|Doom Metal, Gothic Metal
June 14th, 2011
Release length: 55:34
And Hell Will Follow Me will definitely sound somewhat familiar to fans of the style, both in music and audio quality. The album takes the Doom Metal approach into consideration greatly, but at times also handles it as if the material is meant to be geared more towards a Stoner Rock or Metal sound, such as wtih “To Die in Your Arms.” The overall quality does feel a little smokey with a rather depressive sound with some heavy sounding guitars and distortions that really take advantage of the deep and loud bass presence. The drums feel almost ritualistic in sound with tight snares, somewhat loud cymbol crashes, and a strong click to the bass kicks. Essentially, given this quality and the music played, if you’ve heard a Type O Negative album prior to Life is Killing Me, then you have a general idea of what to expect from this group. The main differences here is that the vocals are a higher pitch, giving it a slight Alice in Chains-esque feel with some tracks that don’t quite reach the same deep, suicidal tones of the first of the two band mentioned.
And honestly, that’s the best way to sum up this band. A Pale Horse Named Death feel like a cross between those two acts, and while one may argue something like that wouldn’t work out too well, this group manages to pull it off very well. After the galloping horse introduction to symbolize their name on “And Hell Will Follow Me,” the band goes off into a very atmospheric “As Black as My Heart,” a laid back song that establishes a mournful tone to it’s slower Rock foundation, giving the listener a sensation that he or she should just kick back with their favorite vice and get lost in the spirit breaking music, being swept up by it’s fluid sound and pace. Admittedly, these are some of the better tracks off the album. Sure, the heavier songs here really stand out with a darker, more depressing tone, but the more Rock oriented tracks manage to engage the listener in a way that feels more organic to the band, and one that you can simply unwind with and let the music come over you. The two approaches can sound somewhat close to one another, such as “To Die in Your Arms,” though with this song the music clearly becomes a lot heavier and much darker, both in a lyrical sense, as well as a musical tone. “Devil in the Closet” makes for another one of the more crushing tracks to start out the album, and while the depressing tone is still there, the distortion on the chords being played, as well as on the vocals end up taking away from the more depressing tone of the release, and feeding far more into a Stoner Rock type of song, which is perfectly fine given the tripper Doom Metal music being played.
For it’s fifty five plus akbum length, And Hell Will Follow Me definitely packs a great deal of solid tracks onto one disc. But, of all the songs here, there’s only a few that genuinely make you stop and take notice. Aside the fluid and engrossing “As Black as My Heart,” you also have the song “Cracks in the Walls” which really plays on the Gothic atmospheres nicely, adding a little more melody to it as well, all creating a catchy yet haunting and dismal song overall. That same kind of stoner sound and trippy atmore can be found with “Pill Head” as well, though here it doesn’t stand out as much. The slower pace works well with the drug-related lyrical content and works for the expression of getting high, but the guitars to this song come through really muffled in the background thanks to the distortion, and that specific set of chords being played clashes horribly with the rest of the instruments and vocals. “Serial Killer” also stands out due to it’s rather shocking lyrical content that hits right at all the right unsettling tones when it comes to child abduction and murder, closing with a rather long and drawn out audio sample of a crow in the background against a man digging to reflect the child’s death and being buried. Unfortunately this just takes too long, though the wait to get into “When Crows Descend Upon You” ends up being worth it thanks to it’s far more depressing overtones in the music.
With all of the good things to be said about And Hell Will Follow Me, it’s hard to deny the release is good. But, that’s about it. While the band does a good job of mixing it’s two obvious inspirations together for a dark, depressing, and often distorted through Stoner Rock or Metal ideals sound, there just aren’t a lot of tracks that end up standing out from the rest. If you want an album to kick back to, A Pale Horse Named Death manages to present an album you can do that with, there’s no denying that. But, the main issue because that the album’s longer length leads to a bunch of good songs that aren’t quite forgetable, but you won’t beat yourself up if you can’t really remember it off the top of your head. This album is well worth checking out, and honestly you’ll get some repeat spins out of it, but overall there’s still room for growth in the band.
01. And Hell Will Follow Me – 0:58
02. As Black as My Heart – 4:46
03. To Die in Your Arms – 3:42
04. Heroin Train – 3:18
05. Devil in the Closet – 3:49
06. Cracks in the Walls – 5:51
07. Bad Dream – 2:11
08. Bath in My Blood (Schizophrenia in Me) – 2:32
09. Pill Head – 5:50
10. Meet the Wolf – 5:39
11. Serial Killer – 4:42
12. When Crows Descend upon You – 4:22
13. Die Alone – 7:55
|Overall Score: 7/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by SPV Records via Freeman Promotions.