A Pale Horse Named Death - When The World Becomes Undone

A Pale Horse Named Death - When The World Becomes Undone

A Pale Horse Named Death - When The World Becomes Undone

(CD, SPV/Steamhammer, 2019)

There are all kinds of albums from all different Metal genres out there, and therefore it has become challenging to stay on top of things. I mean, if you try to digest all the music that may be your cup of tea is an impossible task and often one relies to ‘fast-food’ listening, skipping all the fun of diving deep into the artist’s mind. Personally, fast-listening and PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH are incompatible terms and this means that you have to be ready to bite deep and chew hard to digest what this band and especially how Sal Abruscato chooses to keep his demons at bay via the music and the lyrics. “When The World Becomes Undone” is a difficult to study album with lots of layers to peel off before reaching the end. The trip is bumpy, has lot of steep turns and is far from being pleasant. Are you ready to open Pandora’s Box with all those ugly things you have safekeeping there?

“As It Begins” primes your ears and your mind of what follows. As I said, this is not for the faint hearted and you have to have a strong stomach to move forward. The sad piano-sounding melody (there is an almost haunting melody hidden behind that) sets the stage for Sal’s singing to build the tension that breaks in through the guitars and the dominating bass. The shades of green, the guitar distortion and the minor melodies are bound to rekindle the TYPE O NEGATIVE memories and this is awesome, if you’d ask me. According to the press release, this album is the result of four years’ worth of demos and this proven by the complexity of the composition and the strong feeling that every song has something to say. Clearly, the cup looks half empty and the title track paints this statement with the darkest colors. You should pay attention to the lyrics to understand that everything in this album has its own purpose. The guitar groove is dominating in the faster “Love The Ones You Hate” and then takes one step back to highlight the amazing melody somewhere in the middle.

Even though I am not a fan of ALICE IN CHAINS and the entire Grunge sound, I am hooked to the Doom(ed) version A PALE HORSE NAMED HORSE are serving in “I Fell In My Hole” and got amazed by the bluesy guitar solo that speaks straight to your soul. The band has thrown a couple of interludes in the tracklist to keep the darkness properly fed but you shouldn’t skip them; put a pair of headphones on and listen to everything happening in “Succumbing To The Event Horizon” and how it leads to “Vultures”. Is there a 16-string slide guitar action I hear in the beginning?

The lovely bass sound opens “End Of Days” and the vocals remind me of Eric Wagner from his recent works with THE SKULL. “The Woods” kind of points inwards as every dark period in life is challenging your own existence and purpose in life. This leads to the powerful truth of “We All Break Down”; this is Doom in all its glory with the despair stemming from the chorus: “We all fall down sometimes and we can't get up”. What I am trying to say is music should not be separated from the lyrics as both tell a story so dismissing one or the other is like eating the gravy and not the meat...

There is no happy ending to this album and because of this, it is a good representation of life; there will always be drama, loss, despair and pain. The challenge of everyone to face is to have the strength to bounce back and fight another day keeping in mind there are still things in life that are worth fighting for. Digging oneself out of the deepest hole may seem like an impossible task especially when you forget that things can always get worse (based on Murphy’s Law they tend to do so). However, as long as you live and breathe, you should never give up! I believe this is what “Closure” is trying to say by combining the sounds of funeral bells tolling and of happily chirping birds...





01. As It Begins
02. When The World Becomes Undone
03. Love The One You Hate
04. Fell In My Hole
05. Succumbing To The Event Horizon
06. Vultures
07. End Of Days
08. The Woods
09. We All Break Down
10. Lay With The Wicked
11. Splinters
12. Dreams Of The End
13. Closure


Sal Abruscato - Vocals, Guitar
Eddie Heedles - Guitar
Joe Taylor - Guitar
Eric Morgan - Bass
Johnny Kelly - Drums