Artist: A Pale Horse Named Death
Title: And Hell Will Follow Me
Genre: Alternative / Gothic / Rock
Release Date: 17th June 2011
Label: Steamhammer / SPV
A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH is a brainchild of Sal Absruscato, who founded TYPE O NEGATIVE (together with Peter Steele) and Matt Brown, a sound engineer and guitarist who collaborated with the likes of LOU REED, PETER GABRIEL, GORILLAZ, SCISSOR SISTERS to name just a few. They call their dual efforts as “the murdering evil version of Lennon and McCartney” and now they’re bringing an apocalyptic Gothness to your eardrums with ‘And Hell Will Follow Me’.
Suitably starting with the gallop of the (presumably) apocalyptic horse in a short album-titled ‘And Hell Will Follow Me’ who is joined by the end by a manically scared breathing of a man, by which time you might expect the mighty roar of the horn summing up the other three riders / representatives of Conquest, War, and Famine, but you’ll hear the horse final panicked whine. Maybe it’s the fact that on his emaciated, skeletal back [of the album cover] is a pissed off crow instead of the menacing jaw grin of Grim Reaper. So no goose bumps really and no sweat as you would expect from this vision of Revelations 6:7-8 concerning the ‘pale horse named Death’... When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come and see!"
I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. This harbinger of the Last Judgement is not so terrible after all... The horse seems to have arrived even in a worse imaginable hell that is life on Earth and the one that’s following him is a much more pleasant affair in comparison, and it’s scared by us, not vice versa. The song titles might promise quite a journey through the infernal side of the human soul, maybe that’d have been case if the songs were more atmospheric and layered and lyrics melodramatic, but they’re quite straightforward Goth-Rock offerings. They contain more black humour and a knowing depiction of existential issues than a black fright of the supernatural.
‘To Die In Your Arms’ is one of my favourites here; the riffs get on, then get into some shredding, great lyrics, the way it’s made to feel as if caught in a slow-motion loop is excellent too, it has something from Sludge Metal, so let’s call this Sludge Rock. ‘Cracks In The Wall’ is another highlight here, whilst the walls consume the protagonist of the song, its music is consuming the listener, an intense and wonderful. Its melody feels to be built loosely on some folksong, with its subtle “simplicity”. ‘Serial Killer’ is wonderfully speeded up, rocking out song, ending with an interesting outro, atmospheric, including some flying off birds and who knows...murderer’s exit from the scene?...
Next ‘When Crows Descend On You’ takes the pale horse named Death and explains how it’s coming to take your soul...enjoyable for the vocals and the lyrics and the interactions of the musicians. The Sludge sound within its Rock position, whilst interesting, can sometimes mire it with monotonous feel, but this is broken by many interesting facets, the tempo changing just before it gets too much, the vocals are great, lyrics of a good quality and attention-holding; many of the themes are relatable. Let’s hope that this collaboration will bring more albums out. This one is just great, not to mention that it grows on you every time you listen to it again.
01. And Hell Will Follow Me – 0.57
02. As Black As My Heart – 4.39
03. To Die In Your Arms – 3.36
04. Heroin Train – 3.13
05. Devil In The Closet – 3.44
06. Cracks In The Walls – 5.43
07. Bad Dream – 2.08
08. Bath In My Blood (Schizophrenia In Me) -2.28
09. Pill Head – 5.41
10. Meet The Wolf – 5.30
11. Serial Killer – 4.36
12. When Crows Descend Upon You – 4.16
13. Die Alone – 7.40
Sal Abruscato - Guitar & Vocals
Johnny Kelly – Drums
Bobby Hambel – Guitar
Matt Brown – Guitar
Eric Morgan – Bass
Keith Caputo – Background vocals
Ulrich Krieger – Saxophone on “Die Alone”
Bobby Hambell – Additional guitars
http://apalehorsenameddeath.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/apalehorsenameddeath
Total: 8.5 / 10