Newest Review: ... have seeped in if this album had been made in 1985, rather than merely sounding like it was. There are a few traces of modern power met... more
Eighties Movie Metal Throwback
Bleed - Angel Dust
Member Name: Frankingsteins
Bleed - Angel Dust
Advantages: Powerful vocals, high production values and an enjoyable mood.
Disadvantages: Rooted in the past with few distinguishing features.
Angel Dust's fourth album is a well-produced slab of accessible heavy metal that sounds the way most people would assume metal sounded, if their experience was limited to film soundtracks of the eighties and early nineties. Dirk Thurisch puts in his best Dio impression for the slower offerings of this mostly mid-tempo album, crossing over to a more energetic and raspier style for the few faster sections that sound more like ex-Judas Priest/ex-Iced Earth Ripper Owens, and although he's highly derivative, the vocals end up being this album's strongest component.
While this brand of sing-along, anthemic metal won't be to the taste of more technically-minded metal fans, it's a very competent effort, drenched in keyboards that add a great atmosphere without any of the cheesiness that would have seeped in if this album had been made in 1985, rather than merely sounding like it was. There are a few traces of modern power metal in the second half of the album, particularly the fast 'Addicted to Serenity,' as well as a full-on keyboard solo in 'Black Rain,' but the sound is otherwise grounded in the plodding, compassionate rock style that would make women cry if the lyrics were a bit more meaningful. Bernd Aufermann's guitars aren't without their highlights, dominating the louder songs such as 'Never,' but this is the sort of album that places a general maintenance of mood over on memorable riffs, and does it very well. It's just a shame that the two approaches couldn't be combined.
The keyboards add a lofty symphonic flair to most of the tracks, coming to a head in the second part of the largely unconnected 'Follow Me' suite, before taking on a more amateur electronic flair in the last two songs that doesn't work quite as well. The bass and drums similarly fail to impress but can at least be distinctly heard through the polished production, but at the end of the day this is an album of slow, passionate choruses that are mostly pretty good, even if the album's nadir of speed and energy at the end is blessed with unimaginative "break these chains" lyrics. There aren't many songs that particularly stand out, apart from 'Addicted to Serenity' for being faster and the first part of 'Follow Me' for being the necessary acoustic ballad, fortunately very much in the style of Queensryche's 'Silent Lucidity' rather than something by Poison, Warrant or those other tossers that spoiled metal in the eighties.
The band's creative peak comes in the call-back to the acoustic song in the second part of 'Follow Me,' which works very well and almost convinces the listener that they really are two halves of the same epic rather than two different songs with the same name, but mostly this is lowest common denominator metal for radio-rock fans that works equally well as a guilty pleasure for more serious metalheads, perhaps when they're relaxing in the bath or something. The songs are generally a little drawn-out, especially towards the end with overlong tracks like 'Surrender!' not throwing out enough nifty ideas to justify their lifespan, but this album is a fair imitation of Dio-style metal twenty years down the line. You should know what to expect from the band name really, though the album art is a bit misleadingly cool.
2. Black Rain
4. Follow Me (Part 1)
5. Follow Me (Part 2)
6. Addicted to Serenity
9. Liquid Angel
Summary: Angel Dust's fourth album (1999).