Friday, January 21, 2011

Morbid Angel: What happened?

The other day Sergeant D had an excellent post about Morbid Angel, which got me to wondering just what the hell happened to that band.  I mean really.  I am not going to argue about the technical skills of Pete Sandoval.  Rather, I'll concede that Pete is merely good and not great.  I'll also agree that the talent of that band was Trey.  But I'll also make the argument that Morbid Angel has been pretty mediocre the last few letters.  Let's compare:

This was Morbid Angel arguably at their peak.  Yeah, some people only dig the fast stuff.  But man, this is a song that sticks with you.  And has a pretty unique sound in my opinion.  Domination was pretty good too, maybe not quite as good but to me Covenant was the masterpiece so whatever

Not bad at all.

After David Vincent left albums F-H were pretty boring.  I mean there wasn't one thing bad with them, like the vocals or the solos.  They were just boring.  So why did they get worse?  Was it Pete's fault because he is mediocre?  Was David Vincent so important?  I don't think so.  I think what happened was Trey became a lazy video game junky.

What did I tell you?  Boring.

So why do I think it was the video games?  Well certain things jump out.  Blessed are the Sick was dedicated to Mozart.  By Heretic the thanks list starts "Whiippieee Whaahhoooieee I Want My MOON MEANIE, Girls Can Rail Too, I Melt My Face Off With You".  So yeah.  Aside from shout out to his video game clan in the liner notes, there is this interview

"That type of stuff, my group - my gamning team "The Sailor Scouts" and "Flamebat(!)" and watching it. A lot of stuff I'd watch just to spectate, just watch the game, watch my player's playing while I'd be playing the guitar and watching the game. Some of the stuff came from that."

And if you are intrepid you can dig up all sorts of interviews were Trey talks about how he plays guitar while playing video games, writes music while playing video games, and even records solos while playing video games.  So basically instead of being a hungry musician he is a lazy video gamer that doesn't focus enough attention on the guitar.  So we've had a bunch of boring Morbid Angel albums.

Hopefully we can test this theory, because David Vincent is back and they are recording a new album.  I hope it is good, but I actually bought F-H hoping they would be good too.  I mean look at the cover art to Heretic.  How could it be so flat and boring?  And also why is there no bass on that album?  The last Morbid Angel album came out in 2003 and it is now 2011, so that is plenty of time for mind melting guitars.  Does Trey still have it in him?  Does David Vincent still have the "it" factor?  Will having a different drummer make the band better, as Tim Yeung will be handling the drums on this album?  If not I'll always have Covenant.


Kinda lame cover art, but one of the best death metal albums of all time.


  1. I know it's kind of pathetic, but it actually kind of hurts to know that you will never again hear an album from Morbid Angel like Altars of Madness. Not in the entirety of their lives or ours :(

  2. Decent trolling. Formulas is a classic and you know it.

  3. Hmmm... let's see...

    I think you're onto something there. From where an artist draws inspiration speaks volumes about the final product. Last time I heard from Trey, he was turning into a total hippie that was trying to spread some sort of message of love or some crazy shit like that. A pretty far cry from the Lovecraftian influence of the band's early work. I have no idea where he's gonna draw influence from for the "I" album, but hopefully it contains less material that was composed while fragging n00bz on Xbox Live.

    You have, however, inspired me to dust off the last few MA albums and give them another go. It's weird, though. I can't help but think of it from the POV of the band who keeps plugging away making albums without their classic lineup and once a reunion happens they're all like, "Oh hey, let's just forget those last few albums ever happened." On the plus side, much like Ripper Priest or the majority of Blaze Maiden, if you really didn't care for the material off albums F-H, you're probably not going to hear it played ever again. Then again, if albums F-H were a resounding success, there probably wouldn't be need for a reunion in the first place. Trey's still gotta feed his fam, I guess. It's these sorts of messy situations that make me feel glad I only WRITE about music and don't have to stress out about making it.

    Also, I have no idea where all this animosity towards Pete Sandoval has stemmed from. Sure, I don't hold him on the same pedestal as Steve Asheim from Deicide, but he's always been an adequate enough death metal drummer. Then again, a supercharge of virtuosic ability is almost always a good thing (cue up the clips of Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison drumming for Metallica). I dunno. I'm approaching the "I" album cautiously, but I do really wanna hear it. Like you said, the wait's been long enough.

  4. Now it's 2013. You have heard Illud Divinum Insanus. No one expected that. It still hurts. It will always hurt me. So, I think your case here is kind of blown out of the water. Not that it is your fault. I would have agreed with you if I had read your essay before this "album" came out. Well, maybe 9 years from now our boys will release their "J" album, hopefully which will stand for "Joy - We Are Done Fucking Around, Sorry Everyone" or "Jesus Christ That Sucked. This Is Better". Or maybe "Joke's Over". To all fellow Morbid Angel fans, we shall mourn together.