Apostle of Solitude

Last Sunrise

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Apostle of Solitude's career thus far, although brief, has been marked by an openly loyal and unpretentious allegiance to doom's purest founding tenets, and the group's second full-length album would initially appear to carry on, almost blindly, with this tradition. The instrumental opening title track evokes visions of the band marching into doom on boots of, well, doom, of course, and the group's classicist approach is revealed in full by Chuck Brown's naked melodic singing over succinct head-nodders ("Acknowledging the Demon") and bloated epics ("Letting Go of the Wheel," "Coldest Love") alike. How odd, then, that another semi-instrumental (the insistent "Other Voices," featuring nothing beyond a few grunts near its beginning) and more energetic fare like the staccato-chugging "Hunter Sick Rapture" and the mildly psychedelic, piano-enhanced "December Drives Me to Tears" make the biggest impressions in the end. Clearly, Apostle of Solitude's traditional doom aesthetic doesn't confine their talents to a surprise-free metal box. And, despite slight inconsistencies in terms of songwriting quality, Last Sunrise still plays well as a single, monolithic, cohesive unit, where songs often lead into one another with surprising grace and symmetry -- hardly what you'd expect from a lumbering sonic vintage doom beast. Ultimately, it's this unexpected variety that makes all the difference, saving Last Sunrise from sounding like an archaic recycling of moribund ideas already exploited in full by Apostle of Solitude's influences.

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