just pitching the idea.

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
hahaha i wanna get that change anyway now

SitarHero
06.25.20
Not enough doom metal tbh,

Relinquished
06.25.20
right? it’s as if the people who say that aren’t reccin doom metal

BenThatsMyJamin
06.25.20
Agents of Oblivion - Endsmouth (2000)

SowingSeason
06.25.20
"Not enough doom metal tbh"
rec me a song!

SitarHero
06.25.20
Ha! Sorry, I was just being facetious, since the whole genre is called doom metal. But Sabbath's Electric Funeral might be a dece addition. :]

unclereich
06.25.20
Unreal

SowingSeason
06.25.20
Added!

Deathconscious
06.25.20
"For example, I watched with fascination as mysterious trumpet-like sounds blasted out of the sky from every corner of the globe"

"The planet's dyin', Cloud!"

SitarHero
06.25.20
Other possibilities:

Iron Maiden - Two minutes to Midnight (1984)
Tool - Ænema (2006)
Nearly anything by Ghost? But maybe most relevantly Year Zero (2013) or Rats (2018)

wildinferno2010
06.25.20
The song that immediately came to mind was Black Fire Upon Us by Dethklok (2009) I've always thought that song sounded apocalyptic in a kind of condensed, cartoony way - go figure. That or The Last Sun by We Lost the Sea (2019). I know it says choose one but other people have mentioned multiple so

Also the thing about trumpets is relatable as heck. Wasn't raised Christian, but I always have that thought too.

Gallantin
06.25.20
everyone interested in feeding their apocalypse addiction needs to read A Canticle for Leibowitz, the absolute best piece of apocalypse fiction ever written

unclereich
06.25.20
This is a music website

JustJoe.
06.25.20
if the world ends right now imma be pissed

Gallantin
06.25.20
"This is a music website"

lmao no it isnt dumbass

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.25.20
Wold - Invocation of Fire
I am a Lake of Burning Orchids - Superclub

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
superclub is a huge track

SowingSeason
06.25.20
"Wold - Invocation of Fire
I am a Lake of Burning Orchids - Superclub"

Which one

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.25.20
wold one is 2005
lake one is 2011

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.25.20
idk flip a coin

SowingSeason
06.25.20
Your counterpart from the well advocated for Superclub so we'll go with that

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.25.20
tbh idk if either is on Spotify come to think of it, fingers crossed

SowingSeason
06.25.20
Correction: we'll do neither. Spotify sucks.

JohnnyoftheWell
06.25.20
but that Burning Orchids album is name your price on bandcamp (i think, still) so you've got back up !

JohnnyOnTheSpot
06.25.20
Na-Hag - Atavism (2012)
there we b

Gallantin
06.25.20
My apocalypse playlist would be:

Ben Frost - By the Throat (whole album, but if just one track then Killshot)
The Dead C - Love
Ramleh - Bite the Bolster
Boards of Canada - Beware the Friendly Stranger
Coil - Triple Sun
John Carpenter - Escape from New York

ItsTheSquirrel
06.25.20
The Cure A Strange Day (1982)
It's a little abstract but Robert Smith himself has confirmed that it's about the end of the world so I think it still fits

Project
06.25.20
Underoath - Desolate Earth: The End Is Here (2008)


anatelier
06.25.20
Matt Maltese - As The World Caves In (2018)

ChoccyPhilly
06.25.20
"Title - Sputpocalypse"
Oh i bet it's a Sowing blog
*Scrolls up and sees 'by SowingSeason'
of course lol. At least Poppy is in this playlist

SowingSeason
06.25.20
I have such a recognizable brand. Everyone always tells me they know what review/list/blog will be mine before they even click it.

WatchItExplode
06.25.20
When The Music's Over might be a more appropriate Doors choice given that this playlist is being shared on sputnikmusic.com

Post-American World by Megadeth is also pretty relevant right now.

insomniac15
06.25.20
Put Aegean Sea from the Aphrodite's Child album 666 too.

Sniff
06.25.20
Add Zao - The End of this World (2000) from me

Satellite
06.25.20
Direct Hit! - On & On

Sinternet
06.25.20
can instrumental songs with hardcore apocalypse vibes go here?

if so god is an astronaut - suicide by star

Nocte
06.25.20
Is Vital Remains "Dechristianize" too askew for this list?

