Angel Dust From Heaven: Reviewing the Melvins Bad Mood Rising

All images courtesy of Discipline PR

By John Siden

The Melvins surprise released their new album Bad Mood Rising on September 30, 2022. No pre-hype or announcements. No early singles either. After a 2021 which saw the release of two albums, Working with God and Five Legged Dog, the Melvins maintained their momentum with this latest album.

Despite having fewer songs than average, Bad Mood Rising is still a full 40-minute album with longer drawn-out material compared to the previous two records. This is the latitude you can have when you have been a consistent band for almost 40 years. You can pretty much do what you want.

As I mentioned, this may not appear to be too long of a record or even an EP at first glance. Despite only having six songs, these are long, fully fleshed-out pieces amounting to an album as long as a ten or twelve-song affair.

Kicking things off is “Mr. Dog is Totally Right,” a fourteen-plus minute epic. Opening with almost tribal-sounding drums for the first two minutes with whispered vocals by Buzz Osbourne, the guitar comes in with a sludgy riff and harmonized vocals. “When he is in full control, don’t tell me I don’t want to know,” Osbourne sings to start the vocals and returns to this refrain throughout.

Osbourne also makes reference to Angel Dust when he sings, “Angel Dust from Heaven, that’s how you acquire death.” I’m unsure if these are random lyrics or have something more profound to say, but it’s interesting. “Mr. Dog is Totally Right” is an impressive track, in my opinion. Heavy with a driving riff, frequently venturing off into solos throughout. It’s long but never tiresome.

This leads us to track two: “Never Say You’re Sorry.” This one keeps the heavy riffage happening, maintaining a similar beat and feel to track one. If you enjoyed “Mr. Dog is Totally Right,” then “Never Say You’re Sorry” will also be right up your alley. It also continues the dark but slightly odd lyrics such as “You want to kill me, don’t insult me.”

All images courtesy of Discipline PR

We keep things rolling with “My Discomfort Is Radiant,” a slightly less heavy track but still some solid guitar. We get a moderately faster beat on this one, with more excellent guitar work. And with around a minute left the Melvins change course, which is a nice little twist.

“It Won’t or It Might” is next; in this album’s context, it is almost a ballad. A little slower but still with lots of excellent guitar work. Buzzo sings a little softer at times, and this one still goes on for over eight minutes, so still fairly epic.

“Hammering” – called the Melvins’ “catchiest track” by Osbourne – almost has a Soundgarden feel. It’s got KimThayil style riffing, but of course, no Chris Cornell vocals. I would think this could have been a single. It seems to have the right sound and length, hitting only slightly over the five-minute mark. Indeed, I believe that “Hammering” might be my favorite song overall on this record.

We wrap things up with “The Receiver and the Empire State.” The band wraps up this one with a shorter track after going long with most of the rest of the record. It’s a good tune, if not as impressive as the rest.

Bad Moon Rising is an excellent record if you want some heavy sludge, almost stoner rock. I had a great guitar tone from Osbourne and a consistent driving beat from Dale Crover. This is my favorite of the last couple of records the Melvins have released.

John Siden (@jake1967) is a contributor for and may be reached at

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