Revisited: Filter 'The Amalgamut'
On the back of two platinum-selling records (‘Short Bus’ in 1995 and ‘Title of Record’ in 1999), Filter returned with their third album ‘The Amalgamut’ at the end of July, 2002.
Released via Reprise Records, the band’s brainchild Richard Patrick began to move away from the industrial sound of prior efforts- in favour of going in a hard rock/alternative metal direction. Influenced by Patrick’s despair at America’s commercialisation and homogenisation, world issues (especially violence), and his own struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, ‘The Amalgamust’ was a harsh yet openly expressive album which contained plenty of strong anthems.
The two singles underlined the less-industrialised material, firstly ‘Where Do We Go from Here’- which addressed Patrick’s addiction issues, and then the fiery ‘American Cliché’. The album track ‘Columind’ was written in response to the Columbine High School massacre from 1999, and the pulsating ‘So I Quit’ saw Patrick at his most vocally visceral.
Mixed by Ben Grosse and mastered by Bob Ludwig, ‘The Amalgamut’ debuted at 32 on the Billboard 200, but sales stalled before hitting the 100,000 mark after the main promotional tour was scrapped so Patrick could check himself into rehab; so unsurprisingly, Filter’s third album would become their first not to receive platinum certification. ‘My Long Walk to Jail’ was performed live on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the sauntering ‘The Only Way (Is the Wrong Way)’ would be included on the Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life movie soundtrack.
After Patrick completed his stint in rehab, Filter was placed on the backburner due to the formation of Army of Anyone- with Patrick on vocals, Stone Temple Pilots brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo on guitar and bass respectively, and future Korn drummer Ray Luzier, completing the line-up. A self-titled debut album arrived in November, 2006, however Patrick would soon pull the plug on the band and revive Filter- releasing fourth album ‘Anthems for the Damned’ towards the end of 2008.
'The Amalgamut’ would be the last release to feature band members Geno Lenardo (guitar), Frank Cavanagh (bass) and Steven Gillis (drums), as Patrick continued on by largely writing and recording music by himself; however it was a record that, while still including some industrial elements, showed Filter to be just as good at producing rousing hard rock songs- therefore making ‘The Amalgamut’ an underrated gem where record sales didn’t do it justice.
'The Amalgamut' Track Listing-
1. You Walk Away 2. American Cliché 3. Where Do We Go from Here 4. Columind 5. The Missing 6. The Only Way (Is the Wrong Way) 7. My Long Walk to Jail 8. So I Quit 9. God Damn Me 10. It Can Never Be the Same 11. World Today 12. The 4th
Band Line-Up (2002)
Richard Patrick (Vocals, Guitar)
Geno Lenardo (Guitar)
Frank Cavanagh (Bass)
Steven Gillis (Drums)