Artist: A Pale Horse Named Death
Album: And Hell Will Follow Me
Label: To Be Announced
The brainchild of Sal Abruscato (Type-O-Negative , Life Of Agony) is a brooding, gothic, rockin, rip roarin good listen! Over the last 12 months I had been eagerly anticipating this album to the point where anything less than Bloody Kisses might not have sufficed for me. Couple the tragic passing of Peter Steele with those highly unfair expectations and there was simply an itch that needed to be scratched for Type-O-Negative fans world wide. Whether Sal knew it or not, fans who knew about this album were waiting with baited breath. No pressure Sal! You all can exhale – “And Hell Will Follow Me” will scratch that itch into a gore covered mess, but in the way Sal intended- his way! Not Peter’s, or anyone else!
A Pale Horse Named Death is not a replacement for Type O Negative – nor should it be, or was it ever intended to be. It is bubbling cauldron of the aforementioned Type-O-Negative with a very solid footing into the Layne Staley and Alice In Chains world. Whether Sal intended to or not, he put forth a unique record that takes elements of TON and AIC and meshes the two together into a very old school rock sound. A sound that simply makes every track be accessible for radio, but scratch the itch of grieving Goth’s worldwide.
“As Black As My Heart” kicks in with some guitar work that feels very familiar. Very Jerry Cantrell! But as you listen closer, you hear the trademark drums of Type – O Negative and some guitar distortion that screams Kenny Hickey. The vibe is cool and confident during the bridge, then like that a rocking chorus that would flow perfectly on XM Radio’s Octane, busts out of your speakers. The dirge at the end that sees Abruscato scream his brains out, but is still accessible enough to not be stinging to the ear.
“To Die In Your Arms” is a perfect unification of Goth and Alice In Chains. There is really no other way to describe it. But it is original! A combination I personally have not heard before. Sal coos “To die in your arms is my pleasure” as the guitars trudge through gallons of sludge. Love it!
“Devil In The Closet” is a grinding listen that you keep waiting for the track to take off. But it is big, heavy and grubby. Sort of like listening to Crowbar. You always want Crowbar to pick up the tempo, but it is that borderline
tempo release that keeps you listening…then the thunder fades away. Sal achieved the same formula for success here. Pull up your Sith cloak and listen to this one with your friend Palpatine!
Readers might find this weird, but I heard alot of Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones in “Cracks In The Walls. The intro of Paint It Black and the bridge of this track are eerily similar. Not sure Sal meant for this to happen, or
maybe I am bat shit crazy- but give it a listen. High praise- I know! Sal does a great job of giving a tip of the cap to rock from the past with this listen.
I never thought I would ever compare Stone Temple Pilots with anything to do with the Brooklyn Crew. But I am. “Bath In My Blood (Schizophrenia In Me)” has a song structure that would fit Scott Weiland’s way of rockin. But Sal pulls it off. Who knew this crazy voice was sitting behind the TON & LOA kit?
“Die Alone” is my favorite track of the record. It is a fantastic goth song. It screams Type-O-Negative. Powerful, brooding, black! The name fits the wound like a blood clot. I mentioned earlier in the review that APHND scratches an itch? This hulking monster will fill a small part of the void left by Mr. Steele.
I would love to see future works have a stronger synth component. Josh Silver? Additionally, it would be interesting to see Sal explore a concept album telling a story. Something around the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse maybe? More Keith Caputo, who lended his pipes to the effort? Musing aloud!
Alas, news is on the horizon. Sal and Matt Brown signed a record deal and will be announcing that soon. Additionally, one would assume they need to fill roster spots within the band.
As Peter once wrote a song called “Everything Dies!” Acceptance! Cherish the past, feel the past, don’t forget it. But live in the here and now. Sal Abruscato created an album that his friend Peter would be proud of. But more importantly, it is alive, new and refreshing. It is not finger tapping metal! It isn’t Vampire music. It isn’t one of the
ten million stoner rock bands coming out. It isn’t radio rock! Hell Will Follow Me is the intricately stitched unification of old school rock and roll with soulless Goth! A sound in my 10+ years of reviewing albums I do not recall hearing. And if I did, it was obviously forgettable. With that said, as a long time fan of TON this album liberated me from thinking about Peter and TON, and fixating on supporting this band and Seventh Void.
With every death the Phoenix will rise! In this instance, it tore into existence riding on A Pale Horse Named Death.
HitThePit Scale: 8.5 out of 10