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Angel Dust - Of Human Bondage

=Staff's pick

The Human Bondage*
Unreal Soul*
Got This Evil*
The Cultman
Freedom Awaits

Genre Power/Thrash Metal
Dirk Thurisch
Tracks 10
Ritchie Wilkison
Runningtime 48 Min.
Label Century Media
Frank Banx
Release 25 Feb. 2002
Dirk Assmuth
Country Germany
Steven Banx
Similar artists Brainstorm, Squealer

Angel Dust are after some years of appreciated releases behind them back with a their 6th release, slightly delayed by some line-up changes which consisted of the fact that stringbender Bernd Aufermann left (for Running Wild), and was replaced by Ritchie Wilkison formely of Demons & Wizards.

I must in the name of all honesty say that I haven't been that into Angel Dust before, and can not really fully judge how this stands compared to earlier releases and material, but from what I have heard by them earlier I can at least say that this is the best they have done so far.
They have changed a bit lately though, to now be a bit more oriented towards the areas of thrash - and in some parts even to the now so popular nu-metal genre.
But that latter we luckly just hear fragments of, and it's still very good, solid and ordinary metal we overall get for our money here.

I would like to describe this as something in between thrash metal and power metal, with the drumsound, special guitarriffs and vocals mostly responsable for the thrashpart, and the powerful flow and, actually pretty melodic from time to time, choruses and verses for the more power metal touch to it, but still with a special sound to it with some atmospheric touches.
In songs like for example Got This Evil they mix both sides of it all, and it turns out very good.

The album kicks off with the titletrack that has a very,very similar vocalharmonies to a Primal Fear song during the verse, and makes a good mark of the rest of the album.
Distinct riffing with a chorus that sticks, and that tempo continues for the next couple of tracks, with Unreal Soul that contains a dynamiterefrain.

From here we get fast, pounding songs mixed with more mid-tempo once all along to the end, and they are all very well done and makes a very good mood of the album, even though I during the first listeningsession felt the album lost a bit of it's interesting approach from time to time in the songs in the mid part, but they pretty quickly repaired those moments with surprising and catchy moments as twists in the songs - and they rise at the end, and the second part of the album is really good.
The album has continued to grow all along after that, and it perhaps takes a few listenings before you see the beauty in this - like so often before when it comes to metal with thrashy influences.

Fans of a big amount of harmonies in their metal may not be so pleased with this, because they are mainly focusing on the significant thrashriffs here, and you might feel it's not perhaps a marvellous album - but a plain good one.

But for you who for the past years have held Angel Dust for the best in this genre - you will definitly like this new album that surely will keep the name of Angel Dust in the top of today's modern metalbands.






7,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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