A Pale Horse Named Death Lay My Soul to Waste

A Pale Horse Named Death Lay My Soul to Waste
7
This is the second album from A Pale Horse Named Death — the grungy metal project led by former Type O Negative/Life of Agony drummer Sal Abruscato, here stepping up to the mic with guitar in hand. APHND's 2011 debut channelled Alice in Chains through an extra layer or two of snarly doom, and the new record follows in line, amping up the darkness to more ominous levels. Thematically, Lay My Soul to Waste draws heavily upon bluesy tales of woe and devilish betrayals transplanted to a more modern context. There's a hint of Type O Negative here and there, especially in the broodingly slow and dramatic "Day of the Storm" — not surprising considering Abruscato's history, and the fact that he's joined by fellow TON alumnus Johnny Kelly and Kelly's bandmate from Seventh Void, Matt Brown. But there's also a great deal of fairly straightforward hard rock running through the album, laying out the middle ground that is its weakest point. Lay My Soul to Waste works best when A Pale Horse Named Death move toward musical extremes, whether that means catchy riffs and vocal harmonies or a heavier guitar and vocal attack. But even where the record is less intriguing musically, there's something particularly effective for setting the mood — a sense of toil and grind that's inescapable, but which we struggle against nonetheless. (Steamhammer/SPV)