American Horror Story teaser peels back the layers of Apocalypse

Grab your spectacles, some incense, and your books on arcana and the occult, y'all — it's American Horror Story new-season-teaser-season.

FX has begun rolling out the cryptic advertisements for its upcoming new tale in the anthology horror series American Horror Story, kicking off a spooktacular yearly tradition as grand and macabre as Halloween itself. But what does it all mean this time?

Subtitled Apocalypse, the eighth season in the top-performing FX show is set to be a long-awaited crossover between the series' Murder House and Coven seasons — the first and third of the program, respectively. But damned if you can find any hints of that in this first teaser, which — in classic American Horror Story fashion — is full of messed-up artwork, indelible imagery, and overall slightly more interesting content in its sub-minute runtime than there have been in some entire seasons of this bonkers, sometimes tedious, totally wackadoo show.

As is usual, the artful first look — titled "Hourglass" — provides no glimpses whatsoever at any of the series' stars or season's setpieces, instead hinting at some heavy themes and big moods with its collage of hazy horror. As far as further context goes, the upload of the teaser on the official FX Networks YouTube page shares but one brief message in its description: "It's time." Alright, Bruce Buffer — time for what?

Let's break down what we've got here, in this 45-second, skull-laden teaser. To start, we've got a fetus in an hourglass connected to a withering black heart, a city-leveling explosion, a gas-mask lady with a case of melty face, a sinking skull, and a bisected onion(?) full of combat scorpions — one black, one white. So, easy enough so far. 

This is followed by imagery which includes a seemingly Satanic symbol, an Iron Maiden album cover, a skull mountain, a nuclear explosion, lower back tattoo material, another turn of the hourglass, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a dead tree. So, spoilers for season eight, pretty much.

Expect more of these coming up soon as the release date for the American Horror Story: Apocalypse season approaches on September 12.