At surface level, this is a dark ambient release, though its instrumentation is largely processed guitar, martial percussion, and background sounds. This manifests as smooth, slow-moving drones with multiple layers shifting about one another. But starting with the second track, Uråldrig Sorg, the percussion kicks in. While its patterns are not unduly complicated, these beats are perfectly suited to add a moody sense of doom to the recordings. In other words, the elements used are familiar enough, but the combination thereof works remarkably well.
Case in point, the title track employs pounding rhythms with guitar loops and effects, as well as scratching textures (likely generated by rubbing the lower-frequency strings). This amalgam induces an almost trance-like state, though with enough baleful variance to be the stuff of nightmare rather than daydream. Child of the Charnel House continues this trend, while Where We’ve Bled and Anchored wraps things up with drones and crackling effects.
Phantoms Received is a slow grower. After listening to it in the background for several days, I became increasingly intrigued and settled down for more attentive sessions. During these periods, the album’s well-crafted details became apparent – as well as how they merge to form driving, cinematic soundscapes.
Apocryphos is Robert C. Kozletsky. This is his fourth album under that name, and probably the best one yet. Phantoms Received will be out on July 26, from Cryo Chamber.