Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Pale Horseman - "Bless The Destroyer" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/11/2015
Label: Independent


Pale Horseman really hit their stride with the 15 minute monster “Bastard Child”. Beginning at a satisfyingly snail-paced crawl, the band soon drop the volume for the first time on the album to great effect. A blissed-out, bass-driven jam ensues, reminiscent of Colour Haze at their most exploratory. The peace is obliterated by the sledgehammer impact of a gold-standard stoner riff which the band grind ever slower towards oblivion,

“Bless The Destroyer” CD//DD track listing:
1). Clear The Throne
2). Caverns of the Templar
3). Pineal Awakening
4). Bastard Child
5). Olduvai Gorge

The Review:
“Bless The Destroyer” sounds every bit as ominous and inevitable as you would expect from a band called Pale Horseman.
“Clear The Throne” sucks you in with a hypnotic groove based on a treacly Sleep/Om style riff. The dual throat assault of Eric Ondo and Flesh lay on spaced-out guttural vocals to aid the astral trance sounding like the illegitimate children of King Buzzo and Dave Wyndorf. The Chicago quartet hone their metronomic sludge attack over the course of “Caverns Of The Templar” and “Pineal Awakening” tempered with subtle melodic touches.
Pale Horseman then really hit their stride with the 15 minute monster “Bastard Child”. Beginning at a satisfyingly snail-paced crawl, the band soon drop the volume for the first time on the album to great effect. A blissed-out, bass-driven jam ensues, reminiscent of Colour Haze at their most exploratory. The peace is obliterated by the sledgehammer impact of a gold-standard stoner riff which the band grind ever slower towards oblivion, offering brief respite with a soothing acoustic coda. “Olduvai Gorge” brings the record to a close in relatively up-tempo fashion, beginning in classic Sabbath territory before the band bring the pain once more.
I’m in two minds about the production work on “Bless The Destroyer”. The album has a murky and distant sound which lends these songs an enveloping funereal atmosphere that really distinguishes Pale Horseman from their peers. However, there’s a part of me that’s really itching to hear what destruction the band could wreak with a full, rich sound, particularly in the drum department. There is no doubting that this is a quality release though, with enough downbeat doom-laden riffcraft to satisfy those looking for something a little darker.

“Bless The Destroyer” is available here

Band info: facebook | bandcamp

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