Review Summary: A decent return for a long awaited album.
Richard Patrick- Lead Vocals, Guitar
Mitchell Marlow- Guitar
John Spiker- Bass
Mika Fineo- Drums, Percussions
For those who are not familiar with the band Filter, they are a rock group that was formed in 1993, and over their fifteen year span have came out with some classic songs such as, “Hey Man Nice Shot”, “Take A Picture”, “Welcome to the Fold”, and “The Best Things”. They have three previous studio albums, which have all been pretty successful, and have had hit songs featured on movie soundtracks (Jurassitol-The Crow: City of Angels, (Can’t You) Trip like I do-Spawn. Front man, Richard Patrick, has had a few side projects in his career, such as The Damning Well, which only released one song and is on the Underworld movie soundtrack. There is also the band Army of Anyone, which has one album that came out in 2006.
It has been six years since Filter released their last record, The Amalgamut, and now it is time to see if their fourth full length studio album, Anthems for the Damned, can bring back what Filter fans have always enjoyed and make new fans in the process.
The album starts off with their new single title, “Soldiers of Misfortune”. This song is about the soldiers that have served over seas in the Middle East and it seems to have a very powerful message to it. Lyrics such as, “I'd like to wake up, In a dream, Where they don’t scream, Without misery,” are about the struggles that soldiers go through during war, hoping that they can make it home alive. Robert Patrick’s vocals are flawless and emotional, while the guitars and drums are pretty standard for a rock track. It is clear why they made this song the single and that is because they wanted to send a message to all of those who have ever fought in a war.
The next track, “What’s Next”, is a heavier track that starts off with a constant drum beat and hard guitar riffs. The drums really stand out to me in this track, but the vocals from Patrick could be better. He seems to restrain in some parts and doesn’t put in the emotion like he did in the previous track. It is an average song but forgetful in the end.
“The Wake” takes you back to the old Filter days, sounding like “Where Do We Go From Here.” It starts off with a single guitar riff that leads in to mellow vocals and then explodes into a great chorus with lyrics such as, “The wake aftermath, do you forgive and forget.” It’s a track that all Filter fans would enjoy.
“Cold (Anthem for the Damned)” is a mellower track with great lyrics and combination of instruments, while “Hatred is Contagious” is just another average alternative rock song that would be something that you would hear over the radio.
The next track “Lie After Lie” is surprisingly catchy, but can become pretty repetitive after a few listens. “Kill the Day” sounds like something that you would hear from Title of Record and features a great combination of guitars and drums. It is another slower song, but it is definitely one of the best that Filter has done.
“The Take” is the heaviest song on the album due to its grungy guitar riffs and angry vocals from Patrick. It gets slower in the middle with Patrick singing, “We’ve got nothing left to say, and we go on everyday,” but then builds back up again making you feel like you just got kicked in the mouth. This song is similar to The Amalgamut’s “So I Quit”.
The next two tracks, “I Keep Flowers Around” and “In Dreams” have some great bass lines and emotional hard vocals in some parts that sound like they’re from the Short Bus days of Filter. The acoustic “Only You” gives an amazing vocal performance that will cleanse your soul and leave you breathless.
One of the only downsides of this album is how it closes out. The instrumental “Can Stop This” is boring and lacks in the musical ability that was seen throughout previous tracks. It also tends to drag on a little too long. It would probably have been better to just get rid of this track completely and let the highlight of the album, “Only You”, close it out.
Overall, this album does have a few great tracks on it, but they don’t seem to be as great as tracks from previous records that Filter fans have come to love. After having to wait six years for this album to come out, you would expect that it would be a little bit better than what it came out to be. The lyrics on it are well written and can be very catchy, but it doesn’t have anything on it that will blow you away, aside from “Only You”. Filter seems to be sticking to what they know best and that might be a good thing to a lot of fans, but they might want to consider changing things up a little instead of sounding like an average version of their previous albums. This way they won’t seem too repetitive.
1. Soldiers of Misfortune- 4/5
2. What’s Next- 2.5/5
3. The Wake- 4/5
4. Cold (Anthems for the Damned)- 3.5/5
5. Hatred is Contagious- 3/5
6. Lie After Lie- 3/5
7. Kill the Day- 4/5
8. The Take- 4/5
9. I Keep Flowers Around- 3/5
10. In Dreams- 3/5
11. Only You- 4.5/5
12. Can Stop This- 1.5/5