Angel Dust – Into the Dark Past Review

Ah, the classics. What to say about them. My opinion is that an album doesn’t turn out to be a classic for no reason. If the fan looks a bit hard on a classic the outcome will be the understanding of why the album is classic. A classic is just classic as I use to say. Some albums are classics because they are the pioneers or because they are groundbreakers. Maybe both at the same time. However, there are albums that turn into classics because they grow old very well. They turn out to be references or influences. This is the case of the subject of today’s review Angel Dust with “Into the Dark Past” that was original released in 1986 and is getting a neat re-release via High Roller Records which by the way is re-releasing a lot of oldies but goldies.

Even in 1986 “Into the Dark Past” wasn’t exactly the most original album of the Teotonic invasion that gave birth to remarkable bands and gave shape to two subgenres of Metal; Speed Metal Hell and Thrash. The fan that listens to Angel Dust for the first time here in 2021 will notice a lot of influences and early Slayer is one of them – by the way, check our review on Slayer’s classic debut album “Show no Merci.” I won’t say that the band is the German response to Slayer because it isn’t. Not fair. Angel Dust are much more. To have influences is one thing, to be a copycat is another thing. “Into the Dark Past” may be one of the most relevant Speed Metal albums of all times even if it was released almost out of its best years. Listening to it now showed me that this album may be the bridge between Speed Metal and Extreme Metal due to the velocity of the songs, the vocals, and the lyrical content. The album is incredibly fast. The drums and the guitars are performed with an astonishing speed that even today is hard to beat. Death and Black Metal bands were inspired by all this speed and the straight ahead way of musical approaching. Angel Dust music is tight with no show-offs and flamboyant instrumental passages. The band goes right to it. And that’s a very peculiar way of the Teotonic soul.

Picture yourself, my fan, listening to “I’ll Come back” for the first time in 1986. I did. I had it in a cassete tape recorded from a borrowed LP from I can’t remember  who. It was a true blast. The kind of song that throws you to the walls with the sonic blast attack. The most remarkable moments of the album are with two songs: “Gambler” and its seven minutes full of guitar solos in the form of a duel and vocalist Romme Keymer’s falsettos, and “Atomic Roar” due to its lyrics critizing the nuclear era. Many fans may not understand why I picked this song up because of its lyrics. I’ll elaborate. In the 1980s the fear of a nuclear war was a constant threat in our lives. For many times the world got very near to the final conflict. For many times I seriously though of using the song to write about that time in music.

Angel Dust “Into the Dark Past” will be re-released on June 18th via High Roller Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Into the Dark Past
  2. I’ll Come Back
  3. Legions of Destruction
  4. Gambler
  5. Fighter’s Return
  6. Atomic Roar
  7. Victims of Madness
  8. Marching for Revenge

Watch “Into the Dark Past/I’ll Come” video here: