Retrospective: A Pale Horse Named Death – “Lay My Soul to Waste”

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One of my favorite album purchases of the last two years may not be what most would expect. Risen from the ashes left by Type O Negative, we have ourselves a project that may be a bit under-appreciated in A Pale Horse Named Death. Formed by Sal Abruscato, the ex-drummer of the aforementioned Type O, this young project has only seen the release of two albums since 2011. The most recent of these is Lay My Soul to Waste, and it’s one that I will be fond of for quite some time.

First, a little backstory. And most of you will probably hate me for beating the dead horse that is Wacken 2014 once again… but I don’t really give a shit. When I finally acquired my ticket to said festival, I went about exploring some of the bands I was previously unfamiliar with. Considering there were several dozen of them, it was no small task. But A Pale Horse Named Death caught my eye, mostly because of the ties back to Type O, of course. Having no experience with their sound whatsoever, I happened across 2013’s Lay My Soul to Waste in my local Bull Moose (after one of my rougher nights out). As it turned out, I was pretty damn lucky my local record shop stays open rather late. To be honest, I don’t even remember buying this damn thing. Well, I vaguely do. All I know is I woke up the next morning with this album on my floor and 12 less dollars in my wallet. I can do math. When I finally got my shit together, I was impressed.

Categorized as some fascinating blend of doom and gothic metal, A Pale Horse Name Death immediately filled my ears with a very southern influenced form of heavier music that focused on some of the most depressing subject matter possible. But it was all done with an interesting crunch to it, so there was certainly enough energy. From the slow and somber forms of “Growing Old”, “Dead of Winter”, and “Day of the Storm”, Sal tells stories of lives wasted away through the inevitability of passing time and the destruction of our existence through mankind’s own flaws. All concepts I’m fascinated bad. Because I’m cryptic and despise humanity. I’m not lying to you, this is heavy shit. But, within all this gloom and doom, there are a number tracks with far more tempo. For example, “Devil Came With a Smile” tells a first person recollection of selling one’s soul for wealth and fame as a musician… Before, obviously, losing it all to drugs and, apparently, contagious women. Who knew? Either way, each song tells a different story of suffering. But its how they’re told that makes Lay My Soul to Waste so interesting. Some are more aggressive and heavy, while others are far more deliberate and even melodic at times. It’s a nice collection of sounds to hold an overall theme of woe together.

Anyway, you get the idea. I’m going to leave the rest up to you at this point. But this is a great album and a take on doom metal that has stuck with me consistently over the last two years. You don’t need to look any further for a creative take on darker music. Lay My Soul to Waste calls on a number of influences and delivers its somber message with incredible quality.

Normally, this is where I would embed a Spotify playlist. But Spotify is kind of a piece of shit so instead I’m going to link the entire album for you RIGHT HERE. You can figure out the rest. But since I’m a giver, I’m also going to include the music video for “Dmlst” (and that stands for ‘doesn’t make sense living today’ if you were wondering) directly below. It’s an extremely catchy, upbeat tune about depression that will work it’s way into your brain rather quickly. And we all like visuals, so you get that too. You’re welcome.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– Corey

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