MORBID ANGEL

Death Metal • United States
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Morbid Angel is an American death metal band from Tampa, Florida. The band formed as Ice and then as Heretic, before settling on the name Morbid Angel in 1984. The band is known as being one of the pioneers of the death metal genre, along with bands such as Possessed and Death. The band recorded their debut studio album, Abominations of Desolation, in 1986 though it went unreleased until 1991. Guitarist Trey Azagthoth also considers it to be a demo rather than an album. Because of this, Altars of Madness from 1989 is typically seen as their proper debut. Morbid Angel was the first death metal band to get signed to a major label, with 1993's Covenant being released under Giant Records, in association with Warner Brothers Records. This helped propel the band's popularity, with music videos from the album being featured on MTV's Beavis and Butthead as well as read more...
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MORBID ANGEL Discography

MORBID ANGEL albums / top albums

MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness album cover 4.35 | 63 ratings
Altars of Madness
Death Metal 1989
MORBID ANGEL Blessed Are the Sick album cover 4.18 | 58 ratings
Blessed Are the Sick
Death Metal 1991
MORBID ANGEL Covenant album cover 4.39 | 49 ratings
Covenant
Death Metal 1993
MORBID ANGEL Domination album cover 4.28 | 44 ratings
Domination
Death Metal 1995
MORBID ANGEL Formulas Fatal to the Flesh album cover 3.69 | 27 ratings
Formulas Fatal to the Flesh
Death Metal 1998
MORBID ANGEL Gateways to Annihilation album cover 3.98 | 27 ratings
Gateways to Annihilation
Death Metal 2000
MORBID ANGEL Heretic album cover 3.08 | 19 ratings
Heretic
Death Metal 2003
MORBID ANGEL Illud Divinum Insanus album cover 1.85 | 33 ratings
Illud Divinum Insanus
Death Metal 2011
MORBID ANGEL Kingdoms Disdained album cover 3.62 | 13 ratings
Kingdoms Disdained
Death Metal 2017

MORBID ANGEL EPs & splits

MORBID ANGEL Laibach Remixes album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Laibach Remixes
Death Metal 1994
MORBID ANGEL Nevermore album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nevermore
Death Metal 2011

MORBID ANGEL live albums

MORBID ANGEL Entangled in Chaos album cover 3.05 | 6 ratings
Entangled in Chaos
Death Metal 1996
MORBID ANGEL Juvenilia album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Juvenilia
Death Metal 2015

MORBID ANGEL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MORBID ANGEL Bleed for the Devil album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Bleed for the Devil
Death Metal 1986
MORBID ANGEL Total Hideous Death album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Total Hideous Death
Death Metal 1986
MORBID ANGEL Scream Forth Blasphemies album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Scream Forth Blasphemies
Death Metal 1986
MORBID ANGEL Thy Kingdom Come album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Thy Kingdom Come
Death Metal 1987
MORBID ANGEL Abominations of Desolation album cover 3.32 | 13 ratings
Abominations of Desolation
Death Metal 1991

MORBID ANGEL re-issues & compilations

MORBID ANGEL Love of Lava album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love of Lava
Death Metal 1999
MORBID ANGEL Illud Divinum Insanus – The Remixes album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Illud Divinum Insanus – The Remixes
Industrial Metal 2012
MORBID ANGEL The Best of Morbid Angel album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Morbid Angel
Death Metal 2016

MORBID ANGEL singles (0)

MORBID ANGEL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MORBID ANGEL Reviews

MORBID ANGEL Heretic

Album · 2003 · Death Metal
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"Heretic" is the seventh full-length studio album by US, Florida based death metal act Morbid Angel. The album was released through Earache Records in September 2003. It´s the successor to "Gateways to Annihilation" from 2000 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Erik Rutan once again jumped ship, leaving Morbid Angel a three-piece consisting of Steve Tucker (Lead vocals, bass), Trey Azagthoth (guitars), and Pete Sandoval (drums).

