Filter made tentative inroads toward age-appropriate rock on 2008’s politically charged Anthems for the Damned but they throw all that maturity out the window on their 2010 sequel, The Trouble with Angels. A full-blown return to the grinding ‘90s, The Trouble with Angels is all brickwalled guitars and vaguely menacing melodies supported by industrial rhythms given brawn by real drums. The real drums are a key here: the band doesn’t sound as sequenced and hemmed-in as it did in the past; there’s a messy, urgent pulse to the music. All the same, Trouble isn’t that far removed from Short Bus: Richard Patrick hints as much by opening the album with “The Inevitable Relapse,” a winking nod that this album is a slide back to the unfettered angst of 1995. The beat is bigger, the riffs are louder, but the song essentially remains the same.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine