Liers in Wait – Spiritually Uncontrolled Art (1992)

liers in wait spiritually uncontrolled art og cover

Article by Lance Viggiano

Liers In Wait cast chains of non-random riffs in the legato style of metal pioneered by Morbid Angel to no effective artistic purpose. Spiritually Uncontrolled Art comprised of rationally woven re-contextualization of familiar death metal patterns which never manage to take on a distinct character as individual tracks. The album as a whole doesn’t begin to approach a definable emotive personality because the subject of this work is the personality of the composer: a master of phrasing with an encyclopedic knowledge of metal so adept in his craft that self-editing would diminish the efficacy of his work. These streams of coherent yet cold consciousness are hewn to Necrolord’s own sense of bravado; made concrete by a vocal delivery that proffers dominance rather than dread.

This is neither music for music’s sake nor music for the sake of expressing a transcendental idea. It is entirely about the composer’s ability to write coherent music out of the first thing that comes to mind – a mind that is very much a wellspring. In some ways this album is analogous to Eighties shred which existed as a pure demonstration of superiority over its contemporaries by parasitizing familiar content that was then latticed to the listener through overly sentimental melodic hooks. Antithetically, Necrolord eschews hooks entirely as they would constitute breaks and disruptions in the stream by deploying recognizable moments and thereby give the impression of emphasizing the better material, and consequently highlighting the lesser ideas of which there are none to be found. Conceptually this seizes the middle ground between tuneless noise and the summa cum laude of ten-mile-long cock rock.

Lasting impressions, significance and meaning is for the sensitive feminine types, not the fucking overlord. In this sense, Liers in Wait is a resounding success. Those lamenting the fact that this music does not “Do something” gravely miss its point.

Good Friday Crucifixion Playlist

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Billions celebrate Constantine’s syncretic solar deity’s crucifixion by eating fish today. Here’s a playlist of seven classic speed and death metal songs to contemplate this excruciating Roman suffocation method:

Mithras releases upcoming track from On Strange Loops

While I wait for a review of Sarpanitum’s Blessed Be My Brothers to make its way through the review queue, another Leon Macey project is making its way towards fruition. Mithras is an approximate descendant of Steve Tucker era Morbid Angel that presumably gets most of its media attention for throwing in some occasional melodic and muddy atmospheric sections. The upcoming On Strange Loops is the first new material from this band since their 2011 EP Time Never Lasts. Today’s track sounds about like what you’d expect from Mithras, which should make extrapolating whether you’re going to be interested in this band a trivial task.

Reissue Radar: Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness (1989)

altars of madness

Earache Records is doing another one of their brief, ultra-limited record sales. This time, they are releasing Morbid Angel’s classic Altars of Madness on vinyl; they claim that this release will be one of their “Full Dynamic Range” remasters, which purport to not be afflicted by the brickwalling that took over popular music with the advent of digital recording. Needless to say, this is certainly a classic of death metal, although many on DMU prefer the versions of the songs here that appeared on Abominations of Desolation. Anyone who isn’t fortunate enough to grab this vinyl and wants a version of this album with improved dynamic range regardless will probably have to scrounge up some cash for an original pressing.

David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel) experimenting with country music

While Morbid Angel resolves its lineup issues and recovers from the public relations fiasco that was Illud Divinum Insanus, David Vincent is exploring a musical interest that until recently must’ve been churning under the surface. So far, Vincent’s excursions into country music have happened alongside Danny B. Harvey (who also performed in The Head Cat alongside the recently deceased Lemmy Kilmister), and besides the performance in this video he’s also penned an original song (“Buyer Beware”). So far, his contributions to that genre seem to be reasonably competent, but I don’t know enough about country to adequately judge this. Furthermore, David Vincent isn’t the first metal musician to make the crossover; Jeffrey Walker’s Welcome to Carcass Country comes to mind.

Deadhead Fanzine #6 out now

Several copies of Deadhead Fanzine #6 stacked on top of each other
Afterlife Productions has recently released the latest issue of Deadhead Fanzine. This Malaysian label (calling themselves “Asia’s last stand for conservative metal literature”) has compiled an substantial quantity of metal literature into a package that’s apparently more like a paperback book than a simple magazine. Besides the usual reviews, articles, and etc, the major selling point is likely the dozens of included interviews with both well known and more underground metal bands. Morbid Angel headlines, with former members Mike Browning and Richard Brunelle talking about the band’s earliest days, and the latter also makes his way to the front cover. Deadhead Fanzine 6.66 also understandably devotes some space to Malaysian underground metal in particular, featuring interviews with bands from all over the country. The sheer quantity of content here could make it a very tempting purchase, and it is available from Afterlife’s website.

Morbid Angel – Entangled In Chaos (1996)

Morbid Angel - Entangled In Chaos (1996)

With Earache Records promising us a re-release of this live album on vinyl in October, and an otherwise quiet week of upcoming relevant releases, I thought it might be a good idea to give this a more detailed look. Live albums are fundamentally interesting on a few levels – their attempts to capture something of the experience of a concert, their value as documentation of a period in a band’s career, the chance to possibly hear reinterpretations of favored songs, and so forth. Entangled in Chaos came out at the tail end of Morbid Angel’s commercial golden age and before the band tried to reinvent itself with Formulas Fatal to the Flesh. The product is low on references to the previously banal Domination for whatever reason, although whether that’s due to timing or creative reasons is beyond my knowledge.