Morbid Angel have always been boundary seeking, unconventional, and adventurous in their approach to writing and playing death metal, and the material on "Heretic" continues down that road. The tracks are generally challenging on the ears, featuring complex structures, frequent rhythm changes, avant gardish guitar solos, and unconventional chords and harmonies (dissonances). Tucker has a commanding growling delivery, but occasionally also performs higher pitched snarling vocals. The latter vocal style is heard on a track like "Stricken Arise".

"Heretic" is an oddly constructed album as it features no less than 44 tracks. Most of them are short silent tracks (from track 15 and onwards), but there are some longer ambient tracks among the closing tracks of the album. Neither the silent tracks nor the longer ambient tracks do anything good for the album. The decision to place the two ambient instrumental tracks "Place of Many Deaths" and "Abyssous" as track number 7 and 8 also feels a bit wrong as they end up disrupting the flow of the album. The "regular" death metal tracks on the album may be original in sound and style, and highly adventuruos in nature, but there is a serious lack of catchiness and memorable moments throughout the album. "Stricken Arise" is the only track on the album, which sounds just a little like the first four albums by Morbid Angel (which are arguably their most lauded and memorable releases), as it features a fast-paced blasting rhythm and hook laden vocal parts, but the remaining tracks are a rather difficult and uninviting listen.

This is the sound of a band who now make music only for themselves and who have more or less forgotten about their fans. They toy with rhythms, timbres, structures, and dissonance, in a way that is probably rewarding for the musicians involved, but not that interesting for death metal fans who crave brutality and aggression from their listening experience. Personally I find this more intellectually rewarding (as a musician) than pleasing on the ears. As an album "Heretic" lacks attitude, passion, and hooks, and while it´s not as such a bad quality release, I can´t give more than a 3 star (60%) rating.

MORBID ANGEL Thy Kingdom Come

Demo · 1987 · Death Metal
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"Thy Kingdom Come" is a demo recording by US, Florida based death metal act Morbid Angel. The demo was released in 1987 on cassette tape with the same three tracks featured on both sides of the tape. 1986 was a busy year for Morbid Angel, releasing a reheasal demo, a live demo, and a studio demo, but also the recording of their debut full-length studio album "Abominations of Desolation" in April 1986. The band were never content with the quality of the recordings on "Abominations of Desolation" though, and the album ended up being shelved and wasn´t released until 1991 as an achive release.

Lineup changes also took place during 1986, as bassist John Ortega left, and drummer/lead vocalist Mike Browning also jumped ship after a fight with guitarist Trey Azagthoth. New drummer on "Thy Kingdom Come" is Wayne Hartsell, and David Vincent, who produced "Abominations of Desolation", took over the lead vocals and the bass duties.

"Thy Kingdom Come" and "Abominations" would be re-recorded and included on the band´s second full-length studio album "Blessed Are The Sick" (1991), while "Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost" would be re-titled "Blasphemy" and re-recorded and included on Morbid Angel´s 1989 debut full-length studio album "Altars of Madness". The demo was recorded in a professional recording studio and it´s audible. At last you get to hear Morbid Angel´s music featuring a decent sound quality (the preceding demos did not exactly feature pristine sounding productions).

The musicianship is on a high level and the tracks feature many tempo changes, and alternative ways of playing thrash/death metal riffs. Vincent only uses his higher pitched snarling vocals on this release. Overall this is a good quality demo recording by Morbid Angel, showing both intriguing songwriting, high level musicianship, and some pretty good production values for a death metal demo from 1987. Definitely worth a listen this one. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

MORBID ANGEL Scream Forth Blasphemies

Demo · 1986 · Death Metal
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"Scream Forth Blasphemies" is a demo recording by US, Florida based death metal act Morbid Angel. The demo was released in 1986 and features four tracks which Morbid Angel had worked on and played live for a couple of years. "Scream Forth Blasphemies" features rehearsal/demo versions of tracks which would be included on "Abominations of Desolation" (the band´s shelved 1986 debut album). This would be the last release to feature drummer/lead vocalist and founding member Mike Browning.

