Apostle of Solitude
Of Woe and Wounds

Indianapolis doomsters Apostle of Solitude have been active for the past decade, establishing themselves as an underrated but respected force on the doom scene. 2010’s Last Sunrise, the band’s impressive sophomore album, was worthy of high praise due to its potent blend of emotion, melodicism, catchy songwriting and sonic heft. The band’s doom formula is heavily indebted to the genre’s traditional values and influences, yet their sound remains unmistakably modern. Sure there a nods to heavyweights such as Saint Vitus, Solitude of Aeturnus, The Gates of Slumber and the vastly underrated and sadly defunct Abdullah, but Apostle of Solitude have transcended their influences and established their own distinct identity in the modern doom landscape. Third album Of Woe and Wounds doesn’t really mess with the band’s well established formula. Yet despite the familiarity in tone following a four year gap between albums, Apostle of Solitude return recharged and equipped with a fresh batch of invigorating, expertly crafted melodic doom gems.

Of Woe and wounds is abounds with fat bluesy doom riffs, earth rumbling rhythms and dark soulful leads, topped off with the emotive, gritty melodic vocals of Chuck Brown (also on guitar). Of Woe and Wounds only reinforces the band’s strengths with top notch performances, excellent writing and swift execution that smacks of a band with intuitive chemistry and some seriously good instrumental chops. Regardless of whether you’re down with Apostle of Solitude’s brooding style of melo-doom or not, they could never be accused of being dull in the songwriting department. Apostle of Solitude thrives on dynamics without diluting the thick doomy core of their signature formula. Lead heavy cuts like the Sabbathian march of “Lamentations of a Broken Man” and bruising melancholic lurch of “Luna” finds the band relishing in their trad-minded brand of doom misery. While the tone remains satisfyingly gloomy and drenched in sorrow, the album rarely lacks direction or becomes too plodding. Apostle of Solitude deploys nifty variations to keep things interesting on a musical level without compromising the cohesion of the album’s steady flow.

First proper track “Blackest of Times” rolls out slowly before lifting the tempo with some big swaggering doom riffs overlayed by the always compelling vocal melodies of Brown. Apostle of Solitude deftly balance plodding doom dirges with forays into livelier songwriting territory, connecting with their punchier, riff driven metal roots. This combo makes for a far more musically diverse experience than your typical doom album. Take the thunderous grooves and crushing riffs of “Whore’s Wings” as a shining example of the band’s galloping, but no less heavy songwriting variables. “Push Mortal Coil” displays the band’s masterful riffcraft and knack for writing catchy vocal hooks. Brown and fellow axeman Steve Janiak’s playing is both forceful and inventive, supplying seriously heavy A-grade riffage embellished with sombre melodies and smoking solos.

Drawbacks are difficult to find. Of Woe and Wounds is nearly every bit as powerful and accomplished as Last Sunrise, with the added bonus of a much improved visual representation following the debatable choice of artwork last time around. The production is a tad cleaner and brighter, but it doesn’t diminish the muscular sonic force of the recording. And at a hefty 58 minutes, Of Woe and Wounds is guilty of dragging in a few places, even if there aren’t any notable missteps or poor execution present. Nitpicks aside, Of Woe and Wounds is another triumph for the doom genre, with the minor blemishes easily overridden by the band’s stellar craftsmanship and emotive delivery. Traditional doom fans yet to experience the soul crushing depth of Apostle of Solitude’s unique brand of weighty melodic doom would be well advised to make acquaintances with this excellent new chapter in the band’s accomplished career.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
January 5th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jason

    Love this band. Still need to pick this album up, but have all of the others, and they are truly as you describe them.

    Also, well-worth seeing live. They blew me away and were tight, heavy as hell and just great fun to watch.


  2. Commented by: Luke_22

    Yeah vastly underrated band and this album in particular hasn’t got a lot of attention despite being another excellent effort. Would love to see them live but can’t imagine they will be in my neck of the woods (Australia) anytime soon.


Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Caustic Wound - Death Posture
  • Gama Bomb - Sea Savage
  • Solstafir - Endless Twilight of Codependent Love
  • Depravity - Grand Malevolence
  • Macabre - Carnival of Killers
  • Kiova - Empty Fields and Smoke-Filled Skies EP
  • Mors Principium Est - Seven
  • Eternal Champion - Ravening Iron
  • Angerot - The Divine Apostate
  • Carnation - Where Death Lies
  • My Dying Bride - Macabre Cabaret EP
  • Witchtrap - Evil Strikes Again
  • Décembre Noir - The Renaissance of Hope
  • Ossuary Anex - Obscurantism Apogee
  • Killer Be Killed - Reluctant Hero