on 12 April 2012
It was 1998, and at two o'clock one cold morning in Cambridge, as a particularly drunken party was coming to a close, I asked a good and trusted friend to recommend something different to listen to- I had lived on a diet of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, etc for a long time. He simply said "Angel Dust, Faith No More" and then passed out.
The next day, I went to my favoured music emporium and purchased the record. Barely a fortnight has gone by since without it getting at least one airing, which is pretty good as I own and listen to a lot of music.
I was immediately blown away by the power and energy of this band and, being a big fan of Queen, appreciated the clever lyrics and theatrical heaviness of the whole thing. There are many twists and turns on this album- it is a ride of pure rock 'n' roll joy. Get it if you haven't already done so.
on 26 December 2014
I felt it would may be help some fans out there of this amazing band, to actually post a review that pertains to this product, being vinyl, as the Cd reviews that Amazon chooses to waste people's time with posting for vinyl, are futile and frustrating. I bought this, one of my favorite albums of all time on vinyl, that I have heard so many times on CD I wouldn't hazard to guess. With a very discerning ear and with countless records, both old and new pressings that have gone into them, that have both immense pleasure and disappointment to compare to, I must confess that this is one of the best pressings I own! Just when I thought I had heard everything on this album over the many years, I have truly heard things that I have never heard before. To add to that, there is no surface noise it is completely quiet between tracks and the mix is phenomenal! Oh and by the way, even though it is not listed on the artwork any where, " Easy " also follows " Midnight Cowboy". This truly is how new vinyl should be pressed. Music On Vinyl pressings that I own also have yet to disappoint me!
Buy this! Seriously!
on 2 May 2006
In the 80s funk metal was pretty big for a short while. Like its successor nu-metal, funk-metal was based around a blending of styles from the harder rock elements and obviously a fair amount of soul and black elements too. Of course like nu-metal it was also a scene made up mostly of rubbish bands with incoherent and often patchy sounds. Faith No More and Red Hot Chilli Peppers were the two main exceptions, and while the chillis went on to progress into stadium rock giants, FNM took a very different direction in the early 90s.
To describe this album in only a few short words is near impossible, however, dark & twisted is a reasonable summary of the overall tone. This is the second album from the definitive line-up and the first where vocalist Mike Patton's somewhat perverse influence takes forefront. Musically, Angel Dust is a lot more keyboard & synth orientated than any other album they have released, not that this makes it any less heavy. Infact it is far less commercial sounding than anything previous. It does have enough accessable moments included however.
Midlife Crisis is a great first single, demonstrating their newer sound without offending anyone too much. Follow up A Small Victory is one of the slower numbers on here led by a sweet oriental sound building up to a full on rock crescendo. Everything's Ruined is a strangely happy tune about one man's success and eventual demise. Be Aggressive is probably the catchiest tune ever written about gay sex. Easy of course needs no introduction.
But this is not one of those singles albums, there is plenty more on offer here, especially for those after the heavier moments. Caffeine is one the best songs FNM ever made and acts as a template for the sound of many bands since. Smaller And Smaller & Malpractise are both heavy & surreal enough to be distinctive of this album. Jizzlobber is full-on metal opera finishing with a overblown dramatic church organ solo that has to be heard.
Album opener Land Of Sunshine and Crack Hitler take the funk sound previously associated with FNM and turn it into some monstrous freak that would surely scare most fans of the Chillis. Kindergarten is one of the slower tunes on offer. RV is the real hidden gem on here though, a slow piano ballad with spoken vocals about (and from the perspective of) an ageing trailer park slob reminiscing over his sorry life.
Its at the end of Angel Dust though, that things take a rather dramatic change of direction. After 12 chaotic tunes ending with Jizzlobber, it all goes very nice and mellow with a cover of John Barry's Midnight Cowboy theme. Originally this was the album closer and, tho not a perfect end, a great way to calm down after such an intense experience. The addition of Easy as a bonus track may be a case of record company intervention but this truly is the perfect end to the album. Easy is one of those rare occurances, a cover version that is genuinely better than the original, proving that sometimes white boys do have soul.
The ongoing friction within the band was no big secret and it was often publicised about how much they hated each other. Guitarist Jim Martin left shortly after the subsequent tour citing Patton as his main reason. The tension is apparent throughout this whole album, making for an even more intense experience. Of course the band would never make anything to match the quality again, infact its often surprising they lasted long enough to make this one.
