TWENTY YEARS ON IT'S STILL ESSENTIAL LISTENING,
This review is from: Angel Dust (Audio CD)
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.