WHILE HEAVEN WEPT’s ‘Vast Oceans Lachrymose’ Lineup To Embark On ‘Farewell’ European Dates

In early 2015, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT mainman Tom Phillips had to regrettably pull the plug on the band’s European tour in support of their latest studio album, “Suspended At Aphelion”. The decision led to Phillips’ unexpected retirement from the metal scene, effectively putting the revered doomsters on ice. However, Phillips and his bandmates have long sought to make amends to the European crowds who have so strongly backed WHILE HEAVEN WEPT over the years. Now, as 2018 draws to a close, the most recent incarnation of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT that started with 2009’s classic “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” will play its final shows together on a run of European dates that begins November 16 at Germany’s Hammer Of Doom festival.

“I agreed to do these shows to give everyone else — the band members, our fans, even myself some closure, especially since the last tour was cancelled,” says Phillips. “The other aspect is the circumstances and priorities of the musicians involved are simply not aligned with what an actively touring band requires anymore.”

The “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” lineup — rounded out by bassist Jim Hunter, vocalist Rain Irving, second guitarist Scott Loose, keyboardist/harmony vocalist Michelle Schrotz and drummer Trevor Schrotz — have been holed up in a Virginia rehearsal room putting together a setlist that is not only representative of the latest era of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, but the band’s storied past as well. According to Phillips, some of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT’s most memorable shows have taken place on European shores, including their 2010 appearance at Hammer Of Doom alongside Irish metallers PRIMORDIAL, which was not only Irving’s third show with the band, but also where the “Triumph: Tragedy: Transcendence” DVD/live album was recorded.

“We’ve always had a great time sharing the stage with PRIMORDIAL,” he says. “I think we’ve played with them more than anyone else in our history — and that’s always been such a great insight into the scope of melancholia and epos. Of course, we’ve also had the great honor of playing with heroes, family and upcoming bands who have gone on to become some of the biggest names out there like ALCEST and GHOST. Most of all though, it’s connecting directly with the people who really care about what we do and again, that’s what these upcoming shows are really about.”

The shows will offer another treat for fans — a limited-edition shirt commemorating the 30th anniversary of the band. “It’s an exclusive design by Gustavo Sazes, who has done the covers for our last couple of albums,” says Phillips. “There’s quite a few layers to the design and it definitely correlates to ‘Fear Of Infinity’ and ‘Suspended At Aphelion’. Personally, I think it turned out amazing and while it does represent our 30th anniversary, for now, it will be available exclusively at the concerts.” `

While these European dates signal the end for the “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” era of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, it does not mean the end for the band. Phillips says there is an entire album of unfinished material that sits between “Fear Of Infinity” and “Suspended At Aphelion” in which he may look to finalize at some point.

“In the end, I’d started on a solo project prior to being involved with the WALPYRGUS album [2017’s ‘Walpyrgus Nights’], but with the WHILE HEAVEN WEPT shows coming up, I haven’t even looked at that again. But for WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, as long as I’m breathing, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT exists, even if the lineup changes for the nth time or we are strictly DIY on a small, independent scale. Only time will tell. For now, it’s time to commemorate a milestone and the end of an era!”

 

WHILE HEAVEN WEPT 2018 European tour dates:

November 16 – Hammer Of Doom, Würzburg, Germany
November 18 – Temple, Athens, Greece
November 24/25 – Dutch Doom Days, Baroeg, Rotterdam, Netherlands
December 7 – Under The Doom VI, LAV Lisboa ao Vivo, Lisbon, Portugal
December 8 – Madrid Is The Dark, Madrid, Spain

APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE to release “From Gold To Ash” on Feb 23, 2018

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.

VINYL PRE-ORDER: 

COMPACT DISC PRE-ORDER:

Apostle of Solitude Announce European Tour dates

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APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE have announced details for a European Tour this November.

The tour begins on Saturday November 12th, and is bookended with performances at both the DOOM OVER VIENNA festival in Vienna, Austria, as well as the HAMMER OF DOOM festival in Wurzburg, Germany.
Complete tour dates are as follows:

12/ 11: DOOM OVER VIENNA festival – Vienna, Austria @ Viper Room Vienna

13/11: Marburg, Germany (with Barabbas) @ Szenario

14/11: Lille, France (with Barabbas) @ El Diablo – Live Rock Club

15/11: Roeselare, Belgium (with Barabbas) @ De Verlichte Geest

16/11: Tilburg, Netherlands (with Treurwilg) @ Little Devil Bar

18/11: Szczecin, Poland @ Szczecinski Loft Kultury

19/11: HAMMER OF DOOM festival – Wurzburg, Germany @ Posthalle Wurzburg

 

 

The band’s last US performance prior to the tour will be Sunday October 9th in Indianapolis, IN at the 5th Quarter Lounge with Saint Vitus, The Skull, and Witch Mountain.