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Angel Dust - Of Human Bondage

2002 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by skeksis on 2005-10-17

Angel Dust is simply one of the best power/trad-metal bands in operation today, hands down. ';Of Human Bondage'; is the bands sixth release, and not surprisingly, doesn';t deviate from the bands tried and tested song writing formula. One big difference between ';Bondage-'; and its predecessors is that this newest disc has a somewhat simpler, more direct ';metal'; feel, which results in heavier songs. This could be attributed to the departure of long time sole guitarist Bernd Aufermann. As in any band, when you remove a primary source of that band's sound (regardless of whether that person wrote any of the material or not), you remove a certain style and new kid Ritchie Wilkison has a slightly rougher style of playing. In some spots it works brilliantly like ';Unreal Soul'; and ';Forever';, in others, you feel wanting a more melodic style to compliment the rest of the band. Vocalist Dirk Thurisch is one of power metals best vocalist, with a strong and powerful voice, but never does it veer into irritating (ala Sacred Steel). Keyboardist Steven Banx lends some of his most beautiful playing to this album, like the beautifully emotive power ballad ';Disbeliever';. All in all, I still prefer their 1999 comeback ';Border of Reality';, but by no means is ';Bondage'; a shitty records. Far from it, ';Bondage'; shows Angel Dust still kicking ass big time 16+ years into their career. Screw the other power bands; you really don';t need to hear bands like Iron Fire or even Hammerfall these days. If you want some honest power metal (man, that term is so overused) than Angel is as good as it gets. With well-written songs with catchy as lice sing along choruses and a well produced (sound and image) package. What more could you ask!