Remembering the suggestion I saw the other day of listening to your favorite band’s full catalog in order, I started today with From Dreams or Angels.
I’ve mostly stopped listening to this album, remembering it as sounding a little dated, but I was digging it today. The guitar’s heavier than a lot of their newer stuff, their industrial roots clearer. Some of the recording sounds a little compressed maybe? The only part that sounds really dated is the opening notes of Breathe — but there’s a nice acoustic version at the end of the album 😉
It’s big on the mystical, world music vibe, with varied instrumentation and beats. I like the voice of the female singer, it suits the moodiness. The album opens with a soft, slightly spooky intro, then revs up quickly. Heavy beats carry through the album, feels very danceable. Favorite tracks on re-listen: The Root of All Evil, Thornes & Brambles, Holy War, Kine.
Thematically, the world described in this album is much more traditional fantasy / magic-themed than their later steampunk albums. None of the lyrics spoke to independence / uniqueness / escaping the rat race, which seems a recurring theme later.
It’s a little horrifying to listen to Holy War, which samples news reports about the war in Afghanistan, and realize that it was only last year we finally brought our troops home, a failed war ending in ignominy and needless death. Twenty years after this album was released.