A Pale Horse Named Death - "Die Alone"

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Due to daily inundation, I almost never listen to new metal recreationally. But over the past few weeks, I have fervently sought out A Pale Horse Named Death. This band is unsigned - probably not for long - and landed in my inbox without a publicist. So I approached it with fresh ears. Now I'm a rabid fan.

A Pale Horse Named Death sound like Type O Negative and Alice in Chains put together. This isn't surprising, given that vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Sal Abruscato was the drummer for Type O Negative. Sometimes the worship in either direction, TON or AIC, is so slavish as to raise eyebrows. But, man, the songs! I thirst for metal bands who can write songs. For most of the year, I am parched. Then come APHND, delivering songs by the ton. They are heavy, and they stick.

First, a note about the band's brilliant marketing campaign. It set up a website with a media player that streams its entire debut album, And Hell Will Follow Me. (Each song is streamable separately on YouTube.) Then it undertook a social media push that had fans besieging blogs like this one with requests to cover it. I wouldn't want every band to do this; my inbox is overflowing as is. Then again, few bands have (a) the skills to engineer such a campaign, and (b) the fans to carry it out. Sure, bribes help. (In this case, the band gave away a single CD.) But fans won't proselytize for you unless they love your music. If the tunes are good, fans will talk about them. Hence, this post.

I can't count the number of times I've heard "Die Alone". (You can do so above.) I've streamed it over and over again for literally hours. It stucks in my head and comes to me everywhere - in the shower, at bedtime, while walking around. Sure, it's depressing. Each morose lyric is clearly understandable. But its sound is addictive - Abruscato's heavy-lidded voice; the huge, doomy chords; the sax that comes out of nowhere. This is a hit waiting to happen.

I'm not sure when And Hell Will Follow Me officially comes out. But you can order it directly (and autgraphed) from the band here. Judging by its Facebook page, fans are ordering and receiving the CD in droves. All this, with no label or publicist. The tunes are that good. A Pale Horse Named Death - you will hear much more about them.

— Cosmo Lee

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