The Scribbler's September Artist of the Month:
David Vincent - Vocals, Bass
Pete Sandoval - Drums
Richard Brunelle - Guitars
Trey Azagthoth – Guitars
Feind’s Tribute to Morbid Angel
The Scribbler's September Artist of the Month:
As I’ve stated in the past I was a late comer to loving all things death metal. There was a time when I didn’t like any of it. However, I’ve come around in time. Sadly I am still playing catch up which means Cult forces me to listen to more and more all the time, THAT BASTARD! Of course, I don’t actually mind. Where once I didn’t like death metal at all I now can’t get enough. I can’t tell you when or how I finally came around because honestly I just don’t know. Perhaps it was just repeated listens that finally hooked me as there is so much out there now and a few metal news sites I visit regularly highlight a ton of it. Also I came to death metal in a period of my life when I was extremely angry as it seemed everything was just turning to shit. Death metal was a release but in the process I came to love it and now I honestly can’t get enough. So much for mellowing with age because the older I get the more extreme music I seem to like.
Another month gone Scribbler Fans so it’s time to move on from Pantera to September’s AotM. After careful consideration and much thought (Believe that I have a bridge for sale! Interested?) and thanks to Hate Storm Annihilation’s fantastic drummer Konstantin for forcing the issue, The Scribblers had no choice but to make Morbid Angel this month’s SKULLFUCKED Artist! Admittedly this one is a bit more difficult for me but I’ll do my bloody best to highlight these death metal legends! So strap in Scribbler Fans this could be a bumpy perilous ride…
With all of that said I’m sure my little tribute to Morbid Angel will be far different than my Scribblin partner’s tribute because we are coming at it from two very different angles. Cult has been a death metal fan for years while I’m still playing catch up only having come around finally about ten years ago. Ten years may seem like a long time to anyone out there reading this who is still perhaps in their teens or twenties but believe me when you’re playing catch up on 30 years of death metal while keeping up with everything new, ten years flies by and there is still much out there that I have yet to hear. Doing a write up on Morbid Angel is much like my review of Disincarnate (also at my wonderful Scribblin partner’s suggestion) with my real fear being that I will do a piss poor job as I’m still rediscovering much of Morbid Angel’s long and illustrious career. While it appears they didn’t win any fans with their last album, Illud Divinum Insanus, in 2011 it is their early work that I first heard and fell in love with about 20 years after the fact.
Zombie Ritual just because I love it!
Regardless of their last album being widely considered their worst nothing can change the fact that Morbid Angel were and still are one of the most influential bands in death metal history right up there with Death themselves. David Vincent was among the first to bring the “cookie monster” vocals that have defined death metal ever since. They’ve provided several classics over their 20+ year career and hopefully there is much more to come but even if not, Morbid Angel will always live in death metal infamy. I’ll never forget hearing them for the first time, again forgive me as I was a late comer, with the video that first caught my attention for God of Emptiness.
That was my first introduction to Morbid Angel but it wasn’t until several years later still that I really got into them. In my attempts to play catch up once I caught death metal fever I picked up several of their early albums, the classics Blessed Are The Sick and Covenant being among them but one album in particular is my all time favorite and still one of my favorites today. I’m listening to it again as I write this and it still stands out as being just fucking awesome from start to finish. It all starts with the album art done by Dan Seagrave and then the album, My Fucking Satan how good it is!
Altars of Madness truly stands as a pillar of the wide world of death metal to this day. The music has a thrashy feel to it reminding me of the Slayer classic Hell Awaits but where Slayer stayed on the thrash side Morbid Angel created an iconic death metal classic. Hell Awaits very easily could have turned Slayerinto a pure death metal band with its dark themes of death and hell but they chose to stay thrash releasing the iconic Reign In Blood a couple years later. However to deny Hell Awaits influence on death metal would be foolish and I can hear its influence sprinkled throughout Altars of Madness. King and Hanneman (RIP) are possibly the most dynamic and influential guitar duo in all of metal history and you can clearly hear their influence in Brunelle and Azagthoth’s playing on Altars without being ripoffs either. I’m sure they can site numerous other influences but when I listen to Altars of Madness I can’t help thinking to myself that it’s really a deathified (I think I just created a new word there!) version of Hell Awaits, I definitely don’t think of that as a bad thing as I love both of these albums individually. Make no mistake, I’m not calling Altars of Madness a Hell Awaits ripoff or anything it’s just that when I listen to it I’m reminded of that Slayer classic.
Slayer's First Love Ballad!
From the opening track, Immortal Rites, Morbid Angel had me hooked once I finally saw the light… or would that be darkness? It is a true Morbid Angel classic and sets the tone for AoM that Morbid Angel pleasantly maintains through the following nine tracks. Suffocation continues to bring the heavy and you start to feel like your neck may not survive the onslaught of the full album. Seriously if this one doesn’t get your head bangin’ so hard it about pops off your damn shoulders then not much will.
Altars of Madness just keeps bringing the neck breaking tracks that make it truly live up to its title because listening to this album cranked to full volume very well may drive you fucking mad! There are no stinkers or throw away tracks in this 10 song death metal masterpiece. It’s dark, it’s blasphemous and it’s heavy as fuck still standing the test of time against anything being done today. The classic Chapel of Ghouls is another that really stands out to this Scribbler as one of my favorites but I find listening to AoM there are no tracks I skip over which is rare for any album. Listening to it as I write this Evil Spells has drawn to a close and I am compelled to start it all over again as I hope anyone listening here will as well.
Morbid Angel went on to provide many more perfectly awesome death metal classics but for me if they had never made another album they would still be a highly influential band based solely on Altars of Madness. Yes, Old Man Feind says it’s that damn good! Then as I mentioned earlier there is that artwork too! Holy Fuck man! I’m a bit of a sucker for art like that which I can just stare at for hours on end. Once again the artist, Dan Seagrave, is to be commended.
So I think that’s about all I have for you Scribbler Fans. Morbid Angel are without a doubt one of the most influential bands in metal. They are true icons of death metal with several albums that certainly could be pointed at as being great. For me Altars of Madness has been my favorite since the first time I heard it and it was my first Morbid Angel album albeit many years after its original release. I may have shown up at the party late but as I heard someone say once, “Its never too late to discover a band for the first time.” Very true words. Chuck Schuldiner of Death died over a decade ago yet kids continue to discover Death for the first time. Music is timeless, once it’s out there it will always be there for someone to discover and love as long as there are people left in this world. Altars of Madness is a must own for any lover of death metal/extreme music IMO. If you could only own one Morbid Angel album this is the one I would proudly suggest but hey, that’s why Cult and I do this.
It may have taken me awhile to discover it but there can be no doubt that Altars of Madness most definitely left Old Man Feind completely SKULLFUCKED! My only hope is that it did the same for you. Until next month when Old Man Feind pulls something dark and sinister from the old archives, go discover more great Morbid Angel albums especially Blessed Are The Sick or Covenant. Hell, if you have a suggestion for October feel free to share it with us, who knows we may agree.
Almost like the 80s again... Wait! NOOOOOO!!!!!
So there you have The Scribblers complete Morbid Angel Tributes. You know you like mine better than Cult's so go ahead and sing my praises in the comments below!