A Pale Horse Named Death is near and dear to me in the Pop!Blerd world. Nevermind that the band features both of Type O Negative’s former skin bashers, APHND’s debut And Hell Will Follow Me was one of my my first “Metal Monday” volumes, one of the first bands I even mentioned in my absolute first column for the site and the first to get shared online by someone other than me and the P!B staff.
But enough about me, we’re here to talk about how A Pale Horse Named Death’s second opus, Lay My Soul To Waste which manages to easily avoid the dreaded sophomore slump by going bigger in every way possible. Bigger sound! Bigger production! Bigger songs!
On the follow up to 2011’s And Hell Will Follow Me, APHND make massive strides into the upper echelon of doom rock alongside greats like Alice In Chains and a band that Horse mastermind Sal Abuscato used to drum for (And probably the two bands you’ll most likely hear this band compared to especially during songs like the brilliant “In The Sleeping Death” and “The Needle In You”).
Sonically, all of Lay My Soul To Waste is a triumph. Just listen to the first proper song on here, “Shallow Grave”, which is on its own leaps and bounds above And Hell Will Follow Me in terms of production (And that record is still amazing regardless). Another way LMSTW expands is in the instrumentation as the piano definitely takes more of a center stage throughout on cuts like the somber, moody organ-laden “Growing Old”, the acoustic driven “Dead Of Winter”, or the dirge that is “Day Of The Storm”.
At the forefront of APHND once again is Abruscato who has made the leap to undisputed band leader on LMSTW. While listeners will no doubt hear how strong his guitar work has come this time around, it’s the range of his voice and songwriting prowess that stands out on APHND’s second album. On rockers like “DMSLT” and “Killer By Night” especially Abruscato has not only proven that he can concoct these tight memorable sonic masterpieces but he’s set the stage to showcase his vocal range displaying a veritable roar that certainly stands out and ups the aggression factor.
Lay My Soul To Waste is out on May 21st through Steamhammer/SPV. Pre-order yours here.