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Angel Dust - "Of Human Bondage"
Century Media 2002

Guys, what the hell is goin' on? I'm totally confused. A new release, the fourth in just a period of four years. And what is amazing, you did it brilliant once again.

For all of you who like to enjoy in a fine combination of aggressive riffing with great melodies that are incorporated in music. A music style that would like to escape into progressive, meets some classical approaches of heavy metal with slightly thrashy sound. All those ingredients that I mentioned were put together and what we've got is still not too much complex to digest, but still enough that can't get straight into ear. For the fourth time and a different way again.

Bernd Auferman was replaced by Ritchie Wilkison on guitars. This was a new challenge for band's further evolution. Yes, there is a difference. Evolution in more thrashy directions? Ritchie is blazing some great arpeggios and fast palmuted thrashy riffs. So I'm not surprised at all, why Jon Schaffer offered him a job during "Demons & Wizzards" tour. The band's latest sound is more aggressive now. First riff of opener "The Human Bondage" tells that we are facing the hardest band's release up to date. Even some brutal vocals for the first time were added into it.

A touch of "Nevermore"? Pay attention on "Unite" riff or beautiful song called "The Cultman" especially because of Dirk's singing (by the way in verse: "You Should Have Never Listen To Me!").

Well, songs like "Inhuman" or "Unreal Soul" include those typical "Angel Dust" tricks. In choruses they let the riff to ring and after that we could anticipate again in aggressive palmuted riffing. All sort of different bridges that are included in the new material, means that "Angel Dust" will never let a listener to become bored. Chorus parts of "Angel Dust" music are again a typical deep touching melancholic creations.

The band is well known by its perfection of achieving high atmosphere in their music. Production is great again. All instruments are fine balanced. Except that sometimes a few space has been left for bass guitar, especially during faster parts where main role plays double bass on drums.

Well, here it is. Another non-cliché release, that carries all band's originality on a higher step. The last track is a very interesting cover song "Killer" that is originally performed by "Seal". Of course with no sugar added. I sincerely hope that this band will get more respect from all heavy metal universe in the future. They surely have earned it by now and "Of Human Bondage" (again) only proves that.

Author:   Ale¹

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