May 12, 1989 - 2019: 30 years of: Altars Of Madness.
MORBID ANGEL is one of the originators of the deathmetal genre, with demos dating all the way back to 1986. Legendary unit cut from the VENOM + POSSESSED old-school vibe mold, guitar wizard and visionary Trey Azagthoth single-handedly crafted the world's ultimate evil deathmetal band. And from the ashes of seminal grindcore act TERRORIZER, bassist/singer David Vincent along drummer Pete Sandoval were summoned by the Ancients Ones and joined Azagthoth and second guitarist Richard Brunelle for the release of 1989's genre-defining classic debut: Altars Of Madness !
Unknown to the masses, Florida, land of fun, sunshine and tourism was also the mecca for the most extreme form of music known to man. Other deathmetal pillars from this exploding scene included: DEATH, MASSACRE, ATHEIST, NOCTURNUS, DEICIDE and OBITUARY ...all from the same 1987-89 era ...we dare to ask: "Ma & Pa, what were you feeding these boys ?"
While the thrashmetal expansion was deep past it's 3rd phase, and losing speed at the dawn of the upcoming decade, the quest for new extreme music was set on Death-Metal: the sickest and most gruesome type of music ever assembled ...and then comes MORBID ANGEL, the unholiest band since the mighty SLAYER !
The ritual opens-up with the backward-intro of "Immortal Rites" and right there at that point in time, we know that we are "Gathered for a sacred rite". The heat turns-up on "Suffocation" a vile track displaying Pete Sandoval's commanding drumming. Track #3 "Visions From The Dark Side" is another trend-killer featuring some mind-boggling guitar harmonized-riffing, there's no turning back. The haunting "Chapel Of Ghouls" sets the bar ever higher and cements the band's religious position with it's epic mid-section "Demons attack with hate, Satan in the fire of hell awaits, death against you all, God hear my death call", while the über 2:23sec blast of "Bleed For The Devil" stands as one of deathmetal's fastest and most vicious track.
The LP closes with "Evil Spells" a older re-vamped and updated demo-track that officializes MORBID ANGEL's musical superiority in this rabid scene, yet the center-piece of the album remains the earth-shattering "Maze Of Torment", total majestic brutality, matched with a wicked set of evil-infused lyrics. The hidden-gem, the CD bonus-track "Lord Of All Fevers & Plague" is one of deathmetal's best track, ever. It features demon calling, speedmetal rhythms, dive-bombs leads and a progressive bridge, a unique pattern to this song and a now MORBID ANGEL time-signature.
Granted, deathmetal was never really meant to be Satanic or Christian-hostile, but make no mistake that MORBID ANGEL took it upon themselves that the original VENOM + POSSESSED message gets across to this new crowd ...a heavymetal version of H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon if you will.
Now 30 strong years later it still stands today as one of the genre's most insane release, ever, and just like it's predecessors in VENOM's Welcome To Hell and POSSESSED's Seven Churches ...Altars Of Madness is a fine exhibition of dark, occult and spiritual-themes wrapped in updated aggressive deathmetal with grind-core overtones. The letter "A" stands as the first of the alphabet and also the first in the MORBID-catalog, but it also stands as a new musical beginning for a now entire legion of bands that spawned 3 rich decades of brutality ...thanks Trey !
Iak Sakkakh !!!
Iak Sakkakth !!!
Ia Shaxul !!!
A very special interview in 1989 - merci Laurent Seiter
Live in the UK in 1989
May 22, 1991 - 2021: 30 years of: Blessed Are The Sick.
THE ULTIMATE DEATHMETAL SUPERNOVA !
The year is 1991, the State is Florida and the sound is Death-Metal: the most abominative music on Earth. And from the glorious Class Of '91 dominates the sickest band, the legendary desolate act that kickstarted the genre way, way back from the altar in 1983: Hail Trey Azagthoth, the original angel of disease !
Extremes have always been put to test. From VENOM, to HELLHAMMER / CELTIC FROST, to SLAYER, to POSSESSED, to DEATH and now a classier brutality sets in and initiates a fatal formula for the new face of deathmetal: MORBID ANGEL's Blessed Are The Sick. The animalistism of 1989's all-killers Altars Of Madness LP is still present, yet refined to new height. An ultra modern posh production, courtesy of Tom and Morrisound Studio, where all the instruments clashes into a whirlwind of sophisticated hatred.
