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Morbid Angel question.

Morbid Angel question.
January 23, 2009, 02:07:33 PM
Morbid Angel was the first real band that got me into death metal, and I was always curious as how the fuck did they blow so hard on the album dominate? It's like they went backwards. I know David Vincent left to join his wife shitty band, but he was still with Morbid when they made dominate. Can anyone explain what they were trying to do?

Re: Morbid Angel question.
January 23, 2009, 07:03:32 PM
 A lot of people here will tell you that they sold out. I agree that they sold out some, but I also think that they wanted to play something completely different to what they had played, which isn't always selling out. Altars was straight ahead aggresion, Blessed was more concept-based, with many different moods, and Covenant was somewhat a return to Altars, with a more direct response. With Domination, they decided to go very heavy metal-based with a focus on melody. I think the problem I have with Domination is that they lost their fire. The album has little to no aggression. I think the style of Domination lends itself to relaxation, and it shows in not only the tempo, but in the dynamics as well. It's definitely their worst album to date, yes, even worse than Heretic.

It's no wonder that they went completely the opposite direction with Formulas, which is probably their most aggressive album.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
January 24, 2009, 10:35:55 PM
A lot of people here will tell you that they sold out. I agree that they sold out some,

I disagree. Selling out generally implies changing style for the sake of commercial sucess. This is a death metal band we are talking about here. I may be wrong, but i dont think many people in the world know of Morbid Angel. I truely believe that those men belive that dath metal fans enjoysongs such as "where the slime live".

Re: Morbid Angel question.
January 25, 2009, 07:43:23 PM
There was an explosion in the groove sound at the time, starting with Biohazard, Pantera (a shining beacon for this style), Helmet and Metallica's s/t early on and the more "Sabbathy" but still groovy bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, later bringing in Machine Head and Fear Factory around 1994. Let's not forget that Korn also released their successful debut the same year (a fateful album for Sepultura's career) and Earache had worked out a deal that signed Morbid Angel to Giant records, a Warner Brothers subsidiary; many other bands on Earache were in similar situations, being shifted to larger labels. This doesn't mean that the band pursued monetary gain or styled their album because of label pressures or something. I think Morbid Angel are an honest band, but maybe they were sensitive to what was going around them, were exposed to these new sounds and even subconsciously or willingly were influenced by them. Personally, I don't think Domination was an intentional sell-out album, just one that had those characteristics.

Also, Morbid Angel is one of the two most popular Death Metal bands in the world, the other being Death. The music biz climate at the time was that Death Metal was this "next big thing" that nobody had heard anything like before, people were intrigued by it, John Peel was giving exposure to it and execs wanted to cash in on it. Large labels like Sony got in on the game (guess where Carcass was signed during Heartwork?). I guess it wasn't as clear then as it is now that "Death Metal is an underground musical form".

Re: Morbid Angel question.
January 27, 2009, 07:11:36 AM
It's hard for us to look backward and realize at the time that death metal was a developing phenomenon.

As of Covenant, Morbid Angel had no older material left in any sizable amount.

They thought they should pick a new style, and then saw how Pantera had shot to the top of the charts and figured they could do that, too.

I think it's clear they were in some denial, and history records there were personnel issues, which are evident because their notoriously good quality control did not notice what a turd of an album they were releasing.

To some degree, I think David Vincent hoped the album would unite metal, National Socialism, Satanism, and realism into a new movement, so was writing to pander to the crowd.

Regardless, that album is a pile.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
January 27, 2009, 08:42:43 PM
I always thought "Hatework" was sort of an ironic bright spot on that album though - they should have tried more along those experimental lines and stayed well clear of the indirect Panteraisms.

FWIW, and I believe I'm in the minority here, I thought the creative spark was already losing its luster on Covenant. While it is surely a strong album on many levels, it just never moved me the way the first two did. And then there's that dreadful snaredrum sound...


Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 04, 2009, 10:52:47 AM
I don't consider it to be a horrible album, but it was definetly a regression for Morbid Angel. A regression that has been present since Covenant IMO. Domination had some decent tracks on it, it also had it's shitty uninspired tracks as well. I do think it's better than any album to come after it as I despise any album with Steve Tucker on it.

