We write the year 1989. A band from California releases an album after which the Metal-world is not like it had been anymore. Such an album never had existed before. The band: FAITH NO MORE, the album: "The Real Thing".
The sheer number of different styles that this band from the Bay Area computed was impressive and in many ways ground-breaking. FAITH NO MORE had been one of the first bands that broke the borders by incorporating elements from other styles into their often bass-dominated music, yet still managing to mark every composition as pure FAITH NO MORE. Due to the variability alone I'll cover each of the tracks, because that is one of the very few ways to really bring this album to you through this review...
The whole thing kicked off with "From Out Of Nowhere", which quickly showed the listener that Metal still was the core of FAITH NO MORE, quite melodic and driving, but with the band's typical pretty unique keyboards and of course Mike Patton's really unique vocals, before offering us the most probably best-known song from FNM, "Epic", some of you will know the video. Here Metal meets Rap-vocals, but not as you know from the hip and trendy acts of the past few months, but really good! Mike Patton mixes his own melodic voice with Rap-verses, then the very catchy music, strong one!
After "Falling To Pieces" more or less followed the tracks of the opener, just less driving, more mid-tempo-oriented, "Surprise! You're Dead!" unleashes hell among you. Short and painful it brings us a mix of Punk-ish attitude, thrashy feeling and FNM! The following "Zombie Eaters" is a difference as between night and day, beginning very bombastic, almost balladesque and emotional, just to pick up the pace in the second half, taking the first part and mixing it into the "typical" FNM-Sound.
The title-track clocks in with more than eight minutes and is an acoustic roller-coaster-ride between emotional and aggressive, but always 100% FAITH NO MORE in between and nothing else, while "Underwater Love" comes over with quite few guitars, very melodic and rather relaxed while "The Morning After" provides us with tons of variability, sometimes only keyboards, bass, some drums and the vocals, then with the whole instrumentarium including heavy guitars, just like most songs this one also is marked by the so very variable voice of Mike Patton, who unmistakeable makes them FAITH NO MORE.
"Woodpecker From Mars" not only is a strange title for a song, no, also the music that it covers is weird without end, an instrumental, which's melodies you could almost call oriental in some places, very original, with lead-keyboard (and really weird melody-lines), sometimes very calm, sometimes pure FAITH NO MORE, highly interesting! After that the Americans pay tribute to the past by transplanting the BLACK SABBATH-classic "War Pigs" into their very own sound, for SAB-fans most likely a sacrilege, but still a very well interpreted version for sure. So, and to round things up FAITH NO MORE lead is into a nightclub-bad, with a piano and an atmosphere that any raunchy bar would be proud of, very relaxed for the end of the album...
If I had to describe this album with one word, "incalculable" would be the one. But despite its so very wide spectrum the album still is cohesive in its very own way and doesn't break away into every direction, a problem that so many comparable acts have (wait a moment, CAN you compare FAITH NO MORE to anyone?).
Not only for the year 1989 a ground-breaking album that paved the way for many sounds that followed, Crossover, Rap Metal etc, without "The Real Thing" all of that would never have happened... A classic!