The RMR crew here wasn’t all that impressed with the doom soundscape over the last few years. Lighthouses like Pallbearer or – again – Khemmis lost their bite somewhat. To the point that their latest releases found themselves in that dreaded oubliette and not on the RMR review pipe where they should be.
There have been old-style doomsters like Pale Divine that got in our good graces more or less. Whereas others clearly did not. Yet, in 2021, we enjoyed a few pretty pristine sadboi offerings that really shook us to the core, we sobbed so hard. But still, there weren’t all that many that made it to the top floor of the RMR office tower to be scrutinized by da boss himself.
So now, very late in this year of endless tribulation, Apostle of Solitude captured our attention with their newest piece Until The Darkness Goes. The band peddles that somewhat retro-leaning style of doom that thrives on clear vocals and finely refined sludgy Doom Metal. Yet, it’s a charismatic, an almost enigmatic set of tracks that really captured this crew’s attention. Not that they don’t follow the tropes of the genre, far from it. But this record truly captured our attention which is somewhat of a novelty for a doom album in RMR lore.
There’s true emotion present on this record. It appears that members of the band were sadly impacted by the current pandemic. And this led to a heartfelt feeling of sorrow that oozes out of the record. As always, genuine sentiment carries the flag and this ain’t no different for this record.
And indeed, once When The Darkness Comes lumbers off into the murky yonder, the RMR crew here was already hooked. The band’s stellar ability to link fat riffing with soaring solos and those double-edged vocals wasn’t a hard sell. ‘Tis exactly what we would expect from a decent doomster piece. This band has a true knack for wrapping weeping sadness into stately songs that just breeze you along like so many autumn leaves. You almost feel that icy wind of forlorn thoughts hitting you like a wave of tears.
And who could possibly resist lines like “…we all die alone…” on The Union, for instance. All of that wrapped into typical low-tempo Doom Metal that strangely reminded me of the folks over at Paradise Lost. Or head over to Deeper Than The Ocean, the filet piece of Until The Darkness Goes. That one majestically wanders off into the misty yonder with stellar solos that suddenly sing out. And it packs a ton of groove that surpasses everything found on this record.
Yet, after a while Apostle of Solitude start to squeeze that particular lemon a bit too much. Some of the tracks indeed noodle on a bit too much with those typical riffs we kinda heard somewhere before. In other words, a few cuts here and there would have done a ton of good on an otherwise already pretty impressive record.
In the end however, Until The Darkness Goes contains that kind of tearful mastery that we so desperately looked for this year. Apostle of Solitude truly managed to let us feel the fifty shades of torment in their forlorn souls. Whereas other bands kinda landed off the mark, this record hits straight dead center. An ocean of sadness filled with tasty, fat riffs, outstanding solos, and lyrics that actually talked to us for once.
Yet, nothing of the above would be possible without a pristine production, a mix that loses nothing, and outstanding songwriting skills. This is – yet again – a band with a swagger, confident of its abilities. And rightly so. The outcome is one of the best Doom Metal pieces the year of the Lord 2021 had on the menu.
What else could we ask for in this day and age of endless tribulation? A reflection of our times, if there ever was one. Cool record.