The Amalgamut (20th Anniversary Edition)
Just over 20 years ago, Richard Patrick released Filter’s third album, The Amalgamut. The album was a triumph and marked the conclusion of a three-album era – which kicked off with 1995’s Short Bus and culminated with 1999’s Title Of Record – that saw Patrick as a leading pioneer of the industrial and alternative rock wave. Now, in celebration of the record’s 20th anniversary, Patrick has released an expanded edition of The Amalgamut, available on vinyl for the first time and featuring the original album along with nine (!) remixes and alternative cuts of the lead single “Where Do We Go From Here”, all of which have never been available digitally.
The Amalgamut, two decades on, remains a classic of the early aughts where the alternative rock of the ‘90s struggled to find its footing among mass commodification within the genre and the rise of hip-hop in the mainstream. On this record, Patrick stays true to the essence of what made Filter great on their previous records while pushing himself to deliver some of his most visceral music to date. With relentlessly heavy tracks like “You Walk Away”, “American Cliché”, and “Where Do We Go From Here” to the soft balladry of “God Damn Me” and “The Missing”, The Amalgamut, while a product of its time, is still an enjoyable album that demonstrated the potential industrial music had to cross over, away from niche appeal.
At this point, the value of The Amalgamut 20th Anniversary Edition sees a divide between super and casual fans. The expanded portion of this reissue solely includes a collection of remixes and alternative cuts of “Where Do We Go From Here”. It is always a cool experience to see multiple directions in which a single piece of music can take, and to imagine how each cut would have fared on the album compared to the original; however, with multiple cuts counting ting in at over seven minutes in length – clearly designed as extended club mixes – this feels incredibly excessive. While I am not typically one for remixes in general, I can appreciate a reissue more if its series of remixes covers a range of different songs rather than focusing on a single track.
Despite this, just having The Amalgamut pressed on vinyl for the first time makes The Amalgamut 20th Anniversary Edition an exciting affair and an effective celebration of Filter’s 2002 release. Between The Amalgamut 20th Anniversary Edition and Patrick having recently announced his first Filter album in seven years, due for release later this year, it is an exciting time to be a Filter fan.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: FILTER – THE AMALGAMUT (20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION)