The doom bell tolls roughly every four years for Indiana’s Apostle Of Solitude. Formed in 2004 by former The Gates Of Slumber drummer Chuck Brown, the band followed their 2008 “Sincerest Misery” debut with “Last Sunrise” in 2010, then, in between two splits and a demo, released “Of Woe And Wounds” in 2014, which also served as their first album for Italy’s Cruz Del Sur Music. Just in time, Apostle Of Solitude greets the legions of doom in early 2018 with their fourth studio album, “From Gold To Ash”.
Recorded in September 2017 at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana with studio owner and engineer Mike Bridavsky, “From Gold To Ash” offers seven songs of ambitious and equally aching doom. Largely defined by the heartfelt and emotive vocals of Brown, “From Gold To Ash” covers a wide spectrum of doom, from thundering gallops, mid-tempo bashers to reflective, melodic romps. With songs as voluminous as this, it’s no surprise the songwriting process for Apostle Of Solitude (who are rounded out by guitarist Steve Janiak, bassist Mike Naish and drummer Corey Webb) is one of deliberation and utmost care.
“Some of the origins of these new songs started not long after the last record was released,” says Brown. “And yeah, it’s a pretty collaborative effort when we get to the final version of the song. Oftentimes, I will bring in a rough idea and arrangement of something and then we mess around with it together and try different arrangements, transitions, tempos, etc., and eventually settle on what it turns out to be collectively. Vocals are a bit different. Sometimes myself or Steve have things in mind that we want to do separately and sometimes we work on them together. Just varies from song to song.”
“From Gold To Ash” starts with the savage and gritty guitar chugs of “Overlord”, and gradually starts to take shape with the Sabbath thunder-clap of “Ruination Be Thy Name”, a cut that features some of Brown’s most elaborate singing to date. After the soft peddles found on interlude “Autumn Moon”, the slow-crawl guitar harmonies of “Keeping The Lighthouse” and dominating lurch of “My Heart Is Leaving Here” find Apostle Of Solitude playing at near-funeral doom tempos. The sorrow continues with “Monochrome (Discontent)” and “Grey Farewell”, where Brown unfurls soulful, yet melancholic vocal lines, which, according to the singer, was a point of emphasis during songwriting sessions.
“There was definitely a concerted effort to have ample vocal harmonies throughout the songs,” he notes. “We’re all big fans of artists that capitalize on the depth it adds to music when using vocal harmonies. For the most part, what we attempt to do from song-to-song or album-to-album is just improve upon something that we did prior and stay creative and not be too afraid to try something new and most importantly, be content that we worked hard and were genuine in doing so.”
Upon the release of “From Gold To Ash”, Apostle Of Solitude plan on hitting the road in the United States and Europe.
“From Gold To Ash” will be released on Compact Disc, Gatefold LP, Limited Gatefold LP and Digital by Cruz Del Sur Music on Feb 23,2018.