A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH unveiled the artwork for their sophomore album Lay My Soul to Waste, due out May 21 in North America on Steamhammer/SPV. Once again the artwork was commissioned by Sam Shearon, who is also responsible for artwork on the band’s first release And Hell Will Follow Me.
On the surface, A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH are impressive. But you’ll want to dig deeper and immerse yourself in all the sonic and lyrical layers, because the band isn’t afraid to plume the depths of darkness that humanity is capable of. It’s murky stuff, but someone has to do it.
Sal Abruscato and Matt Brown followed 2011’s incredible introduction And Hell Will Follow Me with Lay My Soul to Waste, which keeps the band’s patented signature formula of slow, deliberate sludge and head-down doom intact and as flawlessly executed as ever.
Think Alice in Chains, only harder, angrier and with a more perverse view of the world, as if they were reared in a row house in Bensonhurst, as opposed to the rainy landscape of Seattle, all the while feasting on a steady diet of Black Sabbath records.
Abruscato is open about the fantasy that dominates his lyrical point of view. He admits that all songs “have a line to reality…things that could and do happen everyday.” But like any skilled storyteller, Abruscato likes pushing buttons. His lyrics are no different than the narratives of the horror movie playing at your local multiplex. It’s largely fiction, with some nuggets or kernels of truth embedded within.
Musically, the record matches that pallor and “will hit you in the gut.” There are more harmonies this time out, and the piano is a bit more front and center, while guitarist Eddie Heedles contributed some leads. But for the most part, the formula remained largely untouched.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,'” Abruscato says, matter-of-factly.
“We wanted to display the advancements, musically and artistically, and retain the core element.”
A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH arrived with And Hell Will Follow Me. They have firmly implanted their roots in the metal scene with Lay My Soul to Waste. It’s a metal album that headbangers who enjoy a walk on the darker side of life will end up revering and responding to.
1) Lay My Soul to Waste
2) Shallow Grave
3) The Needle in You
4) In the Sleeping Death
5) Killer by Night
6) Growing Old
7) Dead of Winter
8) Devil Came With a Smile
9) Day of the Storm
11) Cold Dark Mourning
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