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DAY OF EXECUTION - review
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DRAWN AND QUARTERED - review
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AKVAN - review
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WARFARE - review
(August 31, 2018)

MORBID ANGEL
MORBID ANGEL
Kingdoms Disdained
(Silver Lining Music)
47:43min

During this millennium, the grand masters of Death Metal ruined their reputation quite a lot. After the fine “Gateways To Annihilation” album in the Y2K, any record MORBID ANGEL released was at least questionable. “Heretic” was far from being good and we don't need to talk about this waste of time called “Illud Divinum Insanus” here. I think, Mr. Azagthoth doesn't want to either, since he fired anyone involved in that record and announced a return to the roots of MORBID ANGEL, including the return of Steve Tucker on bass and vocals. But did it also include a return to old virtues? In general, I should answer that with “yes!” after listening to “Kingdoms Disdained”, even though this indicates certain reservations. Of course nearly all these electronic elements have been removed from the sound of MORBID ANGEL, except for some moments in 'Garden Of Disdain' that are no big problem, for they fit to the original sound of the band. With the electronic shit still included, 'Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)' would have fitted perfectly on “Illud...”. On “Kingdoms Disdained”, this one is just real crap. 'Architect And Iconoclast' is another song with modern influences and the other stinker here. Well, so much for the bad moments of the album. The good ones fortunately are in the majority. The opening double bass thunder of 'Piles Of Little Arms' and 'D.E.A.D.' are already making a promise. And in the progress of the album, there are songs that keep this promise, like 'The Righteous Voice', for example. This one would fit the classic MORBID ANGEL albums pretty well. With 'Paradigms Warped', the lava grooves and twisted riffing is back, and 'The Pillars Crumbling' surprises with a classic Metal solo part towards the end. Finally, 'The Fall Of Idols' is not the lesson of the album, but the last highlight with some solo guitars in best Trey Azagthoth style. Even though all that glisters is not gold yet, “Kingdoms Disdained” is a statement that MORBID ANGEL is not dead yet and ready to fire some bolts in the future. For more info, visit the band at www.morbidangel.com or www.facebook.com/officialmorbidangelpage, or their label at www.sl-music.net

Thomas Meyer

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MORBID ANGEL
MORBID ANGEL
Kingdoms Disdained
(Silver Lining Music)
47:43min

Being confronted with the latest MORBID ANGEL album three thoughts flooded my mind. Why does the album title not start with the letter "J" but instead "K"? The beginning of the album titles has always been in alphabetical order. But the band did not break up with tradition, because a bootleg video from 1989 (recorded during the legendary Grindcrusher Tour) was officially released in 2015 on DVD and in celebration of the "Record Store Day" the same year published on strictly (1.500 copies) 12" vinyl being named "Juvenilia", being ranked as an official release. After clarifying this topic, the second thought was revolving around the artwork, courtesy of Ken Coleman. In my eyes it suits proper for a Death Metal output, especially with the lenticular / 3D effect. Definitely an eye catcher. Last up there was my curiosity about Steve Tucker. And, to anticipate my opinion regarding "Kindoms Disdained", his vocal performance is the best the album has to offer. Brutal to the maximum without ending up in producing just inarticulately noise. Accordingly there are different levels of brutality, making his vocals not just a replaceable addition to the songs but more an essential part of them. And the music itself? Well, let me make you my point of view explain. For me MORBID ANGEL is one of the most influential, relevant, powerful and important bands of all times. Not only within the range of the genre Death Metal, but for my whole life as Metal fan. Throughout the band's career I adored the band for creating music with that special vibe, making MORBID ANGEL second to none. "Altars Of Madness" is (and probably will be) the best Death Metal album of all times. All other albums with tracks like 'Blessed Are The Sick / Leading The Rats' or 'God Of Emptiness' or 'Where The Slime Lives' or 'Invocation Of The Continual One' or 'Summoning Redemption' did not catch me at the first time. But at every moment I felt like that there are musicians trying to develop a sonic vision. Even the often labeled controversial album "Illud Divinum Insanus" shows the band far away from being ordinary. Of course the safer way would have been taking "Altars..." as blueprint for all further albums. But the band did not and for me MORBID ANGEL has always been controversial and the opposite of average, superficial and trivial. But with "Kingdoms Disdained" this feeling is completely lost. Average riffs, mostly fast played drums, a much too sterile production. Every song clocks at about five minutes, the songwriting totally lacks of creativity, after a dozen spins I recognized not a single song with some kind of memorability. Bands like ATOMIC AGGRESSOR, VALGRIND or BLAMES GOD, to name just the first bands that came to my mind, are doing a better job playing this kind of Death Metal. In the year 2017 MORBID ANGEL released an album full of standard and mediocre Death Metal. Where is the atrocity, the cosmic horror, the nihilist vortex the band has been known for? www.morbidangel.com, www.facebook.com/officialmorbidangelpage, www.sl-music.net

