Morbid Angel - Heretic
Earache Records
Death Metal
14 songs (52:40)
Release year: 2003
Morbid Angel, Earache Records
Reviewed by Jeff

Due to popular demand by some of our Metal Reviews readers, here's a review of the latest Morbid Angel album, "Heretic". Enjoy!

Morbid Angel was originally formed out of Florida in 1984. Along with other bands like Death, Deicide and Obituary, they helped push the death metal movement to an extreme level both musically and lyrically. Despite such obstacles over the years as line up changes, different record labels and the ability to keep a steady fan base (due to a falling in and out of popularity because of their style of music), Morbid Angel continued to make music, record albums and tour extensively. To date, they have released eight studio albums, two Ep's and one live album. "Heretic" marks their ninth studio release. The line up consists of Trey Azagthoth (Guitar, Synthesizer Bass, Guitar Synth), Pete Sandoval (Piano, Drums, Keyboards) and Stephen Tucker (Bass, Vocals). It was produced by both Morbid Angel and Juan Gonzalez and mixed by Juan Gonzalez.

For me, Morbid Angel sounds like a mix of old school Death with traits of Slayer, God Dethroned and Six Feet Under. The guitars are de-tuned and have a compressed, muffled sound to them. Some of the guitar solos are off the wall! The drumming is fast with lots of double bass barrages and quick snare patterns; changing speeds frequently like an old lady stepping on a cars gas pedal one minute and hitting the brake the next. The vocals, if one can call them that, are throat irritating and deep. The production is average as is the mix because it's hard to hear what the bass is doing.

Morbid Angel don't really break any new ground with this release. The album starts off strong. The first six tracks are quite good. But the album starts to lose its consistency after that and gets weak towards the end. By weak, I am specifying the change of pace. The later tracks are not bad, and probably belong towards the end of the album anyway. Track 7, "Place of Many Deaths", is a haunting instrumental that has a Nile vibe to it. It's slow and heavy with, with distorted bass synths, people moaning in pain and steady drum stick hits to the hi-hats and ride cymbal. Track 11, "Memories of the Past", is an instrumental with string arrangements and what sounds like a keyboard imitating some kind of guitar plucking, like that of a Chinese instrument. Track 12,"Victorious March Of Reign The Conqueror", is another instrumental that sounds very out of place for a Morbid Angel album. It also has orchestral, symphonic elements to it like strings, brass sounds, marching snares drums, deep kettle/bass drums and piano. Track 13 is just a drum check displaying Pete Sandoval's ability to pound the skins while Track 14, "Born Again", is a guitar solo with some harmonizing effects.

I think most Death Metal fans can stomach this release and still find something they will like about it. It's not the best Morbid Angel album out there but it's better than some other Death Metal albums I've heard recently. I also give Morbid Angel credit for not giving up and continuing to stick around this long in a musical environment that can be just as brutal as the music they play.

 

Killing Songs :
Cleansed In Pestilence (Blade Of Elohim), Enshrined By Grace, Beneath The Hollow, Curse The Flesh, Praise Th Strength, Stricken Arise, God Of Our Own Divinty, Within Thy Enemy
Jeff quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Morbid Angel that we have reviewed:
Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus reviewed by Jake and quoted 86 / 100
Morbid Angel - Entangled In Chaos reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Morbid Angel - Formulas Fatal to the Flesh reviewed by Tony and quoted 84 / 100
Morbid Angel - Domination reviewed by Tony and quoted 81 / 100
Morbid Angel - Covenant reviewed by Goat and quoted 95 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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