I’m not going to lie to you and say that I was not one of the many millions of Metal fans who felt a profound sense of loss when Type O Negative’s Peter Steele passed away in 2010 from an apparent heart attack. As a long time fan of the band’s output, Peter’s passing meant no more material from the band and it was very unlikely that any unfinished work was laying about to be tinkered with and the fans could only do what was best for their musical psyche, and that meant eventually accepting the loss and looking forward into the future for new things to inspire them as much as TON managed to do. Some of the bands members formed projects before Pete died and one was Seventh Void that brought a Doomish Stoner quality to the table, but the latest one that was under the guidance of the bands original drummer Sal Abruscato called A Pale Horse Named Death, was probably the closest to the musical vibe that many enjoyed in Type O. Having enjoyed what I heard from the band’s debut release “And Hell Will Follow Me” I knew that I would need to be a part of the show that was happening on this chilly December night down at The Studio at Webster Hall. Here is how the gig went down if you happened to miss it.
The show had a handful of opening acts to enjoy and among them were With Daggers Drawn and King Kelly to name a few but as we were drawing closer to holiday time and people’s winter office break I needed to convene outside of the club and catch these folks before 2011 closed its book on us and led us into the next year. I am sure that I will see them listed again and when that happens I will do my best to see them. As the band has only one release out, we would be able to enjoy a healthy portion of it and when it all began I had to admit that I was very surprised to see Abruscato painted up like one of the Death or Black Metal bands that I regularly see in action around the scene. It added to the mood and ambience of the show and after their intro they blasted into “To Die In Your Arms” which is one of my favorite tunes from the album. On the drums he had Johnny Kelly from Type O Negative, his guitarists were Matt Brown and I believe the other guy was Eddie Heedles. Bass was delivered by Eric Morgan and together the whole thing was working out with incredible precision and everyone in attendance seemed to be enjoying themselves from the vantage point that I was keeping. To define the band’s sound to you I would have to say that the best examples are in its overall group of influencers and some of these appeared to be an element of Alice In Chains, Pentagram or Candlemass and a definite dose of what Type O Negative was all about. I liked it. Fans should know that the band apparently originally also featured Bobby Hambel from Biohazard but he was no longer a part of the lineup and I guess was now working with that band again as they recently did some touring in this region and other parts. I didn’t mind this as the new guy in the mix was doing some Metal justice. The biggest highlights of the set for me included “Heroin Train” and “Meet The Wolf” which one might think speaks to the TON track “Wolf Moon” but this is darker reworking of the classic fairy tale when you listen to the lyrics. This is very ominous and foreboding stuff but I felt that it was keeping the audience glued to their spots in the venue.
Sal spoke to the crowd on a couple of junctures and one of them was to joke how doing such a project did not take big balls but instead took melons, or something of that nature. I was wandering around a little to get different perspectives on the show so my note taking might have missed the exact line. One line that was clear was when he spoke of dedicating the next tune to a very dear friend who was very particular about how he wrote music. The tune was “Die Alone”, and this is the albums closer and perhaps the closest sounding track to the glorious Type O Negative. It was a powerful moment to say the least. After the show the crowd was able to meet the guys as they were mingling for a little while and grabbing a couple of cold beers and being toasted on a job that was very well done. I liked what I witnessed this evening and felt that this particular space was the perfect outlet for the sound that they were bringing to the table. Could it work in a larger scale venue? Perhaps, but not too big since it would lose some of the pure emotion that this material bleeds from every pore. I highly recommend this band to fans of Doomy, or Dark Metal and of course those who ever believed in what Type O Negative was all about. You will not be disappointed. This was also the second time in about a week that I had caught a Metal show in this space and I was liking it all the more. It's about twice the size of the Mercury Lounge and puts out a killer sound as well. Kudos to the folks bringing it all together.
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Official Web Site: www.apalehorsenameddeath.com
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