In alternative metal circles, Sal Abruscato is best known for his contributions to Type O Negative and Life of Agony. The Brooklyn native was a co-founder of Type O Negative (along with the late Peter Steele) and was that band's original drummer; after leaving Type O Negative in 1993, he became Life of Agony's drummer (a position he still held in 2011). A Pale Horse Named Death is a side project for Abruscato, who sings lead on APHND's first album, And Hell Will Follow Me, in addition to writing all of the lyrics; Matt Brown (guitarist for the doom metal/stoner rock band Seventh Void) helped with the producing and engineering), while Bobby Hambel of Biohazard fame plays lead guitar on three of the songs. But Abruscato is the one in the driver's seat, and this 2011 release finds him continuing to walk on the dark side. Musically, And Hell Will Follow Me doesn't sound very much like Life of Agony, but Type O Negative is a definite influence, along with Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Load-era Metallica and Black Sabbath. This is sludgy but consistently melodic alt-metal with elements of doom metal, stoner rock, grunge, and gothic metal; And Hell Will Follow Me is heavy without being heavy-handed. It is also an album that, lyrically, never fails to be gloomy and morose; Abruscato is as pessimistic and darkly introspective on "To Die in Your Arms," "Devil in My Closet," and "Die Alone" as he is on "Heroin Train" (which, as its title indicates, is about heroin addiction). So in other words, And Hell Will Follow Me is not an album that should be playing in the background if one is answering the phone for a suicide prevention hotline. But not all music is obligated to provide happy, cheerful escapism; dark lyrics certainly have their place as well, and dark lyrics are the rule on And Hell Will Follow Me, which falls short of remarkable but is nonetheless a solid and inspired, if derivative, debut from A Pale Horse Named Death.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson