ALBUM REVIEW: A Pale Horse Named Death – When The World Becomes Undone

Release Date: January 18th 2019
Label: SPV/Long Branch Records


Sal Abruscato was once the drummer of the bands that crafted the early forms of gothic metal in Type O Negative, and later went on to form Life Of Agony. Come 2011, Abruscato formed A Pale Horse Named Death where he took up frontman duties, and now they’re onto their third record, ‘When The World Becomes Undone’.

Rather than cracking the whip in a death spiral, ‘As It Begins’ and the record’s subsequent titular track combine to create a more poetic nuance to what is often a violent outcry of heavy guitars and pounding drums. Instead, this is followed by interchanges of light and clean pianos, and riling guitar sections that impose more effective drama than a short steep blast of aggressiveness.

Gothic rock anthem ‘Love The Ones You Hate’ bounces with the soul and energy of something that normally could be associated with Type O Negative or early era Marilyn Manson. This is generated through using negative overtones in the lyrics and vocalisations that are juxtaposed against a spirited background of enthusiastic rhythms and classic rock riffs.

A sombre drudge down a macabre lane, ‘We All Break Down’ cranks the distortion up high but keeps the rhythm slow to create the dark and dank march of a zombie horde waiting for their next victim to appear. In equally destructive overtones, ‘Vultures’ menaces with characterful personification as every facet is stripped away to the bone in self-loathing and disparagement.

Straddling between post-metalcore and gothic progressiveness, ‘Dreams Of The End’ opens with dramatic guitars, chiming bells, and choirs that signal that this is the beginning of the end. Allowing for plenty of build up and massive crescendos, it effectively brings to an end the harrowing proceedings before finishing with the aptly titled instrumental, ‘Closure’.