• A Pale Horse Named Death - And Hell Will Follow Me (2010)

     

    “A pale horse named death” is a band with a very cool name and a great album cover that plays first of all a melancholic mixture of gothic and doom metal in the key of “Type 0 Negative”. Even though the influence of this band is omnipresent and weighs even too much on the sound of the band in my opinion, some songs sound rather modern and remind me at a second sight in a positive way of commercial modern American hard rock acts with a dark side from time to time such as “Drowning Pool”, “Godsmack” or early “Puddle of Mudd”. Even if those comparisons may now frighten most of the metal community this is the thin line where “A pale horse named death” are capable of sounding slightly different and not like a complete copy of “Type 0 Negative”. This also proves me that this band has the potential for a commercial breakthrough. Luckily, the band also includes as a third point some true doom and gothic metal elements in their songs. All those three aspects form in the end a very coherent and addicting structure that gives this album an almost conceptual touch. This first strike convinces with many great samples and interludes that add some colours to the dark and depressive sounds and keep the interest high. Next to many short tracks that copy the usual patterns the band sometimes breaks out of the repeating structures and delivers a few interesting elements in their more epic and elaborated tracks.

    Most of the band’s songs are rather short and really catchy. With a few more support the band could become quite famous and commercial but rather in the gothic than in the metal scene. After a great opening sample and a good second track “To die in your arms” is the first highlight and already addicting and catchy as hell. This song stands out amongst many short and sweet tracks on this record and would without a doubt have been a highlight or potential single output on any record of the legendary “Type 0 Negative”.

    But I still prefer when the band tries out something different and unique when they get away from the omnipresent influence of their obvious idols and search for their own sound. “Heroin train” could be a good definition and hint at what the band might deliver in the future. The song is lyrically well elaborated and stands out with an amazing and emotional guitar solo. The band is even greater when they head for a more courageous and progressive direction. “Meet the wolf” has interesting sound samples and a truly bleak atmosphere. Another highlight is definitely “Serial killer” that convinces with great sound samples in the ending that make the song sound vivid and atmospheric like a score for a dark suspense or horror movie. The band reserves us another gem as closer of the album with the epic and somewhat progressive highlight “Die alone” that even employs a few saxophone sounds and proves that the band can innovate. This last song grows more and more on me and is probably the best one of the band. Maybe it has its place in the ending of the album because it may create a connection to the beginning of a future second album.

    In the end, this album is not yet unique and outstanding enough to be more than a highlight for any “Type 0 Negative” fan on the board. But a few songs and slight experiments seem to prepare us for something bigger next time and I will surely follow this band to see which path they will chose: being a unique band with a unique brand or being nothing more than a better “Type 0 Negative” cover band with some influence of “Keith Caputo” and other artists of the same kind? Nevertheless, this album is catchy and addicting and I don't mind its flaws that much as it rotates quite often in my stereo right now and may especially be rediscovered for rainy autumn mornings or black winter nights.

     

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