As frontman and vocalist Sal Abruscato acknowledges, it has been 5 years since A Pale Horse Named Death last stepped foot on British soil. He also acknowledges that it’s fan-power that has brought them back. He enuinely seems touched by the response from the mass inside London’s smaller Islington Academy.
It’s a triumphant return for the gothic doom metal band. Before them though, Swedish stoner/sludge metal band Transport League are here to entertain. We missed the first half of their set but arrived in time to see them blast the cobwebs of impending doom out of everyone’s ears.
It is bloody loud. Really loud even as far back as the door in. Which is perfect for their energetic stoner heaviness. A lot more upbeat compared to what is to come. Transport League do a really great job of getting everyone in the mood.
The mood for doom as A Pale Horse Named Death arrive on stage. Coming off the back of their latest album (and first since 2013), When the World Becomes Undone which we loved. Read our review here or watch below.
The band seem really re-energised especially Sal. Cracking-wise and complaining about stage issues, as only a New Yorker can. It’s amusing stuff but his adoration of the crowd and them in return is really heart-felt. There’s a really positive vibe in the air even if what comes out of the speakers is both crushingly heavy and emotionally charged doom.
Taking us through the history of A Pale Horse from Death, we get track from all three albums. Highlights include the huge sounding ‘When Crows Descend Upon You’ from the debut album and In the Sleeping Death from the follow up. However, it’s the new stuff that really stands out with Love the Ones You Hate, Vultures and Splinters being three tracks that sound just as good live as they do on record.
Being a ‘curfew’ night (club venue), it’s over far too soon but if anything was proven tonight, it’s that A Pale Horse Named Death are stronger then ever and the fan hunger for them is only deepening.
A Pale Horse Named Death at The O2 Islington Academy 2, London (22/03/19)
The Final Score - 8.5/10