Morbid Angel are part of the foundation of brutal and technical death metal from the United States. No matter which version of the band it is, guitarist and mastermind Trey Azagthoth brings his best; however, I will not be addressing anything about Illud Divinmum Insanus, for obvious reasons, in this review of their newest release, Kingdoms Disdained.
In this incarnation, bassist and vocalist David Vincent has been replaced with Steve Tucker, and Scott Fuller has joined the band on drums. Erik Rutan produced this album, and he brings back the classic sound we all love. I’m going to come out right now and call this my album of the year, and it will rank right up there with all of the Morbid Angel releases of the past. Yes, I said it. It’s that fucking good!
“Piles of Little Arms” opens the Kingdoms Disdained in a blur of death metal the way it was meant to be. You know right away that this is a refreshed and hungry Morbid Angel, and Tucker’s ferocious barks bring everything back full circle. “D.E.A.D.” continues the pummeling and gets even more frantic, and Azagthoth’s riffs are absolutely flawless. “Garden of Disdain” slows it up a bit and allows Tucker a little room to breathe. Fuller’s drums are incredibly powerful, and he’s a great replacement for former drummers Tim Yeung and Pete Sandoval. “The Righteous Voice” is Morbid Angel doing what they do best, which is playing fast, brutal death metal. Azagthoth’s lead is straight on point and vicious. “Architect and Iconoclast” showcases the Fuller’s talents on drums, and he reminds me of Gene Hoglan. “Paradigms Warped” is my favorite here. It’s slower, heavier, and Tucker’s vocals sound straight from the pit of hell. “The Pillars Crumbling” is another killer, slower, heavier song complete with a stunning Azagthoth solo. “The Fall of Idols” takes you out of the album in blistering, epic fashion. This song sounds like it came of the Alters of Madness or Gateways to Annihilation era with guitar solos that are, once again, perfect.
Kingdoms Disdained is Morbid Angel‘s statement about a world gone wrong, where the gods of yesteryear are awakening and are pissed. You can feel this throughout the album. It’s angry, brutal, fast, and perfect.
Kingdoms Disdained is out December 1 via Silver Lining Music. Buy it here!