A Pale Horse Named Death
The Studio at Webster Hall, New York, NY
December 9th, 2011
Concert Review: APHND at The Studio at Webster Hall
Brooklyn’s own Sal Abruscato has been the face of some of the best in hard rock and heavy metal over the past twenty years. As a founding member of the legendary Type O Negative and with a much praised tenure in Life Of Agony, he was a pivotal player in each band but was never actually the lead. But times have certainly changed and in 2011, Abruscato has chosen to step into the forefront with his latest incarnation, “A Pale Horse Named Death.” The five piece is made up of some of the most talented hard rockers working today, including some former members of Type O Negative, and APHND cut their chops in their triumphant return to New York City this weekend at the metal friendly Studio at Webster Hall.
The Studio was the perfect intimate venue for this homecoming performance. Abruscato and company took the stage a few minutes before the set was to begin to sound check their gear. It was refreshing and humbling to see these veterans tuning their own instruments. The packed house was filled with die hard fans of Abruscato’s earlier works, eager to see their guy back with an exciting new project. With the gear tested the frontman took to the mic to give fans an old-fashioned, guttural New York City welcome.
The set may have only been nine songs long, but it truly captured the band’s raw talent and serious licks. Every tune came straight off the band’s highly praised debut album, “And Hell Will Follow Me.” They got things started off the right way with “To Die In Your Arms,” which was chock full of blood pumping breakdowns and a chorus ripe for metallers to sing back to the band while throwing horns in the air. APHND drummer Johnny Kelly who also comes from the Type O Negative universe pounded the skins making this dark love song all the more menacing.
Abruscato’s song writing is brutally upfront and honest. As a longtime fan of Type O Negative it was incredible to see one of its founding members find his own voice in such an original manner. When not examining lost love or the inner workings of man, APHND wants you to witness the dark side of drug use and abuse. And with a short, yet very telling introduction they busted into “Heroin Train” and “Pill Head” later on in the set. The crowd ate up these depressing yet hopeful tracks, knowing every lyric and sometimes singing over Abruscato himself. With this kind of rabid response from fans, it’s really no surprise that the popular Revolver Magazine called APHND one of the top 20 bands of 2011.
This was a full on ,stripped down rock show through and through. The band and the crowd were mere feet from each other, letting fans feel like they were part of the band themselves. The lights were kept as basic as possible- the show was no frills, with nothing to cover up or take away from the sound of the band. Certainly the setlist may have been short, but sometimes a small taste of something awesome goes a long way. And that’s exactly what Abruscato and APHND gave metal fiends of all ages.
- Jay Rubin
A Pale Horse Named Death – The Studio At Webster Hall, NY
December 9th, 2011
1. To Die In Your Arms
2. Devil In The Closet
3. Cracks in the Walls
4. Heroin Train
5. Meet The Wolf
6. As Black as my Heart
7. Pill Head
8. Die Alone
9. Bath In My Blood