Review: Angel Dust

Angel Dust
“Of Human Bondage”
(Century Media)

Industrial machine-like drumming keeps the backbone of the opening track throbbing along under the fierce guitar rhythm and superb keyboard work.  The band, on this, their sixth album, is clearly in progressive and power metal territory.  They are not striving for originality, but the focus they’ve obviously placed on developing fully rounded songs places them away from the pack.  The simplicity in the main chugging riff of the album’s third track, “Unreal Soul,” shows the band isn’t lost in the tendency of many progressive metal bands to wank on endlessly and technically out-dazzle their supposedly technically dazzling peers.  Angel Dust’s “Of Human Bondage” offers progressive metal for those who enjoy the genre but don’t necessarily enjoy the “guitar god” aspect to which so many of the guitarists in this genre seek to rise. If you’re looking for comparisons to other bands I would say that on the song “Disbeliever” you wouldn’t be led astray to think of Queensryche and the lingering influence of the NWOBHM. Vocalist, Dirk Thurisch, never shrieks too far in the upper ranges of the alto scale to his credit and maintains an impassioned conviction even when singing somewhat more inane passages like “Hold me now/Save me from the ghosts.”  The speed of the album is fast paced, but never blasting away with nowhere to go like much contemporary black metal.  Angel Dust does their genre proud.