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Apostle Of Solitude : Wheel/Last Sunrise

A two-discs promo version of Apostle of Solitude versus Wheel to help you compare...

Album CoverAlbum Cover

This is a two-disc 2-in-1 promo, i.e. this promo was sent to us containing the two disc's united under one cover. I don't believe this to be an official release, but this review is still very much of relevance to the reader as the disc's contain the exact same tracks as the official releases. (Note, the second disc contains the European version of the 'Last Sunrise' album as released by NSP/Eyes Like Snow.)

It is 'Wheel''s cover which fronts this promo, thus I find it most appropriate to review it as the first disc. The music is a type of depressed epic doom which reminds me strongly of a Solitude Aeturnus that has been influenced by My Dying Bride, Novembers Doom and 70's psychedelia. The Peaceville Three feeling is particularly strong in the mood of this album, which of course fits very nicely with the theme of the loss of the dearly beloved. The epic doom riff structure and rhythm allow this mood to flow alongside the open invitations to bang your head and bring out your air guitar. The best part of this is that you likely won't hear the mixing of genres as you spin this disc because the band has already matured their sound into something uniquely theirs.

My only complaint about 'Wheel' is the vocals. Now, this seems to be an issue that mostly concerns me as most other reviewers find this release to be brilliant (and the memorability and re-spin friendliness of the tracks tell me why). Yet, the vocals ruin everything for me. Every time a long note is sung it goes out of tune and I get this image of sheep in my head. However, my recommendation to Arkadius Kurek is to value the opinion of other reviewers higher than mine. After all, if everyone else finds this album to be amazing then this is my problem and not the bands.

On the other hand, 'Last Sunrise' was much more in tune with my ears. This stonery epic doom sounds in many ways like Abdullah meets Candlemass. Just like Wheel the band has made quite a name for themselves as newcomers. The reason for this is of course the ability to make tracks which scream awesome! While not as original as Wheel they're just as good when it comes to making high quality songs which you want to keep on repeat. The 70's groove is complemented with 80's solos and polished with a recording quality fit for the new millennia. But what could you expect from a band that is fronted by Chuck Brown who used to be in the cult band The Gates of Slumber?

Apostle Of Solitude seem to have a need to credit old masters as both their American and European versions of 'Last Sunrise' contains covers as bonus tracks. On this, the European release, they've done (in order of appearance) 'Emerald City' by Thin Lizzy, 'Where Eagles Dare' by The Misfits, and 'Procreation of the Wicked' by Celtic Frost. Even if I know this band is talented I had never expected them to produce covers this good. They fuse the songs so well into their own musical style that the only hint that these tracks are in fact not their own, comes from the slight change in genre which seems out of place. And at the same time they do the old gods justice by making the covers sound like (how I imagine) they are intended to sound in every one of the most important ways.

So, who would I recommend these albums to? Well, 'Wheel' is a tad too psychedelic and romantic to present to a Solitude Aeturnus fan. Perhaps the fanbases of While Heaven Wept or Jack Frost is more appropriate? What is for certain, though, is that 'Last Embrace' is exactly what the doctor ordered for those who wish Abdullah had kept to playing doom metal. This sounds so much like the continuation of 'Graveyard Poetry' that I don't find it wrong to claim that it is.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
CD1 - 'Wheel':
1. The Mills Of God
2. To My Love Departed
3. Lilith
4. Eyes Of The Hydra
5. Ethereal Sleep
6. Only God Knows
7. The Day I Need You Most
8. Entrance Into White Light

Apostle Of Solitude:
CD2 - 'Last Sunrise':
1. Last Sunrise (Requiem)
2. Acknowledging the Demon
3. Other Voices
4. Letting Go of the Wheel
5. Hunter Sick Rapture
6. December Drives Me To Tears
7. Sister Cruel
8. Frontiers of Pain
9. Coldest Love
10. [bonus track]
11. [bonus track]
12. [bonus track]

Duration : Approx. 118 minutes.

Visit the Apostle Of Solitude bandpage.

Reviewed on 26-10-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
Rotten Copper
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