Fireworks

A Pale Horse Named Death - 'Lay My Soul To Waste' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     November 02, 2013    
 
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This is music made for any moonlit graveyard party.

Life of Agony drummer and co-founder of Type O Negative, Sal Abruscato, put aside his drum set to take lead vocals and guitar with this band, and carry on in the spirit of the late founder member Pete Steele. The result is a second album of tortured dreams and twisted thoughts put to song with striking results.

So many bands lay claim to the dark path musically, but rarely deliver. A Pale Horse Named Death offers a morbid sense of authenticity that explores new territory. Opening track 'Shallow Grave' rumbles along like a hearse on a cobblestone path to the graveyard. Thudding bass lines and a sense of unease in Sal's vocals will have every vampire chomping at the bit. Screaming like a night terror is the only way to describe 'The Needle In You'. The lyrics are direct and to the point, evoking images of a drug induced existence – certainly not for the faint hearted! The tragic tale of a broken romance is wrapped up in a wall of guitars and dense vocals with 'In The Sleeping Death'. Despite the funereal pace of the delivery, it loses none of its effect. 'Killer By Night' by contrast takes influences from Monster Magnet in its more rock and roll style of delivery. The chorus is a huge slab of retro rock that goes off like a rocket.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The theme of age is touched upon with 'Growing Old'. Complete with church organ and gloomy lyrics about the ever aging and decaying human body, the music gives off a feeling of desolation. If you ever wondered about the realities of the music business, then take a long hard listen to the heavy guitar vibes of 'Devil Came With A Smile'. You may never want to sign that recording contract! Things take off into a flawless hum of keyboards and buzz saw guitars on 'DMSLT'. You can almost imagine black crows circling and storm clouds hovering ominously with the mood of this track.

The songs on offer are delivered with conviction and at times, jaw dropping doom. This is music made for any moonlit graveyard party.

Ray Paul

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Franco Cerchiari said:

...
The death of Pete Steele was a huge blow to music. His larger than life persona, his music and his attitude towards the world around him stood for something. Even though, of course, I never met him, I felt a connection with what it was he was trying to do. And with his death, I thought the genre of goth/metal had lost one of it's brightest. But along came A Pale Horse Named Death, and I latched on to them, especially with the connection this band has to Type 0 Negative.

'Lay My Soul To Waste' is a worthwhile follow up to 'And Hell Will Follow Me.' By way of comparison, the music on 'Lay My Soul To Waste' is even more ominous, frightening, and sullen. The guitars on 'Lay....' are more down tuned, the music on many of the tracks slower than those heard on 'And Hell....'

With slow, head nodding beats of the drums, the songs are thick with sludge. But what makes this such a strong release is that the songwriters give the vocals lift, but make sure the music remains firmly planted in the soil. Almost as if the songwriters want the listener to have to reach upward for the vocals while at the same time becoming wrapped up in a thick, viscous firmament that is the music.

Ripe with the guitars of Black Sabbath, the morose songwriting style of Windhand or In Solitude, and the heaviness of The Sword, cast all visions of a perfect world right the hell out as you listen to the melodic 'A Needle In Your Arm', the cathedral filling organ of 'Growing Old' and the gripping guitars of the CD highlight 'Dmslt.' Both 'Dead Of Winter' and 'Day Of The Storm', will make you feel as if you are laying in a coffin, with your arms folded across your chest as it is lowered into the the place of your eternal rest. Both of these tracks are menacing, and nightmare inducing as death itself beckons you with his icy glare.

A great release indeed. For fans of the gothic, or hold a special place in their hearts for the genre that the legendary Pete Steele brought to the masses, pick this one up soon. Pete Steele has taken notice, and he is well pleased. And so will you be after you hear the engrossing music that is 'Lay My Soul To Waste.'
 
November 29, 2013
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