Thursday, 7 July 2011

Morbid Angel, Illud Divinum Insanus Review Chill Out Everyone!

The latest Morbid Angel album is out...and the critics are in total agreement.  It's pants!  There are some seriously strong words being thrown around out there.  Words like 'betrayal', 'treason', 'insulting' and 'Metallica's St. Anger'.  Pretty disappointing for a long-awaited album from the death metal gods themselves.  And even worse, considering that it's the album that welcomes back David Vincent.  The uniformity of hatred and bile directed at this album is almost comical.  I must have scanned through around 50 reviews of this album, and found not one positive comment about it.
But is it really that bad?
In a word, kinda.
I'm gonna try and play devil's advocate here, and try to give it a positive review.  Are you ready?
Deep breath...
No, I can't do it.
There are some ok songs on the album.  'Blades for Baal' is furious enough, and old skool Morbid Angel.  It's my call for best track on the album.  I found 'Destructos vs The Earth / Attack' (I'll get onto the subject of song titles in a bit) weirdly compelling, in the same way that a car accident is compelling, horrifying but you can't help yourself sneaking a peek and drinking it in anyway.  'Nevermore' seems to be the 'single' from the album, and it stands out, if only because of the awfulness of some of the other songs on the album. 'Beauty meets Beast' is ok.
But it goes to pieces after that.  'Radicult' is terrible on multiple levels.  It starts like a bad '80s parody.  It continues like a bad Slipknot song, and with 'edgy' lyrics like "Kill a cop-cop kill a cop kill a kill a kill a cop" (yes, folks, it's that bad), it's failure as a song is complete.  The fake crowd chanting over 'I am Morbid' is so bad, that I dare you to resisit the entirely understandable urge to hit 'skip' and listen to the whole thing.  You will never have to prove yourself again.  '10 more dead' forgettable.  In fact, I've forgotten it already again.  And the chanting during the intro and 'Profundis - Mea Culpa' is hard not to snicker at.
Some folk have poured derision over the industrial style synth overlay over the drumming on some songs, probably because they don't like the style.  I don't mind it, and I love the sound achieved by The Berzerker when they do it with Gabba-style hardcore synth over insanely fast drumming.  So I didn't mind that so much when it was used (far less effectively) on this album.
Oh, and the names of stuff on this album?  Guys, put down your Latin dictionaries, please.  'Omni Potens'? 'Existo Vulgore'? 'Profundis - Mea Culpa'? 'Illud Divinum Insanus'?  Well, 'Veni, Vidi, Vomui'.
Oh, and if you're gonna call a song 'Too Extreme!' (yes, with an exclamation mark in the title!), why not go extreme and call it 'Too Extreme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'  Really, come on!
So, worth a listen?  Hell yeah!  Just to hear the most bi-polar album I've heard in terms of quality, and to hear what all the fuss is about.  And I reckon it's better than 'Heretic' anyway.  And 'Abominations of Desolation'.  But at least they have an excuse with that one.
'Age, catamite - fac mihi hunc diem felicissimum'

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