So much has happened in the rock world since but the influence of FNM is clear within much of the scene to this day, these boys defined a whole style of metal that has been borrowed and ripped ever since.
Angel Dust may not be the definitive 90s rock album but it sure is an essential one.
on 7 July 2012
Recently the 20th anniversary of Faith No More's fourth studio album "Angel Dust" passed without much fuss from the music world, there was no lavish remastered deluxe edition with the original album distorted to death and 4 other discs with "previously unreleased" tracks. The truth is the album doesn't need any of these things as it already perfect and can't be improved on. "Angel Dust" the second album to feature Mike Patton on lead vocals would go on to influence bands ranging from The Dillinger Escape Plan to The Scissor Sisters and plenty more in between.
At the time of its release "Angel Dust" confused just about everybody including long-time Faith No More fans to the music press and their rather shocked record label who were expecting "The Real Thing" part 2 and another hit along the lines of "Epic". Instead gone was the funk metal to be replaced by a much more aggressive sound and add to that the fact that Mike Patton had also dropped the whole nasal voice singing sound that he had used for "The Real Thing" to differentiate between Faith No More and his other band at the time Mr Bungle. Probably the biggest influence was that it was the first album that Mike Patton would have a big input on; as most of "The Real Thing" was written before he replaced Chuck Mosley as lead singer.
The album was worlds apart from the previous work of Faith No More and would incorporate death Metal in the form of "Jizzlobber" with its haunting synth outro and "Malpractice". There's the brilliant synth bass work on "Kindergarten". The rather suggestive lyrics of "Be Aggressive" with its cheerleader sounding chorus, "Smaller and Smaller" would feature what's now a trademark Patton shriek before breaking down in the middle into some sort of tribal synth war dance, it's just one of the many turns the album takes. There's the oriental sounding "A Small victory" which along with earlier single "Midlife Crisis" is about as commercial as "Angel Dust" would get. Opener "Land Of Sunshine" with its bass heavy sound is a great opener to the album and could only be followed by the madness that is "Caffeine" which features a Patton scream fest towards the end of the song. It's fitting that the album should finish on a cover of John Barry's "Midnight Cowboy" as you listen to it you can imagine the credits from the warped mind of Mike Patton rolling. Of course reissues of the album would include the cover version of "Easy" by the Commordes, while it's a good cover it does feel out of place on the album. The Japanese version would include a re-recording of "As the Worm Turns" which originally appeared on their debut album "We Care A Lot"
Guitarist Jim martin who wouldn't have much influence in the writing of the album and admits he hated it and would depart the band in 1994 before the band recorded "King For A day, Fool For A Lifetime". The album didn't match the success of "The Real Thing" in the U.S but would go on to be a big seller in Europe, helped by the fact that the band would be the support group on Guns N' Roses "Use Your Illusion" world tour, before setting out on their own tour. Over time "Angel Dust" has become a classic album and is truly appreciated for being a ground breaking album and in my opinion it's the bands best work and is truly that rare thing a 5 star album.
on 11 October 2003
It was a brave decision of Faith No More to make an album like this one, when it would have been an easier and more lucrative option to continue the pop catchfulness of its predecessor The Real Thing. Whilst the concept of generic heavy metal was fast becoming an anachronism, Angel Dust successfully managed to be heavy and dark without falling foul of standard metal cliches.
The opening track, Land Of Sunshine is as uplifting as it is dark. It's the kind of track that you could picture a few thousand youths jumping up and down to in time with its distinctive bass riff. The rest of the album, from Crack Hitler to the single Mid Life Crisis combines similar elements. A touch eerie and unsettling in places, but still capable of inspiring the listener to want to move.
As the thrash scene was imploding on itself and grunge was catching on quick, this album was part of neither of those movements. It sounded like Faith No More and nobody else. It was to ensure that the band never fulfilled its stadium potential, but also that they have produced an album that was at the cutting edge of their genre, without falling into a genre. And that takes some doing.
Mention three small words to bands like the Deftones, Korn, and Linkin Bizkit, and you'll see them turn pale, act like teenagers and say we're not worthy. Those words? Faith. No. More. And Angel Dust was their masterpiece.
Compared to the major rock records that preceded it, Angel Dust shows us exactly what rock music was capable of. Compared to this, Nevermind and Appetite For Destruction are just pop records with big loud guitars.
