Review Summary: An astounding record from a sadly disbanded band, completely illogical yet extremely comprehensive, its biting lyrics, awesome musicianship and Mike Patton's vocals make this one of the best, if not the best, records of the 90s.
For a long time I've been searching for a band with the ultimate vocals. A guy up front who really was The Real Thing. Who could release an Album of the Year. Who could act like a king for a day, but really was a fool for a lifetime. Who really cares a lot. And when all is said and done, and when his ashes were burnt upon the ground, his remains would fall down to earth like dust from the heavens. Angel Dust, in other words.
Now that vocalist I speak of is called Mike Patton. Few match his skill on the mic. From insane falsetto voices, to loud bass singing, to grunting, to rapping, to plain wackiness, he really is one of the most able vocalists ever to roam the earth. Of course, Air Raid Sirens or the haunting and crooning voice of Keenen, or even the divine goddess Tarja Turunen, all have superb aspects of their singing. But no one can do everything, except this guy.
And in the year 1992, he sung for a band called Faith No More, who had gotten an MTV hit with their single Epic. Now Faith No More was known for their disdain of MTV and commerciality. So, splitting their fanbase right in two, they created the masterpiece that would henceforth be known as Angel Dust. And it truly is an excellent album. I would vouch for it to be one of the best albums of the 90s, a classic of rock and metal alike. Of course Mike Patton has a huge part in the success of this record. His vocal antics please the listener and the producer alike. But the groovy bass lines, the guitar riffs, and the fantastic drums not to mention the idiosyncratic keyboards make this album an aural orgasm.
It is the opener, Land of Sunshine, that already sets the tone. The lyrics, sung in Mike Patton style, portray exactly what Faith No More is all about. Nonsensicality, bitterness against society, sarcasm, it's all in there. Not to mention the musical side of things, with an excellent guitar solo to boot, and the keyboards creating an awesome deep atmosphere to this song. The whole album could easily just be described by the word "idiosyncratic."
And the rest of the album continues in the same vein. It is really hard to single out a track as the best one, albeit the aformentioned Land Of Sunshine is an excellent example, the haunting RV, or Kindergarten, or Jizzlobber, Midlife Crisis, or any other song you wish to take out and play as an example of the brilliance of this album, all would tell you the same story despite all being different songs; this has Faith No More written all over it. It has to be your cup of tea, obviously; but if you liked any other work of Faith No More or comparable bands (who are far and between these days; little has ever achieved the greatness of this), you'll be blown away by this.
In fact, while reviewing this album, the best advice I can give when listening to this record is just put it on and see for yourself. It's an excellent ride from beginning to end, with all the trademark elements plus excellent musicianship this is one of the best albums ever released, no matter what your father, brother, best friend, or MTV may say. If you haven't got this in your collection and you're a fan of rock and metal, shame on you. It's a MUST for anyone who wishes to get into Faith No More, and it's a must for everyone who enjoys the metal genre as a whole. It's also a must if you enjoy just going against the grain just like these guys. Just check it out and you'll see what I mean; this album can't be put into words, it defies any law.
The Real Thing may have been the commercial success; this is artistic success to the max. Please bow deeply to Mike Patton and co., and thank the heavens for blessing us with this record truly made up out of Angel Dust.