Apostle of Solitude – From Gold to Ash (Review)

Apostle of SolitudeApostle of Solitude are a US doom metal band and this is their fourth album.

So, the mighty Apostle of Solitude return! It’s been a long time since 2014’s Of Woe and Wounds, which I rated on my 2014 end of year best of list.

This new album is similar in form and character to Of Woe and Wounds, but it’s clear that the band haven’t just wanted to make the same album again. There’s a few notable, if largely minor, differences in particular:

  1. It’s shorter, with a duration of 44 minutes
  2. The production is slightly less polished. From Gold to Ash has a bit more of an earthy feel to it, with a softer edge than Of Woe and Wounds
  3. A vocal improvement; although not drastically different, you can tell that the singer of Apostle of Solitude has increased in confidence and ability, demonstrating a wider range and some more ambitious vocal arrangements
  4. It’s probably a little more mournful and doom-filled, with the band’s expressive melodies and highly emotive style almost blood-raw in places. Basically, MORE DOOM!

Overall From Gold to Ash is an extremely enjoyable listen from start to finish. As mentioned earlier, it’s clear that the band didn’t want to just repeat their past triumphs, yet, (rightfully so), didn’t want to radically change their style either. This compromise between the two has led to them exploring some different and interesting ideas on this latest release; starting the album with two, (mostly), instrumental tracks is just one such tool they use to keep things fresh.

There are only seven tracks, and each of them has its own feel and personality. I like an album like this where you can easily identify each individual song, where it fits into the album as a whole, and why each song is placed where it is.

This music is as catchy and memorable as ever, with heartfelt vocals and music that use emotion like a weapon. This isn’t a band that write songs just for the sake of it, (otherwise we wouldn’t have had to wait so long between releases), and everything here is delivered with purpose and conviction.

Some of the riffs, leads, and solos on this album are so infectious and enjoyable it’s just silly. Apostle of Solitude know how to write a damn good tune.

There’s a good mix of doom styles and sub-styles here. Whether the band are playing in a traditional doom metal vein, pumping out crunchy metallic riffs, operating in modern doom circles, adding a stoner metal flourish, or borrowing from old-school UK doom metal, they ply their considerable talents with the skill of artisans.

It may have been a long wait since we were graced with Of Woe and Wounds, but I can safely say that it’s been more than worth it. From Gold to Ash is an immense offering of highly emotive doom metal with plenty of feeling and substance.

This one’s an essential purchase – go get this now!

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