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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Richard Patrick returns five years after his best-selling debut, SHORT BUS, and six years after he quit Nine Inch Nails. While the first album suffered from a rather unfinished feel, this one is very much the product of years of perfecting Filter’s sound. Patrick has also assembled a new band and a new attitude: he is no longer eager to prove himself to his old employer.

The album is all the better for it. True, there are still some dark moments – Patrick intoning “I am a cancer” before launching into two minutes of frenzied moshpit thrashing hardly constitutes candidacy for the new Teletubbies theme – but across the album’s 50 minutes, the light pretty much balances the dark. CAPTAIN BLIGH and TAKE A PICTURE could almost be described as “jaunty”. Nonetheless, the dynamics of the sound are never far from impressive; guitars explode through the speakers on every track, while Patrick’s anguished howl has become much more powerful and melodic than on SHORT BUS.

The songs also employ some breathtaking sounds: THE BEST THIINGS kicks of with heavy techno beats, moves through a chorus of crunching guitars onto a psychedelic bliss-out break before bursting back into the speakers and winding down through plug-being-pulled whurring machinery. A lot of ideas for one song. Similarly, the seven-minute long opening track WELCOME TO THE FOLD (also the album’s first single) is an epic sprawl of thumping guitars, a sing-along chorus and a spaced-out passage before the sprint to the finish.

The bottom line is, if you are looking for an album that effortlessly combines heavy and melodic guitars with kick-ass attitude, then this is your chap. As Richard himself would say, “Hey man, nice shot”.

Note: Richard Patrick’s brother is none other than Robert, the melting metal baddie from TERMINATOR 2. ( 2001: Robert is also now starring in THE X FILES ).

6 stars