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A Pale Horse Named Death - When The World Becomes Undone

Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/10


I like the album, but you may find it to be a catch-22. You’ll enjoy this a lot more if you can listen without comparing it to Type O Negative, but you can’t listen to it without comparing it to Type O Negative. There are also traces of Life of Agony, and a smidge of Alice in Chains, especially the Cantrell-fronted stuff.

 

The Type O and LoA connections are natural, since A Pale Horse Named Death are led by Sal Abruscato, who played drums during the heydays of those two bands. You’ll find him on guitar and lead vocals for this project. Interestingly, Johnny Kelly, who replaced Abruscato on drums for Type O, is behind the kit here. Funny how life works, sometimes.
“When The World Becomes Undone” is the third APHND album, so they’re pretty established in their own right now - - but this down-tuned, lumbering, despair-dripping, Goth sound will apparently shadow Abruscato throughout his entire career.
The production gets an A+; it’s a great-sounding record. The guitar leads are slow and played with taste and soul. Sal’s vocals are solid, but unfortunately, the natural comparisons draw you to Type O Negative’s Peter Steele(RIP), and Keith/Mina Caputo: two of the most distinctive, iconic, personality-forward singers in all of Metal history, not just Brooklyn Metal history. Sal is a fine singer, but he brings none of their gallows humor or angsty rage to his mic - - at least not on “When The World Becomes Undone.”
The album is consistently good, from song to song, which is its double-edged appeal and trouble. Some of the tunes are better than others, but none elevate from “good” to “incredible.” Abruscato has been a part of some truly great music in his past, but A Pale Horse Named Death just doesn’t reach those heights.
Superfans of Type O Negative should want this, and they will enjoy it. I would recommend “When The World Becomes Undone” to anyone, especially the title track (probably the best on the record), the instrumental short: “Succumbing to the Event Horizon,” plus “Vultures,” “We All Break Down,” and “Splinters.”

 
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