Faith No More – Angel Dust (1992)

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Celebrating those albums which have their anniversary, this section will discuss the impact these releases had back then and what relevance, if any, they have now. The first in this series of reminiscent ramblings is Faith No More’s ‘Angel Dust’, released a whopping 25 years ago this week. That’s a whole generation of people who had been born, been schooled and released to the world of taxes, workplace stress and mortgage payments.

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This album is held in such high regard by the rock/metal population, thanks to its brazen and ballsy approach to song writing and usage of keyboards in an otherwise guitar-only world. Granted, the Chuck Moseley-era Faith No More was hardly safe, but with Mike Patton’s vocal range and apparent mental fluidity, they were able to really flex their musical muscle and prove themselves to be one of the most successfully experimental bands ever to come to the attention of a large number of listeners. The production quality was significantly improved compared to ‘The Real Thing’.

So the general mainstream will likely only be familiar with ‘Easy’, which was a sympathetic cover of the 70s original, but it was the unhinged songs such as ‘Caffeine’ and ‘Malpractice’ that showed Faith No More’s place in the metal scene to be proven. ‘Everything’s Ruined’ and ‘Small Victory’ probably pacified those wanting something akin to the previous release, both being legit good pop songs that it was ok for rock fans to listen to.

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Everything was just right on this album, I don’t feel that it was lacking anything and I feel that it excelled in everything.
How did it pave the path for future artists? It proved to others that it was ok to use keyboards and to be edgy. Some say that it started the whole nu-metal thing. I don’t see a direct influence personally, as Korn and Limp Bizkit were a bit more ‘street’ like Red Hot Chili Peppers and not as layered as Faith No More.
What I found disappointing about releasing album this is that they set such a high measuring stick for themselves, so when the follow up came in 1995, ‘King For A Day…’, it just lacked that spark and charisma of ‘Angel Dust’. Whether the drugs and Jim Martin’s departure was the cause, we can only assume. However, the thing that pleases me most about this release is that Faith No More, following ‘The Real Thing’ should have sold out and released a hurried collection of radio-friendly, sucky songs to please the execs. But they didn’t. They provided a masterpiece with possibly the widest spectrum of feeling seen in any album, exhibiting both joy and terror.”

Faith No More – Angel Dust (1992) Full Album