Thirty Years of Morbid Visions

Sepultura‘s Morbid Visions is my favorite thirty year old album. Released in Brazil on November 10th, 1986, Morbid Visions saw Sepultura slither past the primitive Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Sodom worship of their initial Bestial Devastation extended play (included as a bonus on almost all CD versions of Morbid Visions) and into ultraviolent, progressive but still primitive, death and black metal.

Sepultura’s goal was to bring the fury and violence of hardcore to early proto-underground metal. While writing Morbid Visions, Sepultura weren’t listening to any metal other than Slayer and Possessed, preferring the most aggressive hardcore punk of the time such as Discharge, Siege, and The Exploited. Metal had only just begun to leapfrog hardcore in aggression with Slayer, the Teutonic bands, and Bathory. Now Sepultura.

With rhythm guitarist and vocalist Max Cavalera solely focused on writing riffs on four strings, Morbid Visions was mostly composed by then lead guitarist Jairo Tormentor. His song structures followed the progressive model of Voivod and Slayer‘s Hell Awaits, which, inspired by Mercyful Fate, defined death and black metal composition. Riff changes and variations struck as profoundly thunderous chromatic inspirations from the gods; the forces of chaos themselves bent to divine mandate.

Igor Cavalera’s drumming was a much more violent version of the peculiar pickup beats of Discharge and Sodom. His fills sounded like he was falling down the stairs and somehow miraculously landing on two feet. Bestial Devastation was actually the first time he had ever played on a full drum kit and Morbid Visions the second. This primordial skin bashing added a sense of polyrhythmic, nitroglycerin texture to the cake. Igor’s drumming would be a huge inspiration to Fred Estby in Carnage and Dismember, Abbath‘s tape-sped efforts on Pure Holocaust and Battles in the North, and now Serpent Ascending.

The actual instrumental tones and production of Morbid Visions perfectly accomplished an atmosphere of apocalyptic chaos. The drums were hollowed out, ringing thumps like the feet of hordes of moaning sinners raised from the grave by Satan to rend the God-fearing masses. Guitars were thin and totally out of tune, sounding like the fallen angelic spirits rising out of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark only this time to rip the faces off the air guitarists, wispy-mustached Metallica fans, and drunk bar crawlers wearing sideways Suicidal Tendencies caps who had infiltrating speed metal. Morbid Visions showed that Sepultura were then, despite their future sellout bongo career, ready to take metal to unheard of levels of sonic violence, snuffing human life out by cracking skulls open to exterminating the bloodlines of the unworthy in an underground struggle for existence.

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15 thoughts on “Thirty Years of Morbid Visions

  1. fenrir says:

    Bravo, bravo!
    Excellent and informative summary, as well as an inspirational description.

  2. scabbyman says:

    Oh how i love primitivity.

  3. GGALLIN1776 says:

    Boots muddy boots.

    Don’t ever take barbiturates even if the doctor gives you a prescription due to migraines, muscle spasms & twitches in your arms after one dose & no buzz to speak of. What kind of shitty cunt would make something like that? I hope the entire company gets AIDS.

    1. Jobi Joba says:

      Good one. More texts like this please.

      1. GGALLIN1776 says:

        Stay tuned, you’ll see plenty. I have to get some tumors removed in the next couple weeks, gonna see if the dr will let me video tape it, if so I’ll share the gore. They’re simple subcutaneous ones so i’m gonna try doing it with zero atheistic. It seems like an adventure. Maybe I’ll dry the tumors in a jerky maker & turn them into necklaces for you guys.
        $5 to whomever eats theirs.

        1. Jobi Joba says:

          Keep me one pls. One day, back from the dentist, I want to drink a glas of water to swallow my painkiller. In an other glass, I pour bleach to clean the teeth he pulled me off. And i drank the wrong glass. Bleach was not good but i liked the feeling of my teeth on my teeths.

          1. GGALLIN1776 says:

            Will do if they let me, there’s some juicy ones in there. The largest is about the size of a golfball that got smashed with a sledgehammer.

            I can’t even imagine how bad that bleach hurt. I once tossed a gun cleaning toothbrush covered in simple green in with my good ones by accident. Next day I wondered what tasted so funny. Sure enough it was the sg, luckily it’s non-toxic.

        2. Horrible dick and ball torture says:

          Lipomas? I had them out… local and you can film it

          1. GGALLIN1776 says:

            How bad was the pain once the local wore off? The Dr was hinting at being put under due to the amount of them in my stomach. The arms/ribs/back ones I’m ready to do w/o anything. They just irritate me that much.

  4. canadaspaceman says:

    Bestial Devastation is not better than Morbid Visions ?
    That is like saying SODOM’s In the Sign of Evil was not as good as Obsessed by Cruelty.
    Debut records are almost always the best release.
    I am probably biased as I like hamfisted metal better, the bands that don’t care to be called retards for starting out and being simple.

    1. nigstomper88 says:

      Albums like this are the meaning of metal. Low functioning autists beating on tin biscuits and somehow brushing up against greatness through pure intuition and instinctive reasoning (rather than technical skill or anything analytical). That’s why I love Absurd’s first album so much. You don’t “listen” to it or “think” about it, you FEEL IT.

      1. thewaters says:

        Its all about feelings man……..

  5. old DLA > nĂ¼-DMU says:

    This part was a little butchered: “drunk bar crawlers wearing sideways Suicidal Tendencies caps who had infiltrating speed metal”

    1. Syphilis says:

      It almost seems intentional.

      Anal entry the false!

      1. SODOMIZE
        THE WEAK

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