The story of how I discovered this album is nothing short of inspirational. While I cannot disclose where I work, I do work with movies and music. So, one day, the receiver at the store I work at brings me the weekly load of new release CD’s. As I begin putting them on the shelving to hold for Tuesday, the bottom box opens and a hundred CD’s fall to the floor, an avalanche of plastic and cardboard cases. Right there on top of the pile was the cover above and it certainly got my attention. After seeing the artwork, I knew I had to check the band out; I figured it was a death metal band I wouldn’t like, but I had to know. Hell, with a cover that amazingly awesome how could I not find out what they sounded like? So, straight to the interweb I went and after hearing a snippet of Shallow Grave, I was hooked. Have a listen to Shallow Grave here:
So after reading that initial paragraph, you may be asking yourself why the discovery of this CD was inspirational. I’m getting to that, but I need to give you a little backstory, first. I wasn’t always a metal fan. I dug the ’80’s hair metal bands like Def Leppard and Tesla in school until the Grunge movement came along. Then I got into Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. While I was working at my first real job after high school, we were cleaning up for the night and listening to the Sunday metal show on our local station. For the life of me I cannot remember what it was called. It was a syndicated, weekly show that ran for an hour and played metal. This particular night was their annual Halloween broadcast. They were playing everything from Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast to Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil. As we were cleaning and rockin’ out, they played a song from a band I had never heard of. A band named Type O Negative. This is the song they played:
Once I heard that song, I became a Type O Negative fan for life. In fact, I even have a Type O Negative tattoo. Once Peter Steele died, vocalist for Type O Negative, I was disheartened and greatly saddened. That band was one of the constant throughout my young adult life. I rushed to the record stores at midnight to pick up their new releases. I managed to see them on tour twice (once with Danzig and once on Ozzfest). I figured that there would never be another band like Type O Negative with that distinct and unique doom/goth metal sound that I so cherished. Then I discovered A Pale Horse Named Death.
After hearing Shallow Grave, I dug a little deeper into their website. The vocalist/guitar player for A Pale Horse Named Death is Sal Abruscato, founding member of Type O Negative. The drummer is Johnny Kelly, Sal’s drum tech from Type O Negative who took over when Sal left the band. So, as you see, A Pale Horse Named Death is basically Type O Negative: The Next Generation. For me, finding this band because a box fell apart was inspirational.
Just because I called APHND Type O: TNG, it is not meant to be a disparagement to the band. While there is certainly an element of Type O running through their songs, they are NOT Type O. While there are some elements that carry over, this is it’s own beast.
Fronted by Sal Abruscato, who does the vocal duties here as well as guitar, APHND is the newest doom metal band that I actually think has a chance of making it. Doom metal is hard to pull off. For every band like Type O Negative and APHND that find some measure of success, you have thirty more that are never heard from. I like to compare Type O Negative and APHND to Black Sabbath. They are not thrash metal, they are not death metal. They are doom metal, signified by the darker, slower playing styles and the content of the songs.
After picking up this album, I have played it constantly in my CD player (yes, I am old school and still buy and listen to CD’s). For a massive fan of Type O Negative, finding APHND was an amazing stroke of luck and has satisfied my doom metal cravings. They have a fan for life in me.
I cannot recommend this album more highly. If you are a fan of Type O Negative or Black Sabbath, you will find a lot to enjoy here. From the subtle hints of dark humor that run through their songs to the Halloween feel that the album evokes, this is my soundtrack to the witching hour; it should be yours. Have a listen to another song from the album here, this one title Killer by Night:
Now take a look at their first video from Lay My Soul to Waste, a track titled DMSLT:
BIZZAM’s!! Rating: 9/10
BIZZAM!! Fun Facts!
- Johnny Kelly, drummer for APHND and Type O Negative, is also Danzig’s drummer as well as Seventh Void.
- Sal Abruscato was a founding member of Type O Negative and played on the albums Slow, Deep & Hard, The Origin of the Feces, and Bloody Kisses.
- Sal was also the drummer for Life of Agony.
- A Pale Horse Named Death unveil their first video!! (bizzammovienews.com)