MORBID ANGEL - Kingdoms Disdained
December 26, 2017, a year ago
Here’s the comeback album no one expected, Morbid Angel guitarist Trey Azagthoth totally revamping the lineup that created 2011’s not-good Illud Divinum Insanus (one last time: “Too Extreme!”), bringing back vocalist/bassist Steve Tucker and adding new drummer Scott Fuller, who totally kills it here. I mean, one puts this album on with a bit of hesitation after Illud, but opener “Piles Of Little Arms” just totally kills it with classic Morbid Angel death metal sounds, and the excellent “Garden Of Disdain” brings the sludgier tempos, something Morbid Angel do to perfection. And that’s about how long it takes for the listener to realize that Morbid Angel are back here, this album’s production just right, the vibe created second to none in death metal, Morbid Angel just doing everything exactly how we all wanted them to.
“Architect And Iconoclast” threatens to bring some of the groove/not-shocking industrial metal/whatever it was they were doing on Illud, but, thanks to an insane drum performance from Fuller and riffs that just can’t resist but being classic Morbid Angel, stays grinding and heavy. Much of the album is mid-tempo as opposed to grinding and blasting, and even though I start to crave some faster moments around the halfway mark, the atmosphere created by the open space in the band’s slower moments is just undeniable. Every one of these 48 minutes is worth getting to know and spending some time with; like the best Morbid Angel—like the best death metal—they can open up worlds when given your full attention.