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Pale Horse Part 2

7 Feb

 

After the rocking show in Wiesbaden, I just had to go see A Pale Horse Named Death again in Saarbrücken, supported by solid doom metal four-piece No Hope.

A Pale Horse Named Death @ Garage Saarbrücken As always, A Pale Horse Named Death did not disappoint. Although it was my third time at a show in support of the debut album “And Hell Will Follow Me”, the set just doesn’t get old. Beautifully dark songs, masterfully crafted tunes and an awesome attitude from the band itself once again. I get the feeling this is exactly how music is meant to be performed and bands are meant to interact. Kudos. APHND really knows how to make their fans happy.

 

 

 

Flickr APHND here.
More on A Pale Horse Named Death here.
Tickets to Garage Saarbrücken here.
Flickr NO HOPE here.

A Pale Horse Named Death

24 Jan

Don’t be fooled. Next to all the rock and nostalgic grunge enthusiasm, the massive, rainbow-colorful shoe collection and the readiness to travel around the globe grinning from ear to ear, I love a good gloom session just as much as the next goth/emo/generally depressed person. Therefore, attending the A Pale Horse Named Death show in Wiesbaden’s Schlachthof this week was a must for me.

A Pale Horse Named Death @ Schlachthof WiesbadenThe show confirmed what I suspected from seeing them in August 2011: this moody sounding five-piece is always worth the ticket. Frontman Sal Abruscato (formerly of Type O Negative and Life of Agony) once again proved that he is the exception to the rule “Drummers should stick to drumming” as the NY band performed the entire track list of the acclaimed, many-a-list-topping album “And Hell Will Follow Me”. His vocals brings to mind a whole number of opposing adjectives. Sometimes raw and rocky, sometimes smooth and gloomy, it always, however, shares the stage perfectly with the music. With apocalytic-feeling rhythms and riffs reminiscent of Type O Negative in some ways, but also of Life of Agony and Alice in Chains in others, drummer Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Seventh Void), bassist Eric Morgan and guitarists Matt Brown (Seventh Void) and Eddie Heedles deliver a set that is musically on the highest level.

To my surprise, as I looked around what I had thought to be Gloomsville, I noticed that the crowd was smiling. A second glance confirmed: so was the band. There’s no doubt about it: fun was being had during the set as well as afterwards, when the fan-friendly, low-attitude band came out to spend some time. This let me conclude two things as I made my way home. 1. Supported by Swiss doom-metal band Blood Runs Deep, A Pale Horse Named Death managed to inspire somewhat of a rock catharsis in the room and bring out the beauty in a set that one would have assumed bleak and depressing. 2. Apparently, it’s totally ok to be happy about that – even if you’re a dark n gloomy girl like me. My advice: Go to the next show. It’ll certainly put a smile on your pale face.

More info on Schlachthof Wiesbaden here
More info on Blood Runs Deep here
More info on A Pale Horse Named Death – including tour dates for Hell Across Europe – here
Flickr the show here

Wild Horses

19 Aug

One thing is inherent. If you listen to rock music long enough, bands you love will disperse, remix and come together to form new bands for you to listen to. Of course, it’s always a sad day when some of your favorite combos split. But usually, it’s also a promise. Phoenix from the ashes and all that. So you sit back and wait and see what happens.

A Pale Horse Named Death at Cologne's UndergroundYou could say this is why I knew about A Pale Horse Named Death. Featuring members from Life of Agony, Type O Negative, Seventh Void and Biohazard for the live line-up, it’s actually turned out to be quite the underground version of a rock supergroup. but here’s the low-down on that:

After Life of Agony spent the better part of 20 years making music and then finally touring these albums at great lengths (which I never got tired of), it seemed that the members were – one by one – taking on new challenges. Keith Caputo aka KeithMina is just about to tour Europe solo once again. Alan Robert has published the comic series Wire Hangers and Crawl to me (read, if you get the chance, they are awesome). Joey Z is busy with his studio as far as I have heard. And so drummer Sal Abruscato – once of Type O Negative – took the chance to come out from behind the drums and front this new project.

The album was recorded with help from sound engineer and guitarist Matt Brown (Seventh Void and Type O Negative) and guitarist Bobby Hambel (Biohazard). These three were then joined by drummer Johnny Kelly (Seventh Void and Type O Negative) and Eric Morgan on the bass for the live performances.

A Pale Horse Named Death at Cologne's UndergroundIf you agree that this line-up says it all, you won’t call me crazy when I tell you this: I bought the tickets for this show in February. As in: when there was no album yet. I decided to put all my faith in the few snippets available online and the fact that this just had to be good.

So APHND and Seventh Void double-billed the Underground in Cologne on August 17. Although we arrived half-way through APHND’s first song, it only took a nanosecond to “get into the groove”. In their bio, APHDN state that their music “sounds like Alice in Chains mysteriously sneaking up behind Type O Negative with a butcher knife while being filmed for a future episode of Law & Order”. And there’s just no better way to describe it. While I am usually not keen on drummers fronting bands (sorry, Dave Grohl), this is the exception every rule should have. Sal Abruscato (who clearly is not merely a “drummer”) delivers an absolutely spell-binding performance, enhancing the alluringly dark APHND melodies with the type of husky rock vocal quality we’d generally all love to hear more of. And all that backed by a group of musicians you know to be just outstandingly outstanding. Seriously, this just couldn’t have gone wrong.

A Pale Horse Named Death at Cologne's UndergroundAnd for the proverbial sprinkles on top, APHDN are down to earth enough to spend time with their fans after a vibrant, rocking, relentless set. If that doesn’t win you over, I don’t know what will.

Sal, Matt, Bobby, Johnny, Eric: thank you so much for a great show. In my mind, you’re A Pale Horse Named Awesome already.

More on APHND: apalehorsenameddeath.com
Info on Underground shows: underground-cologne.de