The Trouble With Angels
Rocket Science Ventures, 2010
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/04/2010
Every time Richard Patrick sticks to what he is good at, his music sounds great; this has worked for every Filter record, and does too, in the case of The Trouble With Angels. Even with the anti-war pontifical stance of Filter’s previous work Anthems For The Dammed, Patrick never fully compromised his trademark style for the sake of protest. But Angels offers more; it is classic Filter, as Patrick returns from the cloud of righteousness to tackle themes of personal downfall – drugs, bad childhood, bad parents – that are more near and dear to this band.
There isn’t much diversion musically from the previous record, but Angels is a much tighter record. The numbers are punchier, fast and fierce, and album throws them in hard blows, which has a comforting feeling of familiarity from the days of Filter from the ‘90s. With most songs under four minutes, there is not much complication to deal with and all the goodness of Patrick’s screams, husky guitars, and speedy industrial-pop to enjoy.
With Anthems, Filter tamed some of its edge, and the record’s beautiful industrial drone didn’t possess the same magic of the previous efforts, which made it the group’s weakest title. In this respect, Angels is a strong effort. Although not the stuff of Short Bus, Title Of Record, or The Amalgamut, Angels has its moments of time-honored Filter aggression that feel as good as it ever did. The album opener “The Inevitable Relapse,” followed honorably by “Drug Boy” and “Absentee Father,” set the mood up nicely for this. The rest of the album doesn’t have the same brilliance as its three opening cuts, but “Down With Me” and the title cut are as tenacious.
Filter has been a master of turning the most aggressive industrial metal music to superb pop candies for radio-friendly ears. But as was the case with Anthems, the more pop-friendly tracks on Angels sound like any other regular songs on alt-rock radio: “No Love” and “Catch A Falling Knife” aren’t really the stuff of pop excellence like “Take A Picture” and “Where Do We Go From Here.” “No Re-Entry” on the other hand, along with “Fades Like A Photograph,” is admirable.
Although nothing drastically unexampled should be expected of Angels, it is an excellent record, and beyond shadow of a doubt, a far better one than Filter’s previous effort.