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Filter [reviews]
The Trouble With Angels [Deluxe Version] |Rocket Science/Nuclear Blast, 2010|

CD1: 01. The Inevitable Relapse, 02. Drug Boy, 03. Absentee Father, 04. No Love, 05. No Re-Entry, 06. Down With Me, 07. Catch A Falling Knife, 08. The Trouble With Angels, 09. Clouds, 10. Fades Like A Photograph (Dead Angel)
CD2: 01. The Inevitable Relapse (Clayton Worbeck Mix), 02. Drowning, 03. Shot From The Sun, 04. My Life Before, 05. Plume

How is it that Filter, such an industrial rock musical icon was rated only one and a half gears by an industrial rock orientated magazine? Should I have given an additional half for the tits of Carmen Electra who starred in the newest Filter video? Nope, sorry. I have been choosing very good albums to review in Fabryka Magazine recently, so I have a chance to vent on this album now ;)

The news about the upcoming Filter album was shaped and ignited by the band itself. Filter themselves compared the new album content to the legendary sound of the Short Bus LP (which in fact had one legendary song on it "Hey Man Nice Shot" and a few very good, dirty, guitar driven tracks). Oldschool fans of Filter were hoping the band would have fresh and meaningful input which would dominate industrial rock music once again in a similar fashion to their success in 1995. In fact, there is a saying that goes... "Hope often blinks at a fool". This has indeed come true for those who got fooled by the final effect of The Trouble With Angles. In a manner seemingly not benumbed, the album continues to be promoted as the answer to Short Bus to this moment. There is a list of channels involved in this forged promotion that include all sorts of fans, magazines, journalists, bloggers, social networks and live shows that have benefited from their association with the band under one condition - they must write positively about the album. Certainly, Fabryka Magazine will be overlooked due to an honest review.

Filter has engaged with many famous names during the making of this album. The artwork designer, Deborah Norcross, did a few artworks for Filter in the past, as well as designed artwork for Armageddon Dildos, Guns'n'Roses and Porno For Pyros. The album was produced by Bob Marlette whom also produced for Black Sabbath, 2wo and Halford, Alice Cooper, Saliva, Ill Nino. The mastering was done by Ted Jensen who has worked for The Who, Diana Ross, Disturbed, Korn, Slipknot, Grace Jones, Delerium, Robert Palmer, Styx and Ratt. The programming is the work of Brian Liesegang who is known for collaborating with Skrew, Filter, 13 Mg., Nine Inch Nails and Prick. Finally, there are the rampant titties of Carmen Electra, who starred in the video for "No Love" and who is also Rob Patterson's (guitarist for Filter and Otep) real life fiancee.

The Trouble With Angels LP sounds as if it has no spine. It is flat and mere in comparison to the bands potential. I was hoping (again!) to find many interesting songs on the album. I found myself playing a track after track and loosing my patience after the first couple of minutes of every song. Most of the songs began in an aggressive way, but they stopped being at all interesting after a minute or two. Perhaps the musicians couldn't continue to find their angst and originality. Filter's attempt to involve listeners into what has been advertised and promised as "Short Bus like atmospheres" reminds me the efforts of an impotent male trying to hype a less than average woman into taking him home from the bar.

I understand that Filter's goal was to tease listeners, but those edgy atmospheres only happened at the beginning of the songs and simply never came back. Moreover, a promotional single named "The Inevitable Relapse" includes the same trendy auto-tune processors that are used so often in modern pop music and have become popularized by Fergie, Cher and Rhianna.
It doesn't really matter how well Richard Patrick professionally screams in some of the songs if the subsequent music isn't supported by wall of guitars, bass and drums like it used to be in famous Filter tracks such as "Hey Man Nice Shot" or "Columind".

The truth is, the bands music has always been filled with very moody atmospheres. This is noticeable on every one of their albums where aggressive arrangements co-exist with soppy songs. This new album definitely has a bunch of songs that one can occasionally listen to, but would perhaps be better suited for commercial radio stations. However, it was not a fair statement to compare this album to Short Bus in an effort to invigorate the attention of oldschool Filter fans. The Trouble With Angels is not what I would consider as industrial rock music. In fact, it is a polar opposite to how it was announced and promoted by the band. Let's not use buzzwords to ignite an interest if they bear no relation to what they were said to be. Stylistically, The Trouble With Angles is closer to what I would classify as alternative rock music. Filter should have known this and promoted it as such.

There are however many professional guitar riffs that are smoothly synchronized with the bass in a few songs such as "Drug Boy" and "Absentee Father", but over-lyrical vocal layers ruin the arrangements very quickly as can be heard in "No Love" or "Down With Me". If you imagine the main song structures without the guitars, bass and drums, you'll hear how many pop music arrangements have been used; thus exposed... Way too much.

This album was published in two versions; the alternate version contains an additional five songs as well as a remix by Clayton Worbeck (Stayte, Revolting Cocks). Clayton used a bit of groove, disco and industrial rock atmospheres that actually sound kind of cool. The other tracks remind me of typical love songs with simulated violins in the background, with exception to "Shot From The Sun".
Indeed, it seems there is "No Re-Entry" when it comes to classifying Filter as industrial rock again. Gentlemen, take a serious dose of cocaine or speed the next time please.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 12/04/2010. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)
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