[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
There is no future in Apocryphos’ world. The cities have crumbled, humanity proved to be a failed experiment… above in the heavens there are no stars. As though a massive re-set button has been pressed, all encompassing darkness shrouds a dead planet waiting until some spark is delivered in order to begin again. The thing is, no matter how many times the slate is wiped clean the end result will be the same. Whatever form becomes dominant has only one objective: the destruction of all. Perhaps it is dour to think in such a way but Robert C Kozletsky, who is Apocryphos, isn’t one to hold back. His past outings have certainly shown a tendency to brood on the bleak. As half of Psychomanteum he helped birth a monstrosity in the land of dark ambient.
‘The Prisoners Cinema’ I’ve been awaiting for some time because I wanted to hear if he could push things further. How long can one dwell at their absolute nadir; does it all just become too overwhelming to focus on such a shadowy realm? Ironically, this is where he no doubt is at his happiest and for much of the time so am I. What he’s put together won’t give you any faith in humanity but it will grimly stand beside you as a kindred spirit. People are their worst tendencies, being content isn’t all it is cracked up to be and nothing is ever as it seems.
This record despite it’s length and droning manner is an angry one, but it isn’t the sophomoric anger of indulgence and entitlement. What you’ll encounter is the slow burn of inexorable disgust; promises broken, trust betrayed. It’s the sort of feeling that builds up over time into a baleful brew destined to either explode or just plain kill you. One can only be resigned for so long to their lot and when an album is titled ‘The Prisoners Cinema’ I think you start to see what kind of situation it is out to describe. There must be some kind of reason for everything, even at the worst points a person has to have hope. People so easily swallow the lie that things can only get better when the exact opposite is almost always what the truth of the matter is.
You won’t change this place, you’ll have no effect and at the end of the day you really don’t mean shit. Now I know that in an age such as this one where people are their social media, there’s an emphasis on how uniquely special each and every acorn of a mind is but that just isn’t so. We are all nobodies here, it’s just that some of us haven’t quite yet realized it. Thankfully, ‘The Prisoners Cinema’ can help with that and though the layers of compressed sound are at times very intricate there’s a primal core to them. This is a record full of revelations, the tracks are thick and choking.
While you lie alone in your bed after night has fallen or if you sit at your table with the bile of the day slowly rising in your throat, this is the release you should be listening to. The insidious manner in which Kozletsky composed these pieces is enough to stop me dead in my tracks, don’t bother putting out that light as he’s already done so. You will at the end find yourself back out under what few stars remain being grateful to have their cold light shine down, just don’t bother looking around for anyone else to share the moment with. There is no point in running away any longer, not a shred of camouflage remains. There is a consciousness out there, one which looks upon our exploits with a knowing smile because unlike us it can simply bide it’s time patiently… while seconds become minutes and minutes become hours which become days turning into weeks then years then decades then centuries on and on beyond the millenniums.