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Filter [reviews]
Anthems for the Damned |Pulse, 2008|

1. Soldiers of Misfortune, 2. What's Next, 3. The Wake, 4. Cold (Anthem for the Damned), 5. Hatred Is Contagious, 6. Lie After Lie, 7. Kill the Day, 8. The Take, 9. I Keep Flowers Around, 10. In Dreams, 11. Only You, 12. Can Stop This

A long awaited album by an American band Filter brought the vibe which could be an attempt to reconcile their achievements of the 90s [when they become popular on the industrial rock scene] with the tune of the last two albums.

Richard Patrick found the band after he had left Nine Inch Nails to release 3 full albums, then in between a hiatus of Filter had been a lead singer for a rock project Army of Anyone but also cooperated with The Damning Well team. Both Brian Liesegang and Matt Walker supported the live shows of Billy Corgan's (Smashing Pumpkins) solo project.

Patrick knows very well what to do to return on the scene in a good style. He realizes the visual appearance of the band is one of the most important acts to draw people's attention. Thus the official website was reunited, biography and discography entries updated in many online catalogues, the interaction with the fans launched (signing the new CDs in music stores, playing on festivals). Also their Myspace profile was set up which was followed by Filter's spring 2008 appearance at the Operation Myspace show played for the American soldiers stationed in Iraq. The idea the album is dedicated to the American soldiers comes out looking at the CD artwork with a dark sky, sun rays flashing, a part of a desert and an American Army helmet put on a rifle stuck in sand. A symbol of the finished or suspended war however not clear if successful finally (the dark clouds).

Let's back to music. As I mentioned before, there is a variety of moods on the album recalling either Filter's stuff with its predatory vocals and aggressive guitar riffs (What's Next, The Take and a total hit In Dreams) or rock ballads like The Wake (Creed-like vocals), Cold (Anthem for the Damned), Hatred Is Contagious, Lie After Lie, Kill the Day or an instrumental Can Stop This.

Anthems for the Damned doesn't surprise, I mean I can't pin to anything because the tracks are well built, supported by easy going tunes and naturalness fruited into songs great when listened while traveling. It doesn’t matter if you are on the plane over Lake Michigan or driving a big track across hot and deserted Arizona area or got stuck in a traffic jam of glittering and noisy Seattle.

I mentioned the only American places on purpose because Filter's music is the American through and through. I really doubt if such music could be written in Europe for instance.
Plus Patrick's vocal sounds still typical, dirty, nasal, well controlled, once used in a warm way the other time screamed aloud. He definitely can sing what has a great meaning for rock music based on guitars. Practically Anthems for the Damned is supported by vocals-guitar-bass parts with the drums moderated what removes pushy dynamics for the easy flowing guitar riffs.

The album definitely stands far from industrial music and should be classified in other categories. At the same time it's a very valuable release which should give you a lot of fun!

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 07/02/2008. 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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