Saturday, June 4, 2011

Morbid Angel Tries Something New...

...And it fucking sucks.

Read some quotes on the new album by famous death metal musicians:

"No other band in the entire Extreme Metal genre but Morbid Angel would have ever dared to make 'Illud Divinum Insanus'. There are going to be quite a few unimaginative underground purists who think they know better what kind of album Morbid Angel should or should not be putting out, but with 'Illud Divinum Insanus' Trey and David prove that they answer to no one but themselves. It is an incredibly well written, performed, recorded and produced record." - Karl Sanders, NILE

"One of the best death metal releases since their last album with Vincent. I'm not too much into the techno bits but I am a dude who will appreciate and respect bands doing new things, progressing... So it's all good. Vincent's vocals of course are still as good as they come. And the riffs are definitely there, Trey always delivers. New drummer is killer too!" - Mikael Akerfeldt, OPETH

"Morbid Angel still prove they can continue their legacy and deliver their madness with a skill so elite. The metal scene has no choice but to give back the crown to the undisputable kings of death metal! MORBID! MORBID! MORBID!" - Anders 'Blakkheim' Nyström, KATATONIA

Well, those glowing comments might actually mean something if they were from bands who released a good album sometime in the last half-decade. Illud Divinum Insanus leaked a week or so ago and it is pretty much shit. How is it even possible for Morbid Angel, the most consistent and creative death metal band of the progenitors (and easily my favorite), to create something so bad? Bare with me while I try to explain the laziness apparent on Morbid Angel's latest.

Frankly, Illud Divinum Insanus is not a death metal album. From the opener "Too Extreme!" it's pretty apparent that Morbid Angel wanted to experiment with some industrial or electronic elements. That's cool and totally possible to work into a death metal context (see: The Berzerker or The Amenta on Occasus). Instead it's a poorly done Rammstein-soundalike that manages to be less catchy. Trey Azagthoth's normally virtuosic guitarwork is limited to a few power chords while the pounding "unce" of the industrial undertones gives the listener a headache. Coming from someone who normally likes industrial electro, that's saying something.

The tracks progress in a similar fashion, each one reduced to a groove with a few melodic lines and patterns produced over the top of a steady drum beat or industrial beat. "I Am Morbid" is one of the most insipid tracks I've ever heard by a death metal band. It begins with a sample of a crowd chanting "MORBID!" and then after Trey plays a few simple licks, it degenerates into a Pantera-like groove that makes Phil Anselmo and Dimebag look like musical geniuses. There's even an obviously placed hook right after. Granted, David Vincent is older now, but his vocals are utter garbage on this album. Perhaps I hold Morbid Angel  to a higher standard than some other death metal bands, but goddamn there is no excuse for how poorly he belts out "MORBID."

"Destructos Vs. The Earth / Attack" is literally Morbid Angel's attempt at an industrial dance anthem. Vincent once again displays how poorly his voice has aged with his chanting and clean vocals, and much to my disappointment the 7-minute track doesn't exactly improve from the first minute. Then there's fucking Radikult. Jesus christ I don't know what Morbid Angel was thinking, but that song is absolute shit. Stupid brainless chugging riffs, poorly placed palm mutes, and bland drumwork make the (also 7-minute) track seem like a huge, blundering waste of space on the album. Oddly enough "Radikult" has the best solo on the entire album, but even then it's more a showcase of studio effects rather than Trey's guitarwork.

Old Morbid Angel rises to the surface for several seconds on a few tracks like "Blades For Baal," "Nevermore," (released as a single) and "Beauty Meets Beast," but the hallmarks of their success are all but nonexistent on Illud Divinum Insanus. Even those few death metal tracks are seemingly uninspired. It's pretty damn disappointing since it has been an eternity since their last album. Eight years and you produce this piece of shit? What the fuck Morbid Angel.

3.25 out of 10

And I completely understand that doing something different often polarizes fans, but the industrial and electronic elements present on this album really could've been done better. I feel like people will still praise it for what it stands for (a big "fuck you we do what we want" sort of thing), but the music itself is at best a pathetic shadow of former Morbid Angel.

1. Omni Potens
2. Too Extreme!
3. Existo Vulgoré
4. Blades of Baal
5. I Am Morbid
6. 10 More Dead
7. Destructos Vs. the Earth / Attack
8. Nevermore
9. Beauty Meets Beast
10. Radikult
11. Profundis - Mea Culpa

The leak was taken down, sorry guys! Well not really. I just saved you from listening to this garbage.

1 comment:

  1. Never been a huge Morbid Angel fan to begin with, but yeah this album sucks.