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Morbid Angel - Gateways to Annihilation
Review: This album borrows liberally from former tourmates Pantera, squeezing classic rock through a death metal filter and making bouncy, hookish, and easily comprehensible thunder music. Where there was previously some underground metal there is little left, but, like all output from such a talented group of musicians, this album has its moments of clarity and brilliance and can develop accordingly with power, but as a whole represents no significant challenge to the conscious mind and seems like a product, as if Morbid Angel have hit mid-life stages and averaged all of their internal settings to create a normative output.
This is slower and richer in harmony than many earlier albums, with a reversal of the overly indulgent jazz-inspired guitar jam sessions, but often seems template cut with ease from the hands of these old schoolers. It is probably wiser to celebrate earlier works with a second purchase than to explore this album, but students of guitar might seek mp3s for as usual a display of excellent technique and musical understanding in lead guitar and certain rhythm portions of the stringwork here.