Buzzherd – Pale Horseman Split – Andre Almaraz
Art: Timbul Cahyono
Pale Horseman is a four-piece metal band from the Chicago area that combines sludge, doom, and death metal elements. We feature a dual attack of guitarists/vocalists and a pummeling rhythm section. Our live shows are energetic, aggressive, and crushing. Our studio recordings have been done by some of our biggest influences, including Justin Broadrick of Godflesh, Noah Landis of Neurosis, Dennis Pleckham of Bongripper, and Pete Grossmann of High Priest.
There is no album title. We are simply calling it ‘Split 2022’ because it is a split album. There is no specific concept or theme besides the subject matter I listed in the previous question. The song ‘Grigori’ was written about Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin is a Russian historical figure who lived a very interesting life and whose murder is legendary. The song’s last two lines are: ‘My life was lived on borrowed time. My eyes were burning in your minds.’ The song ‘Exile’ was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lyrics are about several plagues that have affected man over the centuries. A couple of lines are: ‘We corrupt our blood. We condemn the weak.’ The song ‘Orisons’ lyrics are loosely based on the 1990 horror film, ‘The Exorcist III.’ Some lines are taken directly from the Catholic Rite Of Exorcism, although they were slightly altered to fit the song’s rhythm: ‘Save servant who gains trust. Let him find in you a stone tower fortified from the enemy.’
‘Legions’ was written about battles between men and mythological creatures. The Queen Of Serpents of Baltic mythology is specifically mentioned. The line is ‘Rise underworld. The Queen of Serpents.’
‘Vimanas’ is a word that means flying palaces in ancient Hindu texts. A line from the song is, ‘We are the ones who fly. We are awake. We are purified. We are vimanas.’
I am a big fan of horror, the occult, and pretty much all other dark and mysterious subject matter. I don’t practice anything myself, but I believe people should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm others. Heavy metal music pairs well with occult topics and imagery, but it’s just entertainment and fantasy for most. For instance, I love watching gory horror movies and listening to death metal, but it’s just for entertainment. In real life, I try to be kind to people and don’t even kill house spiders. I’m not sure I agree that most bands are atheists, so I prefer not to comment further on that. My mother and grandmother raised me in the Catholic faith, but I would describe my beliefs as agnostic.
It’s a nice concept to think that death is not the end and that some all-encompassing divine justice system watches over us to ensure that good people are rewarded, and bad people are punished. It’s also nice to think that we are reunited with deceased loved ones and pets after we die. Reincarnation is another concept that is interesting to me. I don’t know enough about different religions to comment further on other beliefs.
To me, doom metal is simply a sound. I don’t pay much attention to other bands’ lyrics for the most part, but there are some exceptions. My interest is mainly in the riffs, the beat, and the sound. I mainly see vocals as just another instrument in the overall sound mix. I’ll describe what doom metal is to me by listing my top 4 bands; Warhorse, Acid King, With The Dead, and Earthride. I listen to more Death/doom, death metal, and sludge bands rather than doom.
We don’t have any lyrics or imagery about narcotics or controlled substances, and we classify ourselves as a sludge metal band. I would not say that drugs are essential to the experience of anything. That would be a personal preference for each individual. I’m sure some doom-metal fans and musicians exist who are 100% sober. Again, I think that subject matter does pair well with heavy metal music, but our band chooses to write about darker topics. As far as catching a buzz, the four of us prefer alcohol over anything else, although I’m uncertain if alcohol is considered to be a narcotic. We are especially fond of American craft beer and craft beer culture. Other things come into play, but besides our music and friendship, alcohol is the main common thread between the four of us.
I have been relatively fortunate in my life so far. I wouldn’t say that I’ve lived through any major personal tragedies in my life. We all have our hardships, and I’d say mine have all been fairly commonplace these days, unfortunately. I come from a broken home. My parents divorced when I was a toddler. I was a latchkey kid. I haven’t spoken with my father in 14 years, and our relationship before then was always less than ideal my whole life. I also did not have a good relationship with my mother’s second husband. I spent a couple of months in rehab for alcoholism when I was 18. It’s a vice I struggle with even today. My mother was almost killed in an automobile collision 30 years ago. She survived, but she has a physical handicap from it to this day. I’ve lost one close friend to suicide. I’ve lost one cousin to alcoholism; she was younger than I am. I’ve lost numerous other loved ones and pets over the years. My mother’s auto collision and my close friend’s suicide were probably the hardest things for me. Losing my grandmother a few years ago was not easy either. I still think about her, my friend who took his own life, and all the pets I’ve known daily. All these things and much more made me who I am today, and I’m sure they affect how I write music and lyrics.
Evil and malevolence play a big part in our lyrics and imagery. Besides that, I am interested in all things dark and mysterious. I always have been, even as a young child.
There is definitely goodness in the world. I don’t believe we are doomed. I always try to have a positive attitude about things. I am involved with animal rescue and am very pleased by all the people I meet in the different networks who do the same. My wife and I donate what we can to several charities regularly. We are organ donors, and both are currently on the bone marrow donation registry. These are just a few small examples from my head that my wife and I are doing. There are countless other examples of people doing kind, selfless deeds much bigger than ours. People help each other out daily; these aren’t the stories that the news networks commonly choose to feed us.