|Review: Angel Dust - Enlighten The Darkness|
|Enlighten The Darkness|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2000
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: December 21, 2003
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
for:Enlighten The Darkness
Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (24 Votes)
After making their mark on the world of melodic power metal with releases such as "Border of Reality" and "Bleed", Angel Dust waste no time and bring forward a masterpiece for the ages. "Enlighten the Darkness" has it all – chunky riffs, killer melodies, dark and aggressive lyrics and overall excellent musicianship. One of the things that set Angel Dust apart from majority of the power metal bands out there is the heavy guitar influence in their music. Angel Dust style of power metal is just dominated with head-banging guitar action that shows the band's thrash roots.
While it is a great work all around, the lyrics are the highlight of the album. For someone who is into reality based, deep lyrics and concept albums, "Enlighten the Darkness" will get you pondering 'til you can ponder no more! Written from the perspective of a German soldier in the resistance during World War II, the album ventures out to explore human nature and how it can bring about such demons within men and questions the rationality behind warfare. The track themes range from violence on the battlefield, thoughts of soldiers on the front lines, to the band's anger towards the Nazi leadership in Germany. Some passages in the lyrics might get a little too descriptive about death and killing, but that shouldn't be much of a problem for a metal head now would it? After all, the theme of the album is war and the evils of it!
If lyrics are of little concern to you, then you still have a lot to feast upon musically. Right off the start, the explosive "Let Me Live" will grab your attention and get you head-banging in no time. There isn't a single weak track on the album, combining elements of progressive, thrash and of course power metal. Dirk Thurisch (vocalist) is a screamer, and does hit the shrieking high levels here and there, but for the most part, his vocal performance displays great diversity that only makes the album even more appealing. Ranging from Sanctuary styled high notes, to Iced Earth styled growls at points. This diversity really makes it clear that this is not your average power metal band regurgitating the rest of the stuff out there.
On a negative note however, in their pursuit of aggression and heavy guitar work, the band compromises the keyboards, which are hardly ever heard in the album. Remember "Bleed" (the song)? Well, you are not going to find anything even close to such beautiful keyboard and guitar interplay as "Bleed" on this album. You really have to listen hard to realize that this band even has a keyboard player. Some exceptions like "The One You Are" do exist however, but for the most part, Steven Banx (keyboardist) is pretty quite here. This does not mean there is no melody though. Seriously….Can you really have an Angel Dust album without their majestic melodies?
Songs like "Cross of Hatred" and "The One You Are" show Angel Dust at their absolute greatest so far that will get you wondering how something so angry, aggressive and heavy can be so melodic at the same time. However, with a few exceptions, this album does not include the 'catch' factor that "Bleed" did. Most of the tracks here are not as catchy, and will grow on you over time. That may or may not be a good thing depending on what you are into. I personally find myself bored of catchy songs very soon, so believe me, the fact that this album will make you listen to it over and over again is definitely a good thing.
As for the best songs on the album, if you want meaty guitar riffs and hooks, then look out for "Cross of Hatred", "Enjoy!" and "Come Into Resistance". If you like 80's style heavy metal, there is "I Need You" (although this song seems a little out of place on the album, despite being one of the best in there at the same time). "Fly Away" is a track that is very typical of all Angel Dust albums – it is the token progressive metal track that starts off slow and mellow and gradually picks up on the heavy side. Great tracks all round but "The One You Are" and "Cross Of Hatred" will please even the most discerning prog-power metal critic.
In the over-crowded world of European power metal, Angel Dust defy all stereotypes of the genre and come out with something original and just simply outstanding! Forget the genre, if you like metal, then chances are you will enjoy "Enlighten The Darkness".
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Bleed (reviewed by 4th Horseman)|
Review: Border Of Reality (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Border Of Reality (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Into The Dark Past (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Marching for Revenge (Demo) (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
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Interview with Dirk Assmuth (Drums) on July 31, 2004 (Interviewed by 4th Horseman)
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