A Pale Horse Named Death - Lay My Soul To Waste

A Pale Horse Named Death - Lay My Soul To Waste

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(CD/LP, SPV, 2013)

Leaving aside Conquest, War and Famine aside, Death’s horse is the palest, the most morbid and the most powerful of all. Chewing melancholy and spitting despair through his infested nostrils, subdues to the cravings of his rider who wears just his pale-white ring and carries no weapon or other lethal object; still, PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH can take your breath away with one move, being skeletal and vicious at the same time.

Sal Abruscato’s A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH is back in discography with the sophomore album, entitled “Lay My Soul To Waste” (yup, not rest, but waste), two years after the very successful debut “And Hell Will Follow Me” that rocked my world for good, being 2011’s big surprise for my collection. From the first listening, I fell in love with APHND’s dark tunes paying unofficial tribute/respect to TYPE O NEGATIVE’s works, almost following the same footprints (accidental or not – that is not the question). In “Lay My Soul To Waste”, things sound darker, deeper and more esoteric than before, so I guess a listener discretion is advised sticker should warn everyone for the deadly-to-listen-to tunes. Plus, the sacred and successful collaboration of Abruscato with Matt Brown and Johnny Kelly continues, creating sonic miracles and underlining that some things in life (or death) are just meant to be.

APHND have taken the TYPE O characteristic scent (the one that breathed Peter Steele’s eerie melancholy in every blood drop), allowing the listener to deal with Sal’s songwriting, who to my ears sounds more confident and angrier, stating the band’s dark vantage point  of musical and lyrical view. Of course, we keep dealing with that ALICE IN CHAINS-esque paralytic touch that ‘screams’ Jerry Cantrell/ Layne Staley and shines through Sal’s way to express himself more directly, having put his ideas in little infrangible glass bottles, crafted by asphyxiating breath. With the self-titled track being just a preamble of what is about to follow, the curtain rises by the numbness of “Shallow Grave” (I just love how the guitars/drums sound through the thick production), continuing our travel to madness, sorrow and despair that started with “And Hell Will Follow Me”. Tracks like “The Needle In You”, “In The Sleeping Death” and “Dead Of Winter” are not afraid to show their Grunge-y teeth, having their breath dipped into the most expensive hallucinogenic substance that exists out there, while others like “Killer By Night”, “Devil Came With A Smile” and “Day Of The Storm” wake up the bittersweet, trademark melancholy of TYPE O NEGATIVE.

While “And Hell Will Follow Me” sounds like the calm before the storm that will happen in the depths of everybody’s inner Hell, “Lay My Soul To Waste” has the unique purpose to hit you in the gut and then watch you bleed to death. And maybe continue watching after that...

PS: I’m sure Pete Steele’s big, dark and expressive eyes paint a grin of deep satisfaction right now...

“As we stand around your grave
Tears are falling as we pray
with red roses in our hands
We lay them down and say, goodbye my friend”





01. Lay My Soul To Waste
02. Shallow Grave
03. The Needle In You
04. In The Sleeping Death
05. Killer By Night
06. Growing Old
07. Dead Of Winter
08. Devil Came With A Smile
09. Day Of The Storm
11. Cold Dark Mourning


Sal Abruscato - Lead Vocals, Guitars
Matt Brown - Guitars, Production
Eric Morgan - Bass
Eddie Heedles - Guitars
Johnny Kelly - Drums