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APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE - From Gold to Ash

Release date Feb 23/18 (Cruz del Sur)

Traditional doom metal generally falls into one of two forms. One where time and effort is spent on developing a riff that will get fans of the genre hot and bothered, causing much headbanging bliss. The other is where notes are purposely held and bent, slowly leading the listener in a hopeless funeral march.

In the case of Apostle Of Solitude's From Gold To Ash, the release focuses on the latter. Opener 'Overlord' stridently opens the release with a way-cool mid-tempo instrumental, perfectly setting the table for a doom metal record. Discounting a short acoustic interlude, you then get five elongated odes to doom of which 'Ruination Be Thy Name' and 'Keeping The Lighthouse' are the cream of the crop. Things are slowed down here to almost a crawl and Steve Janiak's vocals are introduced, bringing a melancholic edge to proceedings. The desolate atmosphere and the impassioned vocals work together well here, definitely creating the gloomy vibe bands of the genre strive for. Elsewhere, there are fleeting moments of instrumental interplay that are reminiscent of Manowar's Into Glory Ride. A cool addition to their sound.

On the down side though, the three remaining tracks underwhelm, trudging along, going nowhere over a frustrating 25 loping minutes. Slow for slow's sake isn't a great strategy in my books.

So, in word - inconsistent. Regardless, check out the three highlighted tracks for examples of some high quality, doomed doom metal.

[6.5]

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