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Morbid Angel - Formulas Fatal to the Flesh
Review: A massive improvement with a fatal failure that will cause it to not lead anywhere, this album shows guitarist Trey Azagthoth experimenting with previously unknown "studied" modes and scales in his solos and the development of a progressive heavy metal instinct in this band now that, through member changes and necessary administrative/public relations tasks, Azagthoth has become the decision-maker and his initial short list of targets is reduced.
Comfortable now in the ideals of Tony Robbins and ancient Qlippothic mysticism, he and his band wander without a clear direction and so his work becomes strictly musical, with little conceptual unification except the abstract relationship of sounds. In this, Morbid Angel succeed with a potent album: riffs are powerful twists of phrase to render melodic similarity, drums a rigid backbone with concentric ribs, and vocals taughtly on each beat courtesy of newcome Tucker also punching out a faithful stream of eight notes. Songs individually are self-designed and disconnected from other songs, with a rate of incidence of sequencer/noise interludes increasing as the album progresses.
The filler is not as obnoxious as the basic dearth of refinement in these songs, or in much investment into the artistic side of being a musician, but for those who appreciate the pure finesse of guitar the soloing of Azagthoth is as delicious as any guitar album.