Industrial-tinged alt-rock stars-in-waiting Filter are back in the spotlight for the first time in three years with the release of The Amalgamut. Named after the diversity of each American's heritage and the melting pot theory that has defined the US for the past 230-plus years, The Amalgamut takes off musically where the band's sophomore release for Reprise, Title of Record, left off. Huge, searing guitars lines buzz in and out while frontman Richard Patrick snarls in his notable timbre and electronic sounds bubble underneath. "You Walk Away" and "American ClichÈ" are perfect examples of this type of sound, but the album is not solely comprised of heavy duty rockers. Patrick can write a poppier song with some of the best of them, as showcased on "The Only Way (Is The Right Way)" and first single "Where Do We Go From Here." "The Missing" proves that he even pens heart-wrenching ballads that burrow their way inside you. Much of the material seems shaped by the events of September 11, which is prevalent in a number of the albums coming out lately (like Coldplay), which were written in the aftermath of those life-changing events. The Amalgamut, like the subject of its title, combines many different musical forms and styles into a whole that sounds like their best album to date.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN