Thursday 26 June 2014

Pale Horseman - Mourn The Black Lotus - Album Review

Mourn The Black Lotus cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: July 7th 2014
Label: Self Released

Mourn The Black Lotus - track listing:

01 Evidence Of A Severe Stoning
02 Conquistador
03 Whispered Wings
04 Running For The Caves
05 Grudgulence
06 Black Lotus
07 Clairvoyant
08 Fork In The Road (Justin K. Broadrick Remix)


PALE HORSEMAN is a four piece sludge metal band hailing from the South suburbs of Chicago, US. The band blends depressing sludge heaviness, pummeling riffs, and dual vocals with an industrial vibe to draw the listener in with a misanthropic world view and lyrical themes influenced by apocalyptic and paranormal subject matters.

The quartet, which is comprised of vocalists/ guitarists Eric and Flesh, bassist Rich, and drummer Chris, was inspired by the works of legendary names such as GODFLESH, NEUROSIS, CARCASS, AUTOPSY, SLEEP, HOODED MENACE, ENTOMBED, OBITUARY, SEPULTURA, THE MELVINS. Since its formation in early 2012, the band has been performing continuously and self-released their debut album “Pale Horseman” on April 18th, 2013.

Band Members

Eric Ondo, Rich Cygan, Chris Pocius, Flesh


Pale Horseman first inflicted sonic warfare on my entire being back in April 2013 when I reviewed their epic 62-minute debut album. It’s blend of noise, sludge, doom and post-metal carnage marked them out as a band to look out for within the burgeoning Sludge/Post-Metal scene. I was not the first one to take notice either as Sludge/Noise Metal overlord – Justin K. Broadrick has taken notice too but more about that later.

Roll on July 2014 and Pale Horseman are about to release their even more dangerous and brutal 2nd album – Mourn the Black Lotus. It is another 62-minute epic for Pale Horseman to pound your soul into submission with. Pale Horseman is more comfortable with their heavy destructive surroundings. As they expertly ooze confidence on opening track – Evidence of a Severe Stoning – where they unleash their blend of ambient based Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal warfare upon to the world. A dark and violent offering paints the bleak scene for the next hour or so. Lead vocalist is your main guide into the dark atmospheric world where pain and misery thrive with each passing moment. Heavy atmospheric sludge riffs combine with doom and gloom vocals reminiscent of Neurosis when they first created the entire Post-Metal genre.

Second track – Conquistador – carries on this dark dangerous tale into heavier progressive metal territory with vibes of Mastodon slowly creaking in. Pale Horseman grows ever more confident with each passing moment as they lay down epic riffs that ventures between moment of light and dark. It is another sinister tale that will open your eyes to the horrors of the whole story of the album. Pale Horseman has excelled themselves with the dark lyrical content as it easily grabs your attention making it very hard to look away.

With Mastodon venturing further into commercial hard rock territory we need bands like Pale Horseman to show the world what Progressive Sludge Metal is really all about. Pale Horseman don’t change course with their music as they play through a set of stunning tracks such as Whispered Wings, Grudgulence, Black Lotus which will leave you a shivering emotional wreck. However, wait until you hear the incredible 17-minute epic – Clairvoyant – which actually takes you on a mysterious journey full of thrills and spills you will not be able to get enough of. It is a sprawling and violent progressive sludge/post-metal odyssey where the band unleashes dark riffs to show the music world a truly important band has arrived.

If you need more convincing remember at the start of the review when I told you that Justin K. Broadrick was a fan of these guys. Well he remixed a track from their debut album – Fork in the Road – which Justin gives a more industrial based feel compared to the original version. OK it is not a new track but not many bands get the chance to have their work remixed by a legend such as Justin K. Broadrick. It's a much more disturbing and nightmarish version compared to the original but it fits in perfectly with the bleak tone of the new album.

Mourn The Black Lotus is once again recorded, mixed and mastered by Dennis Pleckham from Bongripper and he does a fantastic job here. Pushing the band to new limits and heights, this will only further enhance Pale Horseman’s reputation within the Sludge/Post-Metal world.

Thanks to LSW Music Promotions sending me a copy to review. Mourn The Black Lotus will be available to buy on DD/CD from BandCamp on July 7th 2014.

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Written by Steve Howe