If you’re a diehard fan of Type O Negative, it’s unlikely that Sal Abruscato’s band A Pale Horse Named Death will have escaped your attention. Following on from 2011’s critically acclaimed ‘And Hell Will Follow Me’, they’re sophomore opus ‘Lay My Soul To Waste’ is out now.
Pleasing news for fans will be that this New York goth rock troupe haven’t deviated from their classic sound too much on this record, “We pretty much believe that if it’s not broken don’t fix it”, Sal tells us, “It worked out very well for the first record, so I didn’t want to change the recipe too much, we just wanted to make it better and fine tune it.” Fine tuning, you say? Fear not, APHND have merely given their material a quick polish in order to keep it from rusting, Sal reveals, “I feel there was a natural progression, nothing forced or contrived. We went a little further with improving our sound and made a couple of elements more apparent like the piano in a couple of the songs.”
Encapsulating all that is so captivating about the dark and macabre sound of the heavier side of rock, it is unsurprising that A Pale Horse draw comparisons to 90’s greats Alice in Chains, despite Sal only owning a ‘Best Of’ album! “I just happen to be in a similar range to Layne Staley and I think that’s where people get the comparison from”, muses Sal, “For me, it’s a huge compliment, I don’t take offence to it; it’s better than a comparison to a really shitty band. I don’t think we’re a replica, but to have people say we’re similar is great; that band has sold millions and millions of records.”
Creating a band involving two former members of Type O Negative and having released their first album around the time of Pete Steele’s passing is sure to attract a lot of attention and analysis about whether or not APHND is just another TON carbon copy. Sal assures us that this is not the case, “I don’t think I’m living in its shadow, because at the end of the day I co-founded the shadow”, he says, “A lot of people compare us to Type O Negative, but we’ve got two guys from Type O Negative in the band, so what do you expect? Of course we’ll never replace what Peter was doing, but at least people can find some comfort in the fact that some of the guys from the same group of people are still making music and somehow still carrying a type of spirit of the band, where we come from and how it all started.”
‘Lay My Soul To Waste’ is out now via Steamhammer/SPV.
Words: Angela Davey
You can read Faye Coulman’s review of ‘Lay My Soul To Waste’ in Terrorizer 236.