The madness starts with the commanding "Fall From Grace", with it's intricate riffing and time-signature and the hyperblast continues with a headshot on "Brainstorm". A frolic into the unknown is offered with the gothic interlude of "Doomsday Celebration" and then instant Armageddon with the short brutal "Day Of Suffering".
Some underground previous material gets entombed with the killings of "Unholy Blasphemies" and the fret-board juggernaut of "Thy Kingdom Come". Like the great works of dual-legends Downing + Tipton, the Azagthoth + Brunelle combination raises the stakes, as displayed on the adventurous 5:54sec epic "The Ancient Ones"
This majestic deathmetal release still stands proud today, 30 years later, as it is the first to feature a full piano piece and a classical-guitar solo piece. Setting new trends and pushing audio-boundaries to the extremes, the Blessed Are The Sick CD is not only the corner-stone in MORBID ANGEL's immovable legacy, but one of the Top 10 All-Time Classics in deathmetal's bloody history.
In concert, some of us were truly blessed into this covenant, like myself, as not only this unit was in it's prime, but also performed a lovely treat: the TERRORIZER classic "Dead Shall Rise" ...as obviously 50% of TERRORIZER were on-stage. This sickness also transcended and spearheaded this newly formed branch of deathmetal: dark-deathmetal.
RIP Richard Brunelle (1964-2019)
Blessed Are The Sick = video
Blessed Are The Sick = full CD
Interview MTV in 1991
Live in 1991
Tales Of The Sick documentary
TOP deathmetal band et TOP deathmetal album.... autant le summum d'un mouvement, que le début de la fin pour ce dernier.
Commercialement, c'est l'album le + vendu, sous une étiquette majeure par le premier band deathmetal à le faire, tout ceci pendant la tornade grunge de 1993
TOTAL RAPTURE !!!
live a Hollywood
May 9, 1995 - 2020: 25 years of: Domination.
The official end of a dominating era.
1995, the last draw for the classic deathmetal era, the year the wheels were falling off: NAPALM DEATH weren't grindin', Chris Barnes was out of CANNIBAL CORPSE, CARCASS were now officially a metallized rocknroll band, OBITUARY had recently released the same album for the 3rd time ...and now this: David Vincent's last MORBID ANGEL collaboration.
The deathmetal-scene had been around since 1987, and like any genre, changes do occur. Musical explorations, scene saturation, fan tiredness and strong competition from Norway's church-burners was full-on 360°. Not to be outdone, MORBID ANGEL's Domination CD, the second and last release for major-label Giant Records, is the most extreme album on their catalog, after 1993's cut-throat attack, the legendary Covenant CD.
One final shot of hate.
"I'm staring at you through the eyes of the wolf - tell me who is going to save you now ?" Vincent proudly shouts aloud on the fast title-track. "Dominate" could be one of the band's best track, ever, as the brutality level hits 666% on cue. After exploring the options of the Ibanez 7-string Universe guitar on 1993's sludgy "God Of Emptiness", this weapon of mass-destruction would now be fully utilized on beheading tracks like "Dawn Of The Angry" and the killing-machine "This Means War"
"Where The Slime Live" is a somewhat attempt to please the casual non-initiated deathmetal fans, the major-label wanted to convert. The mid-paced track and simple verse-chorus-verse and explosive finger-tapping VAN HALEN-ized lead, follows the typical rock-format for an atypical rock-band. Not sell-out, but still catchy, "Slime" did find it's way back into the band's recent setlist. The rock-element is also apparent on "Caesar's Palace", while the closing-track, the enormous "Hatework" displays another eerie side of the band, with uncharted territories, including bell-chimes and timpani drums.
Domination still remains a bold-statement from this legendary band that started this very genre almost a decade ago, with main-writer guitarist and visionaire Trey Azagthoth, still firmly behind the wheel. Yet later on, he would be very critical of the album's sterile production.
The band, minus-Vincent, would later return to their underground roots with new frontman Steve Tucker, as a creative-trio, on the dark onslaught, the raw 1998 Formulas Fatal To The Flesh CD.
Where The Slime Live - video
Live a Montreal le 5 aout 1995
MTV interview in 1996
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