It's a thing of both extraordinary beauty and gruesome confrontation - even the cover art is oddly bipolar : a swan arising from a lake, reversed with a decapitated cows head hanging from a hook in an abattoir. Beauty and cruelty are the two driving forces in their music. And it is never more obvious than in "Malpractice" - four minutes of cacophonous riffling that suddenly but gracefully transforms into a lengthy recreation of the Kronos Quartet performing Shostakovich.
Angel Dust shows up most rock bands for the plodding visionless dinosaurs they are. It starts with a abrasive, screaming roar of guitars before following the same blueprint as the rest of the album : disparate sections of music shift tempos and styles within the same song - sounding like several different bands welded together and fighting it out at once, whilst guitars spew forth great big crunchy slabs of riffola and roaring vocals fight for your attention like screaming hyperactive children.
Vocals veer between a soft croon and guttural screaming. Lyrics range from the surreal and disjointed ("Land Of Sunshine") to paranoid evocative urban gangster fantasies ("Crack Hitler") . Guitars pick out gentle Country & Western touches on "RV" before grinding anything delicate into rubble dust on the following, colossal "Smaller And Smaller."
Further proof of the heart of the album is a throwaway four bar interlude in the middle of "Jizzlobber", but those four bars are enough for bands like Limp Park to use as their integral blueprint : great big menacing guitars, sleazy rhythms and growled vocals. And Faith No More take that idea, play with it briefly, and throw it away instead of building a career on it.
It's also the only album I know of that had a chart hit about gay ejaculation fetishism, complete with a chorus line of cheerleaders. ("Be Aggressive")
Angel Dust is a haemorrhage of ideas that, at the time, stuck out like a sore thumb : whilst Axl Rose preened, and Kurt Cobain whined, and Morrissey was touted as indie-god poster boys for Students, Faith No More simply took a different path. Ignoring all the pressure for a lame funk-metal follow-up to their previous Real Thing, they mined a deep and seriously heavy canyon. A grab bag of styles that at the time sounded like nobody else in the world. Now everybody wants to sound like them.
For music this brilliant, there are no words. Angel Dust is one of the best rock albums ever made. It takes your every preconception, your every doubt and your every reservation about rock music, tears it up in front of your eyes, cackles evilly and opens up the can of Rock Riffs to server you a feast. Buy it. You will not be disappointed.
on 14 April 2014
Angel Dust is seriously the best album ever. Buy it. Now.
Every song is superb. FNM's, Rock's, Music's greatest moment.
on 7 November 2002
This is one of THE albums that shaped rock and metal in the 90s along with Nevermind, the Black Album by Metallica and (dare i say it!) Korn (urr, i said it!)
There isn't much wrong with this album, the musicianship is awesome, the songwriting is awesome and the songwriting is second to none and i don't really need to say anything about the singer!
There is so much variety throughout the album; Midlife Crisis, a classic FNM track, RV is a slow and sleazy one and there are a few dark, creepy ones like Jizzlobber and Caffene and no one can forget Easy!
The most noticeable progression from The Real Thing (1989) apart from the variety, is Patton's voice; it's so full and rounded compared to TRT's nasal Epic style singing.
This band was so far ahead of it's time that in the early 90s they revceived different opinions and their fan base wasn't as large as they deserved.
Innovative, influential, awesome! One of the albums of the 90s!
on 29 November 2002
I sing and rejoice for the guy that picked this up for 2quid. I think I'd pay an awful lot more for its continuing presence in my collection. My tastes have moved on alot since the days of this release but it still frequents my cd player more than perhaps any other record. I remember buying this as a small kid knowing nothing other than the cover looked good and listening to it in the car on the way back just blown away. I mean, I was a Metallica fan...then this. I never looked back and along with Appetite for Destruction there isnt another record I'd rather get stranded with. It has everything, edge, funk, power, pop, heavyness, riffs, beards, Mike Patton and of course...Easy. Buy now, get shipwrecked.
on 26 July 2014
Not an easy listen, even now, but this shaped my teenage years. We care a lot caught my attention when I was about 12, but angel dust blew my mind. It's hard, some tunes are still not exactly easy to listen too, malpractice springs to mind, but as a whole this is a stunning album. Something about the synth guitar patton mix just lends it an incredibly unique feel. I still love it, 15years on. One of my favourites.