When a band is called Apostle Of Solitude, only one conclusion can be drawn: this must be doom metal. “From Gold To Ash” is the fourth full-length album of the American band and essentially an archetype of traditional doom. From the first tones to the last, this album lives and breathes doom metal with heavy riffs, epic vocals and slow, yet powerful drums. Don’t expect any death metal influences, sludge, drone or other experiments: Apostle Of Solitude is about the essential stuff that the genre is made of.

On first listen, “From Gold To Ash” didn’t quite impress me, but after a few spins it grew on me. We are not talking about a groundbreaking release here, but after a hesitant start, the second half of the album contains some quality stuff. The absolute highlight is “My Heart Is Leaving Here”, which impresses with a very slow pace and a heartfelt guitar solo, adding some much-needed emotion to the album. More of this in the future, please!

All in all, “From Gold To Ash” is a decent enough traditional doom metal album, but it fails to stand out among the vast amount of releases flooding the market. It should be interesting enough for die-hard genre fans, but don’t expect anything too fancy here.

(7/10 Lykle Thijssen)