Palehorse
Gee that ain't swell


5.0
classic

Review

by Adam Turner-Heffer USER (38 Reviews)
March 29th, 2005 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


The twelve months between the middle of 2002 and 2003 were quite something for a drummer called Ben. This drummer is more famously known for his exploits in the band Million Dead and their 2003 album 'A Song To Ruin'. But before he made it with Million Dead, he compiled a band that never really aimed very high, and didn't expect to get much further than they did. It was an excuse for Ben, Tom, who would later become Million Dead's guitarist, Seedi and John, to just let everything out on a 45 minute British metal masterpiece.

Palehorse were about as underground as you could get, whether they were before their time is still not possible to tell, its not been long enough since the release of this album to determine whether they were, despite not even trying to be, inspirators in their chosen genre of music. What was their music? I hear you ask, what did this small time band ever do? What they did was created one of the best metal albums of the new millennia. They were dark, they were dangerous, and they were gloomy. Their music was that of a somewhat spoilt child wanting to break loose from its chains, you didn't want anything to do with the little bastard at first, until you gave it a little love and attention and found out that actually he was a very smart kid.

The intro to this album is incongruously called 'Bliss' and is simply, two basses ringing out on distortion and delay pedals. Oh yeah, and now would be a good time to announce that for the major part of Palehorse's music, they have one screaming vocalist, a drum set, and two bass guitars, detuned and distorted to ***. It's slow, it's depressing, and it's got so many attitudes that it doesn't want you to listen, but if you just listen to the phenomenal 'Holy Trinity Student Church Bar' you can't help but adore the slow, heavy riffs, and utter destruction of music itself it represents. Until of course, it reaches halfway, where suddenly it turns into an emotional struggle, of quiet instruments crescendo into an ending that makes you notice what this band are really doing, being heavy as ***, but innovative, and going somewhere with it.

There is also one other track that totally stands on its own, proving that this music isn't heartless, cold metal that is just awful and unapproachable. 'Mustn't Grumble' is a beautiful ballad, told in spoken word and accompanied by an acoustic guitar. It is a ballad, which, if you read the lyrics; tell a fantastic story of struggle, about a young homeless girl.

Mind you, the inside sleeve do look like they have been written as the scribblings of a mass murderer, but perhaps this is what is needed to suit this savage music. And although it's a strange thing to say to possibly the slowest album you'll hear for quite some time, it doesn't lose its pace. What I mean by this is, for an album with a general premier sound, which is violent and not one for the masses, it stays interesting. Its main sound may be sluggish, and yes, in places it's a tad overexaggerated, and occasionally you'd wish they would just get on with it, but all in all, it stays interesting throughout, and you just want to, listen to it, enjoy it, and consume it, even though it's most certainly not obvious.

The argument that they aren't a one trick pony is strengthened as the album progresses too. Despite not really sounding it, towards the end, the album becomes far more upbeat, and as 'Holy Trinity Student Church Bar' did before it, 'Look What Palehorse Has Done To Me' is a lot like HTSCB, but is far more upbeat, and about the same time, it breaks down into hush, but this time, a bass plays chords to samples of television, which if fiction or not, sends a great big chill down your spine in it's almost apocalyptic nature, and its here where the recognition that, you love this band, this album, this music kicks in. Until of course the bass bends a note and it turns back into a great *** off riff. But now, you're enjoying it.

Lyrics play a big part in this too. Chillingly haunting, sorrowful, emotional, but are also obscure and can remind you of Trent Reznor's writing. 'Don't Die On An Empty Stomach' (the bands equivalent of a grindcore song) is a classic example of this, and at the end of it, it rings out into the 5 minute instrumental outro of 'Sun Starved Day (Be Patient)' and you just feel a weird bliss at the end.

It's heavy, it doesn't want you to care, but please, pick up this album and don't be put off, pay its dues, and you'll have an album that will remain snappy and ironic for years to come. Will they ever make another record? Well considering the growing success of Million Dead, (and the growing feud between the bands) it really doesn't look like it, but to be honest, who cares? Whether it intended to be or not, this a gleaming light in UK metal at its gloomiest.

Adam Turner-Heffer



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user ratings (14)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Pizza
January 24th 2006


687 Comments


ive heard a few songs from a band named palehorse, but im not sure its the same band as this. kinda sucks you wrote a whole review almost a year ago and got no comments. i thought it was pretty good too

Confessed2005
May 16th 2006


3314 Comments


After reading the comment on your 'You Fail Me' review, it is good that I have found this review. Seems I will be definitely checking this out.

Confessed2005
May 16th 2006


3314 Comments


I tried searching this band on Limewire; nothing can anybody hook me up with some tracks?

Justanothernimrod
May 18th 2006


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

to be fair this album went completely under the radar. Now Million Dead have split up, they'res continuous rumours that they will be gigging again soon, but still yet to see the proof.

Listening to this more, I've really noticed how actually, this album can be best described as a cross between Sludge Metal and Screamo (that's the original, good kind; saetia, I hate myself etc.)

here is a yousendit file*, it's in .wma (sorry if inconvieniant) of Holy Trinity Church Student Bar. http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=318892B830006DC9

(*these links only stay active for 7 days or after 25 downloads)

Justanothernimrod
May 22nd 2007


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've seen this band live now and it was amazing.

Pale Horse are back and bigger and as brutal as ever. This summer they're releasing a new ep and a tour and I can't wait

you can find their myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/thispalehorse

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 5th 2007


3995 Comments


How did I miss this review? These guys are pretty cool but not even in my Top 10 skramz.

Justanothernimrod
June 10th 2007


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

glad to hear you at least dig them, no one ever gave them any attention!

toolpeth182
March 29th 2010


190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is pretty good. however i thought 'Bliss' was really unnecessary, and the album definitely starts showing its true potential starting with 'Holy Trinity'. the outro to 'Sun Starved Day' was definitely a great way to end the album.

ffs
April 4th 2010


4880 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bliss is definitely off-putting and is maybe a bit too long but i think the combo of it and "yes i do own clothes" are supposed to be like hesitant and misanthropic which i think is a really cool way to start an album idk

MusicIsMyFavorite
April 28th 2010


405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bump for good music

ffs
August 31st 2010


4880 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if there is any song that crushes more than rides in on a cash cow i will mutilate my dang genitals

ffs
March 16th 2011


4880 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

anyone else even listen to these dudes?? new album ownzz

foxblood
August 27th 2011


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bump for this insanely heavy album

i just discovered them today, this shit is amazing. what the hell sputnik?? sometimes you overlook masterpieces

ffs, i think your genitals are safe lol

Spec
February 10th 2012


27188 Comments


Yeah this is pree sweet.



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