Has it really been four—hell, almost five—years since Apostle of Solitude put out an album? Last Sunrise was one of my fav releases of 2010, but I guess things move slowly in doom circles sometimes. In any case, those who aren’t strangers to the band probably know a few of these songs already. “This Mania” appeared on their three-way split with Rituals of the Oak and The Flight of Sleipnir, while “Blackest of Times” and “Die Vicar Die” were first heard on a demo tape they put out in 2012. (And yes, I actually own a copy of said cassette—I picked it up when I saw ‘em play DOTD IV.) But that’s not to say that these tunes aren’t worth, well, several more spins…
“Distance and the Cold Heart” fades in slowly, building up to a crescendo that brings us to the true-doom riffage of “Blackest of Times.” Not that any of this stuff is meant to sound cheerful, but AoS always has a way of layering an extra helping of agony in there, which is readily apparent on this number. And hey, it’s hard not to bang your head to the stop-start riffage! (Much cleaner, thicker sound than the demo tape, BTW.)
“Whore’s Wings” is more of a mid-paced slog, with some chugging sludge riffs that kinda remind me of Crowbar, leaving me waiting for that killer breakdown… which never really comes. But “Lamentations of a Broken Man” brings back the doom in a big way, with some evil tritones that recall Sabbath’s signature song. Sandwiched between a pair of previously-recorded tracks, “Push Mortal Coil” pushes the tempo to a brisk pace, similar to “Whore’s Wings,” except that this one’s not lacking in the breakdown department. Hey, who says doom has to always be played slow?
That said, they end things on a much slower note, with the eight-minute epic “Luna” delivering the doom in a big way, kinda like a cross between Candlemass and Neurosis… while also not sounding outta place on Last Sunrise. This last one (not counting the reprised outro) is definitely worth another listen!