These rerecordings end up more polished and standardized than the originals for the second time in MA’s discography, as the long holdovers from 1986 already got the Lemon Pledge treatment when they first entered the studios. Sometimes, the end results are rather stripped down; for obvious reasons studio adornments aren’t available, and Trey Azagthoth’s guitar solos are consistently altered from their original forms. Hearing the band’s earliest material with a production closer to Covenant or Domination is mildly interesting, to say the least, although the concessions to a live environment often cost these tracks some of their power and more musically interesting aspects. The performances are otherwise faithful to a fault, as such strict reproductions leave little room for reinterpretation… with the caveat that this is difficult to do successfully in a metal context and in this case might’ve resulted in an undesirable Domination II or similar.

There are not very many essential live albums in the realm of metal, and you can probably do without Entangled in Chaos in most cases. If you absolutely need to hear Morbid Angel playing relatively faithful but not particularly passionate renditions of their first era or are otherwise a collector, though, this rerelease may be to your tastes.

Erik Rutan and Steve Tucker Issue Warfather Album Studio Update

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Warfather has issued a studio update on the progress of the band’s as-of-yet-untitled sophomore album. Rhythm guitars, drums and bass tracks are completed. Vocals should be finished soon.

Warfather ‘s Steve Tucker (Morbid Angel) had this to say about the album’s progress:

“Working with Erik Rutan on this record is both an honor and an amazing experience. Erik knows death metal better than any producer or engineer on this planet! He knows how to get the best performance out of everyone who steps through Mana Recording studios’ doors. A true professional and a Legend!”

Producer Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel) added:

“Recording with Steve and the guys on the new Warfather album has been fantastic! It has been a blast to be working on this monster album in the studio once again with my great friend and former band mate. The songs are heavy as hell and just outright awesome. We have some great tones and performances and I’m really excited about the whole process. We have just finished all the drums, bass and rhythm guitars. The massive foundation has been formulated. Now it is time to start vocals and solos and onward to the mix!”

www.facebook.com/pages/WarFather/240931366011521

Review of Warfather’s Orchestrating the Apocalypse

David Vincent leaves Morbid Angel

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On the heels of much conjecture, and his own denials that an expulsion had taken place, David Vincent has announced his departure from Morbid Angel with a softly-worded press announcement:

Austin, TX – June 19, 2015

DAVID VINCENT Encourages
Fans To Stay Morbid

I had good communication with Trey yesterday and we agree that there are incompatibilities with regards to us working together.

Trey and I have accomplished amazing things together over the past 30 years and I wish him the best with his future projects. Out of respect for the legacy of these accomplishments, I encourage Morbid Angel fans to not take sides because, I am not.

I look forward to sharing my new endeavors with all of you in the near future. Until then, stay Morbid! ~David Vincent

While this may be disappointing to many, it represents new ground for Morbid Angel, which just hired Steven Tucker again, lost drummer Tim Yeung and guitarist Destructhor, and appears to be re-organizing itself more toward its last good material produced, 1998’s Formulas Fatal to the Flesh. Given the immense dissatisfaction with the most recent Morbid Angel album which took the band in a more Rammstein/nu-metal direction under Vincent’s guidance, this re-organization looks like the band orienting itself more toward metal material.

Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs (2015)

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On their first album, Obsequiae made use of very simple but consistent and creative melodies in a harmony emulating that of early western music from the late medieval period. Under the Brume of Eos consisted of songs that were essentially folk-heavy metal in the vein of Primordial with black metal vocals. Each few songs an interlude played in an acoustic instrument was inserted. The material was fine for the first fifteen minutes, after that it just boiled down to a collection of songs which were merely collections of riffs. Aria of Vernal Tombs unfortunately did not move beyond this same strategy.

It is important to go back to the just-mentioned style of Primordial. Primordial is one of those bands that is really ideology first, aura and image of the band first, and then music. The music itself is flat, only serving to carry a mood while the image that the listener has in mind (given by lyrics and song names — concept) is imprinted on it from the outside. Obsequiae work in a similar way, except that they take it a step further and actually make use of musical patterns that evoke the era they are using as theme. They also surpass Primordial in that in the short-term, songs are far more dynamic and in Aria of Vernal Tombs particularly coordinate wonderfully with the vocal pulse.

Obsequiae could still move beyond this “cool-riff” sequence approach and give us much stronger songs — and perhaps a conceptual album extending beyond the lyrical and well into the music. Inserting interludes is only the easy way to do this.  Metal bands like Blind Guardian, Rhapsody and even Morbid Angel (on Blessed are the Sick) have done this light and easy concept album arranging, each going further in different ways. Obsequiae and any band looking for using relatively simple yet self-contained and solid songs as the bricks for a strong concept album can look up to Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Until now Obsequiae have only given us scattered ideas in an obviously consistent and distinguishable language. And if music is a language of some kind, Aria of Vernal Tombs is one message in a loop of synonyms and like-words drawn from a thesaurus.