Thomas Ligotti, Pictures of Apocalypse LP - Read by Jon Padgett, score by Chris Bozzone
"Nightlands Festival" Edition - Black vinyl
* 150 gram vinyl
* Deluxe heavy weight tip-on gatefold jacket.
* Includes introduction by Thomas Ligotti
* Newly commissioned art by Jonathan Dennison.
While Cadabra Records have released six albums featuring the words of writer Thomas Ligotti as read by Jon Padgett and scored by Chris Bozzone, their seventh is something unique, as it marks the auditory premiere of Ligotti's most recent book, Pictures of Apocalypse. Published earlier this year by Chiroptera Press – Cadabra's literary offshoot – is a cycle of lyric and narrative poems that share the common theme of what Ligotti designates as “the Great Going” from both individual and collective perspectives.
The twenty pieces, plus introduction, which comprise Pictures of Apocalypse look to the incalculable “curious modalities” of how things might end. The introduction presents each of these pieces as hypotheticals for those too lackadaisical to put their mind to the contemplation of the cataclysmic, and the works themselves begin almost prosaically, with “The End of an Era” looking at the idea that time and place might be divisible into chapters and that temporal divisions aren't to be scoffed at or looked at lightly. It's almost academic in its tone, with reader Padgett taking on an air of intellectualism.
The flow of this collection is just superb in its ever-escalating downward pitch. Each successive installment becomes less an abstract mental exercise and more of a very specific look at a particular mind. The rational approach taken early on in Pictures of Apocalypse stands in stark contrast to “Mental Notes on the End of Days,” wherein one can witness and experience the cognitive degradation of the narrator in real time as the piece unfolds. Mental notes or not, one can practically hear the frantic scratching of pen on paper as the agitated words come one after another, while sounds of vast emptiness echo in the background.