Whats New

Summoning Redemption – The Three Ages Of Morbid Angel

Summoning redemption by returning to past glories. Is Steve Tucker the man to right recent wrongs?

Reunion With David Vincent – Illud Divinum Insanus To Recent Events

Source // api.ning.com

Source // api.ning.com

In 2008, the near as damn-it classic line up of Vincent, Azagthoth, Sandoval and new guitarist Thor Anders Mythron (who, despite being a grown man, insists on calling himself ‘Destructhor’) pulled back from their touring cycle to enter the studio once more. They had already previewed one track, the competent, if straight-laced “Nevermore” and expectation was high after they inked a deal with Season of Mist Records. But, there were worrying signs when in 2010 it was announced that Sandoval, who had taken time out to undergo back surgery, would be replaced by Tim Yueng on the new album. Eyebrows raised when, following rehabilitation, Sandoval steered clear of Morbid Angel, returning instead to his original band Terrorizer for their comeback album.

When Illud Divinum Insanus finally dropped in 2011, the result was immediate and quite possibly the last thing the band needed. The opening track, “Too Extreme!” as well as “Destructos Vs Earth” and “Profundis – Mea Culpa” all contained techno-influenced riffs over the heavily processed drums which dominated the album. In Decibel magazine, Azagthoth would go so far as to cite the influence of Industrial Hardcore, Speed and Terrorcore. While this controversial approach earned them some positive reviews, including Metal Hammer, the majority of the fans, particularly the old guard, balked. The fan base split, some supporting Vincent’s input and claiming Azagthoth had lost interest in Death Metal and was out of ideas, others assassinating the frontman’s shallow lyrics, inflated ego and sell out commercial tracks such as the universally maligned “Radikult” with its Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson-esque feel.

Morbid Angel, wisely, shrugged off their detractors and ploughed on. They toured extensively, latterly performing Covenant in its entirety alongside a pastiche of other classic material that now including a handful of Tucker-era songs. Having seen the band live in Glasgow in December 2014 we felt their pain as Azagthoth and Vincent both looked tired and disillusioned. Though they played the ass off a wet-dream set list, there was little interaction between them and no encore to a crowd who received them with disheartening coolness. We left the venue wondering if this would be the last we would hear from Morbid Angel, a band who had given so much to metal, only to be met with apathy and misplaced anger.

The silence that followed that tour was deafening. Then on June 15th 2015 Metal Messiah Radio reported that Steve Tucker had returned to Morbid Angel at the behest of Azagthoth with the goal of recording a “full-on death metal album.” Speaking of the collaboration he went on to confirm that songs had already been written. Apparently this was news to David Vincent who took until the 19th June to confirm that he had spoken with Azagthoth and as a result of “incompatibilities with regards us working together”, he was departing the band he helped define. He concluded by encouraging fans “not to take sides.” Within a few days both drummer Yueng and second guitarist Mythron would depart for pastures new.

To the latter; good riddance. Wait, did we say that out loud?

With that we wait eagerly for more news from the Morbid Angel camp. Will the fan reaction to Illud Divinum Insanus goad the band into re-treading their past successes or will it galvanize their desire to cut their own path more than ever? Either way, is Steve Tucker really the man to save not just their legacy, but their future as well?

Fact is; we aren’t scared. This is Trey Azagthoth we’re talking about, one of the greatest innovators Death Metal has ever burped up and as sure as we are that his native Florida is as hot and wet as unholy fuck, we are not ruling him out yet. No, not by a long shot!

About Stuart Bell (55 Articles)
I was born in 1975 with a pile of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple vinyl next to my cot. I ate off a sheet of ply-board propped up between two Marshall cabs and shortly after I learned to read and write I learned the E minor chord and the pentatonic scale. One day my Dad bought me Iron Maiden's first album. Metallica's Ride the Lightning followed. Then, things got serious. I have held almost every rank in the Army of Heavy Metal: Fan, drunk fan, roadie, guitarist, producer and label scout. My Wife knows what Mastodon's Crack The Skye is about and my child can play Breaking the Law on piano. Go figure.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.