A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH — When The World Becomes Undone (review)

A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH — When The World Becomes Undone album cover Album · 2019 · Alternative Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
UMUR
"When The World Becomes Undone" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US alternative/doom/goth metal act A Pale Horse Named Death. The album was released through Long Branch Records in January 2019. It´s the successor to "Lay My Soul To Waste" from 2013 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Matt Brown has been replaced by Joe Taylor. A Pale Horse Named Death was formed in 2010 by former Type O Negative and Life of Agony drummer Sal Abruscato, who has switched to vocals and guitar on this project. The Type O Negative connection has been further strengthened with the addition of the other former Type O Negative drummer Johnny Kelly to the ranks.

Stylistically the material on "When The World Becomes Undone" features heavy riffs and rhythms, which partially fall in doom metal territory and partially fall in alternative metal country (think Black Sabbath meets Alice In Chains). The vocals are melancholic and there is a generally dark atmosphere to the album. In other words "When The World Becomes Undone" continues the style and sound of the two predecessors. It´s pretty basic vers/chorus structured songs, and the songwriting isn´t exactly adventurous, but there are some fairly memorable moments on the album. Featuring 13 tracks and total playing time of 61:59 minutes, it´s a bit too long for its own good, and definitely overstays its welcome by about 20 minutes. The album could have been much stronger if A Pale Horse Named Death had cut some of the least memorable tracks from the tracklist and had only released the best tracks on a 40 minutes long album.

"When The World Becomes Undone" features a decent sounding production, which suits the material well, and the musicianship is pretty strong too, although Abruscato isn´t a particularly strong or distinct sounding singer. So decent sized checkmarks to those features. It´s the songwriting which doesn´t reach more than standard heights and regarding the development of style and sound it´s like the band are treading waters. It´s more of the same, and it would have been nice to hear something a little different. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
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