A Pale Horse Named Death

Lay My Soul To Waste

Written by: PP on 11/09/2013 21:16:11

A Pale Horse Named Death. Already the band name suggests a depressive, heavy atmosphere that should probably borrow a great deal from gothic metal, and that is indeed the case on their sophomore album "Lay My Soul To Waste". Before you give this review a miss, however, consider the following: A Pale Horse Named Death aren't a gothic band in the European sense with symphonies, fragile female vocals or anything else stereotypical and generic to the genre. Instead, they use goth themes as mere undertones and nuances in their sound much in the same way as Type O Negative did across so many albums, going for a more American style interpretation of the genre.

The end result is an album that sounds a great deal like how I'd imagine Alice In Chains' modern incarnation to sound like, should they choose to integrate a few gothic influences into their sound. This is perhaps not surprising, considering A Pale Horse Named Death is led by founding Type O Negative and Life Of Agony drummer Sal Abruscato, so a soundscape lying somewhere halfway across gothic and grunge fits right in with the background of the band. The soundscape is best defined as one that contains all the quintessential elements of early 90s Seattle style grunge, but also the trademark depressive and melancholic expression that Type O Negative captured so many hearts with before the untimely death of their vocalist Peter Steele in 2010. Some songs lean more on the former, with groovy, but slow-tempo grunge melodies functioning as the driving force, whereas elsewhere, the melancholic clean delivery and gothic overtones are at the forefront (see especially the nearly 8 minute "Day Of The Storm"). A few oddities are scattered around too, such as "Devil Came With A Smile", which features screamed vocals towards the end that are otherwise rarely used across the album.

What's most appealing about the album is perhaps it's immersive mood. Few bands I've heard are able to capture their chosen atmosphere as well as A Pale Horse Named Death do here, bringing forth a totally grievous, mournful mood that's synonymous with the gray skies and windy afternoons of fall in Scandinavia. When that is combined with solid songwriting, the result is a collection of sad, slow songs that creep forward at doom metal tempos, but yet manage to be strangely catchy at the same time.

Download: A Shallow Grave, The Needle In You, Day Of The Storm, DMSLT
For the fans of: Alice In Chains, Type O Negative, Soundgarden
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.05.2013
SPV / Steamhammer

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