Don't Kill The Magic
Isolate and Medicate
The Trouble With Angels is being heralded as a "return to form" of sorts for Filter leader Richard Patrick, supposedly revisiting the more aggressive and industrial sounds of Filter's early days (most notably their debut Short Bus, before the band steered more towards straightforward rock with each subsequent release). This is partially true, as Angels contains layers of buzzsaw guitars, bombastic solos, and the occasional bit of drum programming to satisfy fans who've stuck around since 1995. Yet it's important to note that Richard hasn't ditched the melodic sensibilities he's developed over the years either, as the songs here find the right balance of melody without filing down the edges. What he does largely ditch is the heavy political flavor of 2008's Anthems for the Damned, opting instead for a more diverse (and introspective) set of lyrics and themes this time out, set to music heavier than anything in recent years, and delivered in Richard's powerful and seemingly undiminished voice. Perhaps there's some remaining Short Bus devotees out there who will be tempted to turn and run at the first sight of an infectious chorus, but for the rest of us fans, this album is a heavily enjoyable ride.