"Scream Forth Blasphemies" opens with "Chapel of Ghouls" which is not a professional studio demo recording, but rather a live in the studio/rehearsal sounding track. The sound changes drastically with "Unholy Blasphemies" though, which features a better sounding production quality. Brownings vocals are also more deep death metal growling on "Unholy Blasphemies" than the higher pitched screaming vocals on "Chapel of Ghouls". We´re back to a less polished sound production on "Abominations" and the higher pitched snarling vocals return. The closing track on the demo is "Hellspawn". A noisy, raw, and fast-paced track.

"Scream Forth Blasphemies" should probably be considered Morbid Angel´s first demo recorded in a studio, although it still has a rehearsal tape quality to it. The two previous demo recordings were both raw and primitive amateur recordings, and while these tracks aren´t exactly professional studio demo quality recordings, this demo does a much better job spreading the message that Morbid Angel has arrived. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

MORBID ANGEL Total Hideous Death

Demo · 1986 · Death Metal
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"Total Hideous Death" is a live demo by US, Florida based death metal act Morbid Angel. The demo was released on cassette tape in June 1986. It features a live show recorded at the Metal Mania Festival on the 25th of May, 1986 at Rock City, Tampa, Florida. An amateur video of the event also exists. While "Total Hideous Death" is an official live demo tape made and released by guitarist Trey Azagthoth, original copies only exists in a very limited number.

The demo features 11 tracks and a total playing time of 41:38 minutes. The show consists of 8 regular tracks and 3 guitar solos. "Maze of Torment" also feautures a drum solo. Morbid Angel plays through early versions of tracks like "Unholy Blasphemies", "Chapel of Ghouls", and "Lord of All Fevers and Plague" with great intensity and skill. Drummer/Lead vocalist Mike Browning has a screaming growling delivery which suits the savage nature of the music well. This is pretty extreme for 1986, with fast-paced sharp guitar work, pounding drums, and blistering screaming leads.

Upon conclusion it´s audible that "Total Hideous Death" is an amateur live demo recording. It´s murky, noisy, and raw, but it´s still charming and authentic, showing an early, energetic, and intense Morbid Angel live show. People watching this show must have thought that it was some of the most extreme music they had ever heard. A 2 - 2.5 star (45%) rating is warranted.

MORBID ANGEL Bleed for the Devil

Demo · 1986 · Death Metal
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"Bleed for the Devil" is a live demo by US, Florida based death metal act Morbid Angel. The demo was released in May 1986 and it´s the first recording released by the band. The demo was recorded live in Tampa, Florida (the group´s hometown). I can´t hear if it´s a live concert recording or just a live in the studio demo recording (a rehearsal demo). There´s some talking and drums counting in, but I don´t think I hear an actual audience, so I´ll go with a guess on the latter.

The demo features five tracks and total playing time of 18:23 minutes. It opens with an early instrumental version of "Bleed for the Devil" which is followed by one of the band´s signature songs "Chapel of Ghouls" (which would be re-recorded and included on their 1989 debut full-length studio album "Altars of Madness"). It´s interesting to hear how little "Chapel of Ghouls" has changed since this early version. "Abominations" follow in an instrumental version (or maybe the vocals are just completely buried in the mix?). It sounds like a completely different song from the "Abominations" track which would eventually appear on Morbid Angel´s second full-length studio album "Blessed Are The Sick" (1991). An eponymously titled instrumental track follows (I think I recognise some of the riffs, so they were probably used on some later recordings) and the demo concludes with "Hellspawn" (which ended up on "Formulas Fatal to the Flesh" (1998)). If "Hellspawn" features vocals, they are again completely drowned in the noisy sound production.

As a historical document of one of the earliest examples of death metal "Bleed for the Devil" is definitely a worthy release, but as an actual enjoyable listening experience there´s some way to go. It´s raw, savage, and noisy, and it´s very hard on the ears. A 2 star (40%) rating is warranted.

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