Two years ago, Thundercat's debut album The Golden Age Of Apocalypse slowly but surely won over enough of us here to reach #11 on our Staff Best Of 2011 chart, and the pared-down title variation for this follow-up seems fully fitting, as Stephen Bruner's funky fusoid tendencies and falsetto vocal melodies continue to set him apart from any of his 'beat scene' peers, but with a slightly darker, barer tinge to it all this time around, due in part to the passing of keyboardist collaborator and friend Austin Peralta, to whom last track "A Message For Austin" is dedicated.
"The chord this record strikes hardest is an emotional and highly personal one; it’s a record that conveys with exceptional delicacy the transition from relative naivete to a more reflective and worldly view. For most of us, this happens in our twenties: much has been written on the subject of the 'lost years' when we establish, or fail to establish, relative stability, and peace with ourselves. For Bruner, this transition seems to have been provoked by a tragic event, but for most of us, it’ll be something experienced painfully and gradually for the better part of a decade.
Apocalypse is very literally a rewarding and difficult second album, with its roots in tragedy and loss and its furthermost fronds in hope and moving forward, an album that challenges listeners with an incredible level of subtlety, hidden depths and wash of openly expressed emotion. It might even just be the album that best sums up what the Low End Theory beat scene in LA has always been about: the perfect blend of virtuous technicality and cosmic self discovery with a message delivered wrapped in genuine human warmth." - Drowned In Sound