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Review: Angel Dust - Border Of Reality
Angel Dust
Border Of Reality

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 1998
Duration: 55:20
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 16, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
Border Of Reality

Rated 4/5 (80%) (20 Votes)

So the story goes…after a ten year break, the rhythm team of the thrash metallers from the eighties got together and decided to restart Angel Dust and were obviously looking for a vocalist immediately. A local fanzine writer in Germany found out about this somehow and forwarded a demo tape of a local singer who played for another band at the time. Enter: Dirk Thurisch. Impressed by Thurisch's demo tape, the founding members of AD (Frank Banx – Bass, Dirk Assmuth – Drums) invited Thurisch to come to what they termed as a 'band rehearsal'. There they asked him if he wanted a shot as the front man for Angel Dust. Right then and there, he sang Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers and two minutes into the song, he was stopped. The two judges took a moment to realize what they had just heard…took a deep breathe and…viola! The rest is history.

Border Of Reality was Angel Dust's comeback to the metal scene, but this time the band moved more towards the progressive and power metal side while still retaining their thrashy influences from the past. While this is a great album, I can't say that it is my favourite. There really isn't a major problem with it, but because I heard masterpieces such as Bleed and Enlighten The Darkness before this one, I guess going back to their previous stuff didn't help much. But apparently, a lot of Dusties seem to love Border of Reality so if you see this disc somewhere, then it is a pretty safe bet to pick it up.

The CD starts off with a thunderous drumming intro for the title track which is probably the best track on the disc with Thurisch taking charge and making it clear that he is here to stay! Again, just like all Angel Dust albums, the music is quite heavy with guitars and drums pounding at your face from all directions, but to avoid complete mayhem and loss of sanity, the keyboards and vocals give direction and melody to the music retaining quite a bit of accessibility for the casual listener.

A few things worth critiquing here…. The song Nightmare for example….a song that comes straight out of the 80's hard rock/heavy metal era with an excellent groove to it… although very catchy, it has been done over and over again in the past. It also does not flow well with the rest of the tracks because, as already mentioned, this track is straight up heavy metal from the eighties while the rest are the 'newer' forms of metal which Angel Dust seem to have mastered by now. Most people who have heard this album seem to love this song and that is probably why AD decided to recompose an extended version of it the following year. I personally enjoyed this disc for its 'freshness' and as usual, the monstrous melodies. There are hardly any albums out there that have such a sound, not even AD seem to have done something like this in their next consecutive albums. "Behind The Mirror" is an example of Angel Dust brilliance…not a thing wrong with the song and kicks some serious ass!

I have commented on the rhythm team's excellence in other reviews but feel inclined to throw in a word or two here because it really is worthy of praise. The drummer is no Lombardo, but he is so perfect at what he does here, sometimes I just zone out from the rest of the song and simply start focusing on the beats. There is just something about it…there are others who can play faster than him, but not with the complexity that this guy does it. Let's just say he is a faster version of Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy. And he just hammers it on every beat. To top it off, the bass work only adds to this. The two were quite a team! This is most evident on tracks like Centuries, the title song and well….most of the songs here!

Overall a very good album….I can't really say or recommend other Dust CDS over this one as it depends on what you are looking for because apparently, this one is a pretty popular one too. But one thing is for sure, this is a bloody good album! Very catchy, groovy, melodic and powerful but not overly technical music…There are heavier Dust albums out there than this one however.

Enjoy ;)

Other related information on the site
Review: Bleed (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Border Of Reality (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Enlighten The Darkness (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Into The Dark Past (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Into The Dark Past (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Marching for Revenge (Demo) (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Of Human Bondage (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Of Human Bondage (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Interview with Dirk Assmuth (Drums) on July 31, 2004 (Interviewed by 4th Horseman)
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