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This secretive band is perhaps best described as a mixture of Dolorians track on their split with Shining and raw, funeral paced doom/death. Defin...
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Apostle Of Solitude : From Gold To Ash

Even if you're not an outright Sabbath Trad fan, there's something to like in Apostle Of Solitude's latest outing.

For the first few seconds of the album, I was panic-stricken that I had stumbled across a Doomy version of Metallica's 'Sad But True'. Although that fortunately proved not to be the case as the music progressed, it's fair to say that this band has definitely taken a few lessons from big bands of the past.

I can't comment on their previous releases, which I am yet to hear, but to me 'From Gold To Ash' generally sounds like an American Black Sabbath worship with the odd influence of other bands. There's not a great deal wrong with that in the sense that at least the first few Black Sabbath albums were outstanding. However, Apostle Of Solitude aren't as good, which would be the case for most - if not all - Black Sabbath-influenced bands. Therefore, although my initial thoughts were that there's nothing particularly painful about the music on this album, it's hard to be especially favourable with my words when there's nothing specific about 'From Gold To Ash' that I like enough to heartily recommend, although I have to admit that the album did grow on me after a while.

Breaking it down, the vocalist does a reasonable job but I sometimes wonder if he's powerful enough to complement the music as well he could. It just felt like he was really stretching in certain tracks to merely reach a reasonable level. Still, it certainly wasn't a failure; just an observation on my part. In terms of musicianship, I have nothing to complain about. Indeed, I really like some of the riffs that they use (e.g. 'Keeping The Lighthouse' actually reminded me a little bit of early My Dying Bride, which suits me just fine). The production seems very good. Their lyrics aren't in broken English, which is always a big plus in my book. The only thing that some people may not like is that this is a relatively short album, particularly when compared to their previous works, but I don't personally have an issue with it.

One thing I will credit Apostle Of Solitude with is that they do try to vary their tracks. Instead of preaching from the Black Sabbath bible in every track, they sometimes veer into a more "emotional" or "dramatic" direction a la earlier My Dying Bride, and sometimes dice with Stoner-esque riffs too. Indeed, the main riff from 'My Heart Is Leaving Here' could have walked straight off of Black Betty's self-titled release. Therefore, although I still hear a lot of Black Sabbath on 'From Gold To Ash', I do like that the band are at least attempting to stand out by taking a few different approaches to stop them from being another Warning. Suffice to say that they've managed to keep my attention and their polished display has ensured that I enjoyed the album to an extent.

More avid fans of Traditional Doom than I am should find some merit to this release. Some of the riffs are very enjoyable, and Apostle Of Solitude are not afraid to incorporate different elements into their music. I still don't think they've done enough of their "own" music for me to fully endorse the release but I've definitely heard a lot worse. Considering that this isn't a favourite sub-genre of mine, I thought it was a decent album that I could listen to again without wanting to kick the CD player.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Overlord
2. Ruination Be Thy Name
3. Autumn Moon
4. Keeping The Lighthouse
5. My Heart Is Leaving Here
6. Monochrome (Discontent)
7. Grey Farewell

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Apostle Of Solitude bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-05-07 by Ian Morrissey
Vanha - Black Lion
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