hypnotic, very minimal and refined, with clean and dark sounds, it is an album that perfectly reflects his name, which transports you into this distressing soundscape, full of tension, slow decay and inevitable disaster.
It is ironic that when I’m reading Terry Brooks’ book “Armageddon”, set in a delusional post-apocalyptic world poisoned by the mad actions of man and infested with demons, I start listening to the album “Apocalypse” by Raffaele Pezzella aka Sonologyst.
It is ironic because Apocalypse is the musical essence of the apocalypse, a destroyed and delirious world, and I immerse myself in this catastrophic, terribly distressing, but also irresistibly fascinating panorama.
Sonologyst this time offers us a true masterpiece of ambient and drone music linked to a concept that perfectly matches the sounds of the album. Sonologyst's concept took shape in 2012, whose name alludes to sonology studies done since the 40s in the laboratories of Cologne, Paris, Milan that inspired the artist.
Apocalypse is a dark journey in the escalation of phenomena that will lead man to destruction, as predicted by Michael Housel, mentioned in the description of the album:
“Everyone gathered on the railway, looking out at the bustling platforms before them, in the silent city with its great towers and abandoned streets, a million empty windows lit by the afternoon sun. Already they could see the dunes filling the floors of these deserted canyons.”
To understand better the style of Sonologyst and how he makes his dronedark ambient music, he said in an interview I've done with him:
"I find digital for recording and mastering very convenient, while for the production of sound, with the exception of sample editing, I now work completely analogically. I have matured over time with a clear preference for material sounds and sometimes lo-fi, so I can not produce sound directly in digital; would not satisfy my inclinations. The sound is a very personal matter, as is the color for a painter, and his creation, which starts from an analog synthesizer, from the recording of an industrial plant in activity, or the cry of a dolphin, must then merge into a unique flow in which everything must find its identity, it's one. This phase is the one on which I invest more time."
Listening "Apocalypse" and knowing all this stuff, is very intriguing since I passed a lot of time to try to understand what sound he recorded and how he transformed in these clean, minimal noises. Hypnotic, very minimal and refined, with clean and dark sounds, it is an album that perfectly reflects his own name, which transports you into this distressing soundscape, full of tension, slow decay and inevitable disaster.
The album begins with “Hypnosis”, which greatly reflects the style of music by Raffaele Pezzella, just think of his album “Silencers – the conspiracy theory dossier”.
But when "Sulfurous Rain" arrives, everything changes. We are no longer immersed in a piece of minimal and hypnotic music, and all in all even quite comfortable, compared to what awaits us. From the second track, you can begin to feel the anguish, the Apocalypse sense of decadence, the unstoppable force of the end of everything.
Acid and sulfurous rains fall to the earth, and the cities begin to be abandoned, giving us a strong sense of abandonment and desolation with the track “Abandoned City”.
“Stay in your homes!” it brings us hidden in some recess, the tension is maximum, and there is no sound in the air, only a voice that tells us to stay at home, repetitive and alarming. Nothing moves, like before the storm.
And finally, the storm arrives. Disasters can be seen arriving, so they can feel their presence looming over us with a “Global Threat”.
And it is with “Dying Oceans” that we can see the end, an end so close to our current reality that is scary. The black sky, pierced by unnatural flashes, and before us a dead sea, lifeless, the big stranded mammals, the poisoned waters.
“System Collapse”. And so, that the system collapses, the uncontrolled actions of man have led to an irreversible process, which will disfigure the face of the planet. In this track, Sonologyst takes us into a sound landscape dominated by scratchy synths and very evocative drones.
In “Towers of sand” we can finally hear with subtle and minimal sounds, the real desolation. Sand, and nothing else on the horizon if not rubble and wreckage of another era.
Finally, “Prayers from nowhere” is perhaps one of the most intriguing traces of Apocalypse, mysterious, dominated by an underlying sound that seems almost a pure sinusoidal wave, accompanied by synthetic prayers of some post-apocalyptic religion of which we will probably never know the name. Or maybe much sooner than we think about it.
Ultimately, one of the albums that struck me most in this new year, for its audio quality, and for its perfect result in creating a soundscape that is practically almost only electronic, but has more than many other songs.