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In Words: Angel Dust

- Dirk Thurisch - - Jan. 2002 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Dirk Thurisch
©Angel Dust website

Dirk Thurisch - Jan. 9th 2002 - Essen (D)

A new album of Angel Dust will soon hit the stores it is called Of Human Bondage which is the 4th release after the comeback of Angel Dust. Their past was trash metal, but since they returned with Border Of Reality the band is part of the power metal scene. The release Enlighten The Darkness was the band's climax so far, but than the line-up changed. Something the band suffered from in the past, this time founding member Dirk Assmuth needed a time-out and guitarist Bernd Aufermann left. Singer Dirk explained "Bernd left because he had another musical direction in mind, different to what we wanted. Even when we recorded Enlighten The Darkness we had some arguing about songs. We wanted to get a little straighter and use some simple riffs, but he wanted to show more. We did the album and toured then with Lefay. When we started writing new material we had the same arguing and as the result of it Bernd left the band." In spring 2001 the German power metal band got the chance to tour in the USA with Nevermore, Opeth and God Forbid. "The tour was great, we have already a strong following there. And it was great to tour with Nevermore again" Dirk remembered. But Bernd Aufermann left just 2 weeks before the tour and so it seemed that the Germans had to cancel the tour... "You know, we played a show with Demons & Wizards in Kre­feld in June 2000 and met Ritchie Wilkison there. He was the touring guitarist. After the show in Krefeld Demons & Wizards needed to rehearse. However, they used our rehearsal room and Ritchie became a friend of ours. Before he left he left a note on one of our amps with his address and phone number. So we called him and asked if he could help us out and play the tour." Luckily Ritchie agreed and so Angel Dust had the chance to tour the States. "We had a few rehear­sals before we hit the road and from the first moment it worked out perfectly." To tour the States is impossible for most German bands, but due to the fact that Century Media has their own office in the USA the band has more support there as many others. It was this advantage which gets them on this tour with label mates Nevermore and God Forbid. It seems that the quintet convinced the American fans live on that tour, coz they got invited to play in fall 2001 at the well-known ProgPower festival in Atlanta. Soon after playing in Atlanta, the band wanted to enter the studio. Most of the material was already written when Ritchie Wilkison joined them, but like in the past the songs wasn't finished and so every member could take influence. "Usually Steven and I write the songs and then we finished them in the rehearsal room. Ritchie is an amazing guitarist, but he is more riff-oriented, so the songs are more straight yet." On Of Human Bondage the songs have the typical Angel Dust elements, but the guitar riffing and the slightly simpler structure of the songs gives them a certain power. At the same time the album offers a larger variety. Fast powerful tracks like the tittle track and Inhuman as well as slower, more intense ones like Unreal Soul and Disbeliever make Of Human Bondage the masterpiece of Angel Dust so far. Producer Siggi Bemm is again responsible for the sound of the quintet. "We know Siggi for several years and he knows which sound we want and he also took influence on some songs. He can do every genre, not just metal." Siggi Bemm is known in the metal community for his work with Tiamat, Therion and many others, but he gives every band their individual sound. "In the past we made different experiences.... One producer we worked with used the same sound for every band, for a metal band as well as for a punk band!" But Dirk Thurisch and his mates are around for awhile and know what they want. "We could have used another studio which would have been less expensive, but there we would have had costs for traveling and hotel, etc. The Woodhouse might be more expensive, but it's just around the corner. We feel home there." A good decision. The nine songs offer everything from a slow, partly acoustic song (The Cultman), heavy anthem-like tracks to powerful riffing ones, but the last track is a cover version of Seal's Killer. "I was on the way to rehearsal when I heard this track on radio. A cool song and I told the others about. We all like the song and so we gave it a try" Dirk explains. And the experiment turned out quite good! A heavy riffing track which is close to the original just a lot heavy, but a few parts had to be changed, this changes and the heaviness make this cover fit into the album very well. Also the artwork is different to the previous releases, but still there are the wings of the angel... It was Steven Banx' idea and was realized by Gerald Axelrod. The photo is dark and fits to the dark atmosphere of the album and also represents the title. It seems that a lot changed for Angel Dust and this time turned out for the good. This album can make them big..... The album was finished late 2001, but the band and their record company thought it would be better not to release it before Christmas, there are too many other releases. Due to label politics the release was planned for February 25th then. "We had the offer to tour with Kamelot and Axxis, but due to the release late February it wouldn't have made sense. Beside that we wouldn't have fit into the package musically." Also it would have be the openers slot and Angel Dust are in a position where they no longer have to open for other bands. Now they are looking for a tour late spring, but if there shall be a good offer for the States, they might tour there first and do Europe in fall. But there is more ahead than the release of the album and touring. Singer Dirk Thurisch is working on a solo album! He is working on material for awhile now, thought about recording it earlier, but Angel Dust is and will be his priority. "The songs wouldn't fit to Angel Dust" he explains. I had the chance to listen to two tracks, even if in a demo version, the songs sound quite good. "It's more atmospheric, musically a little bit like the slow atmospheric stuff of Anathema." At the moment it depends on the schedule of Angel Dust when Dirk will find the time to record his solo album, but he'll work again with Siggi Bemm and offered us to do a studio report then. You'll learn more about as soon as there is more to tell. In the meantime I can just recommend to get the album and if you have the chance go and see them at their record release party live in Bochum on February 24th!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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