8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Distorted and bitcrushed but still well worth having,
This review is from: Playing the Angel [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)The film of the making of the album on the accompanying DVD illustrates how this was a relatively quick and dirty recording compared to it's predecessors. With digital distortion and creaky and glitchy effects/virtual instruments turned up to the max this does tend to subject the listener to a sonic bludgeoning in places. And there's nothing wrong with that, there's no reason why production has to be clean. Unlike like some other reviewers I think this is a pretty strong album. It's a bit intense though - the relatively constant thumping drums, bass and distortion (did I mention the distortion already?)force you to actively listen to it. Some of the songs are minimal seemingly built on nothing other than a bass riff and a melody over the top reminding me of Can and Neu (The Sinner In Me) in their motorik relentlessness whilst others are your classic DM melodic progressions and show off Gahan's vocal prowess (Suffer Well, Precious).
This as close to the classic holy trinity of albums (Black Celebration, Music For The Masses, Violater) as DM have got in a while so ignore the naysayers and go for it.
The DVD, apart from the 5.1 version of the album, also contains a decent documentary of the making of the album. Giving insights into the recording and showing clips of the band preparing (such as Dave Gahan's vocal warm up excercises) it's a lot better than the usual fluff which passes for a documentary and it's well worth going for this version over the standard one.