Is Domination as good as Altars or Blessed? Fuck no! But it is not as bad as many people have made it out to be. Domination is far superior to anything Pantera ever released(that isn't saying much obviously), despite some of that shit bands influences on that album.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 04, 2009, 02:23:53 PM
...as I despise any album with Steve Tucker on it.

Have you ever given " Formulas Fatal To The Flesh" a spin? I don't much care for post-Vincent MA either, but that is a pretty solid listen I think.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 05, 2009, 08:18:11 AM
...as I despise any album with Steve Tucker on it.

Have you ever given " Formulas Fatal To The Flesh" a spin? I don't much care for post-Vincent MA either, but that is a pretty solid listen I think.

I have a cd-r of Formulas, the only tracks that I liked off that album were "Invocation Of The Continual One" which was actually a song that was written during the Mike Browning-era, go figure. The other being Covenant Of Death. The rest the album seemed generic to me, probably due to Steve Tucker's generic vocals. It seems MA were going the brutal-death direction on that album which made it sound more dull & was mostly lacking the evil atmosphere that made MA so godly on Altars & Blessed. Only one the 2 previously mentioned tracks off Formulas have the signature MA vibe. The re-recording of Hellspawn:The Rebirth is terrible. The original version of Hellspawn off Abominations... is far superior.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 05, 2009, 08:57:28 AM
"Formulas..." really needs a better singer and a production style that isn't so clean and lifeless.

The compositions themselves are solid, but the two above factors totally suck the life out of it.

The instrumental tracks also hurt the album by breaking up the flow instead of helping it, like they do on "Blessed are the Sick."

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 05, 2009, 09:20:41 AM
"Formulas..." really needs a better singer and a production style that isn't so clean and lifeless.

The compositions themselves are solid, but the two above factors totally suck the life out of it.

The instrumental tracks also hurt the album by breaking up the flow instead of helping it, like they do on "Blessed are the Sick."

Very true.

If David Vincent had done vocals on that album & if the production wasn't so fuckin' lame it would have been a decent album. The instrumental tracks on Formulas were very unessesary & only hindered the album even more.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 05, 2009, 09:57:12 PM
"Formulas..." really needs a better singer and a production style that isn't so clean and lifeless.

The compositions themselves are solid, but the two above factors totally suck the life out of it.

The instrumental tracks also hurt the album by breaking up the flow instead of helping it, like they do on "Blessed are the Sick."

Very true.

If David Vincent had done vocals on that album & if the production wasn't so fuckin' lame it would have been a decent album. The instrumental tracks on Formulas were very unessesary & only hindered the album even more.
I think by the point of Domination, David Vincent had already lost it. Have you heard his singing now? It's absolutely horrible.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 05, 2009, 11:23:05 PM
"Formulas..." really needs a better singer and a production style that isn't so clean and lifeless.
The compositions themselves are solid, but the two above factors totally suck the life out of it.

True enough on both counts. Good production, however, has never been a Morbid Angel strongpoint, (Altars is best I believe). Even on the generally brilliant "Blessed..." that dry, sterile mix has always left something to be desired. Covenant's production isn't terrific either, complete with a snaredrum that sounds like a bag of potato-chips with a mic on them! That lifeless(an excellent word for it btw) production has haunted them nearly their whole career to my ear...which is a damned shame.   

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 06, 2009, 02:41:13 AM
I always thought there was some point to those weird production choices, like they had listened to lots of Laibach and then decided they want some cold weird Gigerian/Lovecraftian soundscape painting. Not that they always succeed but... it's a band very much about building atmospheres.

Re: Morbid Angel question.
February 06, 2009, 02:57:11 AM
I always thought there was some point to those weird production choices, like they had listened to lots of Laibach and then decided they want some cold weird Gigerian/Lovecraftian soundscape painting. Not that they always succeed but... it's a band very much about building atmospheres.

That's entirely possible - but I'm quite sceptical about it given the infamous Morrissound reputation for draining the vitality out of quite a few otherwise fine Metal works production-wise(though this wouldn't explain Covenant). I find that the atmosphere is more a result of Trey's unorthodox riff structuring, dissonant chordage, etc., than the production. I should make clear(for whatever its worth), I prefer a full, powerful mix as opposed to the supposedly "grim" stylings employed by various Black Metal  and some DM bands, but it must be done without strangling and neutering the music's natural power and vigor. That is just a personal preference though...