Mirco Szymyslik

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MORBID ANGEL
MORBID ANGEL
Kingdoms Disdained
(Silver Lining Music)
47:43min

"Altars Of Madness" has been a life changing album for me and uncountable others. But since I don't care about the tastes and feelings of others, this is all about me and MORBID ANGEL, like a one on one after school knife fight, only that we're grown ups now... well, more or less. Me and MORBID ANGEL, we've had a peaceful coexistence for the quarter of a century - which, in other words, simply means that I didn't care for anything after "Blessed Are The Sick" and MORBID ANGEL did not care about my peace of mind. Fair enough from both sides, if you ask me. I was busy doing, well... things and David Vincent was busy jamming himself into tight latex shirts and hating people of color. Enter Steve Tucker, the on-and-off vocalist in the never ending domestic MORBID ANGEL drama, and long boring story short: MORBID ANGEL is seemingly still a band in 2017 and they have a new album out. Is it any good? Nah. Is it the horrible fucking trainwreck I was expecting? Nope. There have been worse stinkers in their discography. Everybody hated "Illum Divinum Insanus" for a reason, but let's be honest: "Heretic" was at least just as bad. "Kingdoms Disdained" is - and I am struggling for words here - erm, a record. It's just there. It's generic and non-offensive, exactly the things that Death Metal should NOT be. Yeah, I get it... it's 2017 and triggered drums have been a thing for quite a while, but the drumming on this album sounds like someone beating on an empty detergent box with crayons. And don't even get me started on the riffs! Trey Azagthoth, the only constant of the band, has been responsible for some of the deadliest riffs in the history of not only Death Metal but Rock music in general, but the steaming pile of shit he delivers here is an abomination, unfortunately not one of desolation... if you get my horrible pun. But speaking of wordplay: what the fuck were they thinking?! Those disdained kingdoms in the album title suddenly turn into a 'Garden Of Disdain' on the album and how in hell is a cute song title like 'Piles Of Little Arms' supposed to evoke those otherworldly feelings that once were the trademark of MORBID ANGEL? In all honesty, I listened to this album. Start to finish. And then I listened again. And I felt like the chick on the original cover of "Abominations Of Desolation"... it really was that unpleasant. But my use of the word unpleasant is fundamentally different from the unpleasantness that MORBID ANGEL obviously wanted to create: I mean it in a Merzbow kind of way. He said "If by noise you mean uncomfortable sound, then Pop music is noise to me", and in that sense, "Kingdoms Disdained" is disgusting noise. It's elevator muzak disguised as Death Metal: uncreative, devoid of any original ideas and so goddamn inoffensive that it borders on parody. The Satanic flame that has been guiding MORBID ANGEL has long been extinguished. Don't waste your life away visting www.morbidangel.com, www.facebook.com/officialmorbidangelpage or www.sl-music.net, listen to good music instead.

Thomas Reitmayer

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MORBID ANGEL
MORBID ANGEL
Kingdoms Disdained
(Silver Lining Music)
47:43min

Steve Tucker's back, and MORBID ANGEL as we knew them years ago are also. The previous album "Illud Divinum Insanus" was, well, let's just say it was unique. Or better yet, let's be honest and say it wasn't even really Metal. With its industrial rhythms and its robotic voices, it was a disappointment for fans who just wanted to fucking pump their fists in the air and bang their fucking heads. That didn't happen. Trey Azagthoth and company have found their way again on album number ten with "Kingdoms Disdained", a somewhat return to form. Every song is Metal and doesn't leave us in utter confusion like 2011's release... or the remix album the very next year to attempt to make something different from the already different "Illud Divinum Insanus". Without even a hint of experimentation, "Kingdoms Disdained" unleashes its first track 'Piles Of Little Arms', with classic guitar riffs and raspy vocals. 'D.E.A.D.' throws in some ever-changing tech riffs while maintaining a pure Death sound to give us a sigh of relief. Will the next track sound like some futuristic Max Headroom on crack, and destroy the so far so good new album? Nope. More Metal putridity slimes its way in with a mid-tempo number in true MORBID ANGEL style. The strangling guitar sounds of 'The Righteous Voice' indicate a band recapturing the sound of their glory days while moving just enough forward to keep everything fresh. 'Architect And Iconoclast' is an angry monolithic beast of a song. Tracks like 'Paradigms Warped' and 'From The Hand Of Kings' continue the synchronicity of the album while 'The Pillars Crumbling' evolves into a sonic bludgeoning. It's nice to know the band's true spirit has peeled away its ugly mask to redeem itself. From the beginning to the final track 'The Fall Of Idols', the boys create a non-stop assembly of true-to-form tracks that will bring us all back into the realms of a band we've stuck with through thick and thin. "Kingdoms Disdained" does not disappoint. For more information, check out www.morbidangel.com, www.facebook.com/officialmorbidangelpage, www.sl-music.net

David Simonton

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