ChoccyPhilly
06.26.20
I actually like your more personal style of blogging. Feels like there's far more of human behind the review, which this site is so uniquely great for. Just you, Sowing, happen to just about hit that fine line of musical journalism and diary writing that makes it quite distinct

neekafat
06.26.20
Smashing Pumpkins - Blue Skies Bring Tears (from MACHINA - 2000)

neekafat
06.26.20
that one is especially bleak lol, at least I Know the End has a happy ending

Dewinged
06.26.20
Got a couple for you Sowing:

Agents of Oblivion - Endsmouth (From "Agents of Oblivion") (2000)

The Butterfly Effect - Worlds on Fire (From "Final Conversation of Kings") (2008)

SherlockChris9021
06.26.20
I also got some as well:
Yndi Halda - Dash and Blast (from "Enjoy Eternal Bliss") (2006)
Mono - Yearning (from "You Are There") (2006)
The Last Sighs of The Wind - Despair (from "We Are Trees") (2017)
Not apocalyptic but just a gamble here:
The Shirelles - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (1960)


RogueNine
06.26.20
Au Pays Natal/Sol by Rosetta (2005) mimics the vibe really well. Spotify probably won't have the version with Sol though.

Rowan5215
06.26.20
flaming lips - you are alone

Kompys2000
06.26.20
I'm going with Queen-Hammer to Fall (1984)

goblinilbog
06.26.20
Nine Inch Nails - Zero Sum

Dissonant
06.26.20
immolation - close to a world below?

AlwaysSmooth
06.26.20
Cattle Decapitation: Death Atlas (2019)
...we deserve everything that's coming /
we took this world to our graves /
we made its creatures our slaves...

pickthecoupon
06.27.20
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americanohno
06.27.20
"and then, came then" by the chariot was the first song to come to mind.
that and "the last stand" by sabaton if only cause the story of the swiss guard defending rome kind of reminds me of that oswald spengler quote about the roman soldier at pompeii.

neekafat
06.27.20
Wait by M83 would also be awesome but I already recced one :/

el_newg
06.29.20
My first thought was The Apocalypse Song by St. Vincent (2007), but idk if the lyrics really reflect that title. Metallica's Blackened (1988) certainly fits the "end of the world" theme.

Willie
06.29.20
Super small amount of lyrics, but still fits the narrative: Psalm of the City of the Dead by Zao.

ramon.
07.01.20
Chelsea Wolfe - Survive (2015)

Egarran
07.01.20
One of the best articles I've read related to biblical apocalypse is this analysis of Trump being the antichrist:
https://www.benjaminlcorey.com/could-american-evangelicals-spot-the-antichrist-heres-the-biblical-predictions/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

neekafat
07.01.20
Bro that article is insane hahaha

SowingSeason
07.02.20
I read that entire article, and while I found parts of it to be rather far-fetched (forcing unrelated passages to fit the narrative, and then exaggerating the connection), it was actually pretty accurate as far as those kinds of religious articles go. I always found Trump to be an intriguing antichrist prospect if there ever was one. The Bible claims he will decieve and win the support of Christians, all while displaying the opposite traits of Christ himself. Trump does that for sure. At the same time, the whole idea is so ridiculous from a realistic point of view and the concept of what the antichrist is has become so diluted through history and pop culture. Certainly fun to speculate though given how apocalyptic 2020 has felt, and Trump fits the antichrist bill more than Obama - who many people pinpointed as the one and only antichrist during his tenure - only to turn around and ignore the obvious red flags that Trump carries from a religious theory point of view.

bloodshy
07.02.20
Is it too late to make another recommendation?

Scarlet - "Dead America" off the album Cult Classic from 2004
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PxMcK9RXlY



I'm glad you got Poppy on there. It's the theme song of 2020.

Egarran
07.02.20
>the whole idea is so ridiculous from a realistic point of view

Agreed, it's just a fun exercise, but is it more ridiculous than Trump still being president? Nope.

SowingSeason
07.02.20
I think I got the song additions updated. And no it's not too late for recommendations!

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