A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH (2019) Live Concert Review!

  • Venue: Brauer House Live – Lombard, Illinois
  • Date: August 29, 2019
  • Special guests: Reflexicon
  • Reviewed by Michael Juvinall –  Horror Patch
  • *All photos copyright Michael L. Juvinall

I love a good doom metal band. It’s one of my favorite metal subgenres. A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH, which shall hereto be abbreviated to APHND, definitely fits that bill. These guys come from the streets of Brooklyn, NY and their pedigree is impressive. 

The band has three albums under their belt and have been in existence as APHND since 2011. The band was formed by singer, guitarist, drummer Sal Abruscato, who was the former drummer for Type O Negative and Life Of Agony. To classify their sound would be to say they are a gothic doom metal outfit. They have a similar sound to classic Type O Negative, whether that’s by design or by pure coincidence is hard to say. The way I look at it, when you play with a band for a number of years and play a certain style, it’s hard to break that mold when you are out on your own, not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just how it is. 

Their current drummer, Johnny Kelly, is also a former drummer for Type O Negative and is a member of a number of other bands including Danzig, Kill Devil Hill, and others. 

There was only one opening band, a local band called REFLEXICON

APHND came out to a (much) less than packed house but that’s ok. It gave those of us who were there a more intimate show and they still kicked ass, we all just got a better view. 

They kicked off the show with a tribal intro to their track, “The Woods” off of their most recent effort When The World Becomes Undone. This is just an instrumental opening song to start the show with. They then launched into “To Die In Your Arms” from their first album, And Hell Will Follow Me. It’s a crunchy, doom-laden bleak opus that was performed to perfection. 

I won’t go through every track here but I do want to highlight a few songs such as…”Shallow Grave”, a little ditty about killing your girlfriend. 

“Fell In My Hole” is another great track the band did absolute justice to. Also, “Die Alone” is a cheerful song about suicide – a theme that is repeatedly used in the band’s song lyrics. There was an impromptu rendition of The Beatles “Come Together” that was very cool. 

The band has some pretty dark and grim lyrics that make you come away from listening to their albums feeling like a rosy, ray of sunshine was blasted up your ass…NOT! Who wants uplifting and cheerful lyrics anyway? Not me. 

Frontman Sal Abruscato seemed genuinely appreciative of the crowd several times throughout the show, even though there weren’t many people there since it was a Thursday night and people have to get up and work the next day. I love seeing a group that doesn’t take its fans for granted. He even talked about having ties to the Chicago area by his Father that was a nice story. 

APHND are top-notch musicians that put on a great show. They’re not a band that runs and jumps all over the stage, they’re pretty static, but I don’t care about that other stuff anyway. All I want is a band that plays great and gives the crowd their money’s worth. They played for nearly 90 minutes, which is pretty standard these days, can’t complain about that. Something unique is they had a triple-guitar attack that added an impressive sonic quality to their live show. They even stuck around after the show to talk with anyone who wanted to talk and take pics, very cool. 

Overall, it was a doom-laden extravaganza of some of their best tracks played to near perfection. I really love this band and it was a great show, they’re definitely worth checking out and if you’re not familiar with them, give them a listen!

4 out of 5 Pentagrams

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The opening band for the night was a local band called Reflexicon. They are a progressive rock band out of Chicago. 

They played for nearly an hour. 

About Michael Juvinall (2257 Articles)
I am a devoted husband and father. I have been a voracious horror fan since the early age of 5. I watch all horror films but my great loves are classic horror films: Universal Monsters, Werewolves, Hammer Horror and an all around affinity for things that go bump in the night!

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