When Morbid Angel released Illud Divinum Insanus in 2011, reuniting lynchpin Trey Azagthoth with seminal frontman David Vincent, they found themselves on the receiving end of a fanbase-administered kicking the like of which no other extreme metal band has ever seen! People expected a lack of convention, certainly, but when the long awaited ‘I’ album turned out to be a techno-industrial stab at mainstream appeal, the sound of spat-out cornflakes and toys being thrown could be heard worldwide. By the time the record had been given a critical mauling and the ensuing tour started to unravel, Azagthoth virtually needed a proctologist to retrieve that Dean guitar he hoped would become his signature model from his arse, while Vincent was banished from earth to planet Destructos for crimes against fashion.
The band held a dignified silence, even protested that the new material was going over well live and that they could do whatever they wanted, but we knew the truth. They were hurting….bad. The regroup was signposted sharpish, with Azagthoth ejecting everyone from the band – including David Vincent – the man whom for many, made them what they are (or perhaps just were?).
Fast forward to 2017 and the return of Morbid Angel’s ‘other’ vocalist, Steve Tucker. This time Azagthoth was determined to make his band’s output as genre faithful as a pasty Scandinavian dude standing in a crypt wearing spiked leather and holding a BC Rich. Promptly throwing Vincent’s memory under a bus, he and Tucker set off to barf up 2017’s astonishingly average Kingdoms Disdained. Have a good listen to all that stock death metal porridge. Are you happy now? Really?
If you are, stop reading right now and go stand in a graveyard with your hair covering your face. Those remaining, we put it to you that maybe, just maybe, Illud Divinum Insanus is a little unfairly regarded and unjustly derided and maybe other factors affected your opinion of it?!
Keep those minds open. Here we go…..
It Was As Close To The Classic Lineup As We’re Ever Going To Get!
Consider Pete Sandoval. Dude is quite rightly credited with pioneering modern extreme metal drumming, not least because of his expressive fills and accents that tumbled chaotically into outrageous blasts of speed.
But, following various accounts of back surgery, rejoining Terrorizer and finding God (possibly down the back of his sofa) it became increasingly clear around the turn of the decade that he was never going to return to Morbid Angel’s drum stool.
Once you’d got that fact through your face, it was time to focus on the real reason you bought your ticket in the first place and that was to see the classic power-marriage of Azagthoth and Vincent, reunited for the first time since 1995’s lukewarm Domination; that ever entertaining sight of two massive egos banging together like testicles in a wind tunnel!
Now, many metal heads will contest that David Vincent was not the quintessential Morbid Angel frontman, that he was a poseur and lacked the death metal vibe of ‘Mister Charisma’, Steve Tucker. Fair enough, but lets not forget that Tucker’s tenure in the band has yielded just one outstanding album – 1998’s Formulas Fatal to the Flesh – and a couple of thoroughly middling ones.
It’s not like he was the voice and the attitude of three of the greatest death metal records of all time now, is it?