The Pitch: Legendary death metal unit Morbid Angel unleash their ninth studio album via Silver Lining Music while also reuniting founding guitarist Trey Azagthoth with bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker.
What I Like: This is one of those reviews I really enjoy, because I've never been a diehard Morbid Angel fan. There's going to be a lot of articles floating around from longtime followers, but I only grew up on Domination, and worse, I find Altars of Madness to be incredibly boring. Don't get me wrong, I respect its importance to the genre, but it's just not for me. All of this to say I get the rare opportunity to cover this new album from a fairly objective viewpoint.
So for those of you who either missed out on Morbid Angel's past discography or never liked them to begin with; you may still find yourself loving Kingdoms Disdained. This album is an incredibly dense mess of pure, destructive volume. And I mean that in the best possible way. Honestly, I find it to be more comparable to Behemoth's Demigod than any previous MB record. As for Trey getting back on board, he definitely brings the pain; but with the bass and drums constantly berating the listener you'll have to strain your ears to hear him. Aside from the occasional chaotic solo or errant riff, all instruments and vocals meld into a single devastating force.
A few hightlights that really stood out before I wrap this up: the crowd-pleasing vocal hook on "For No Master," the ridiculously contagious groove of both "Architect And Iconoclast and "Declaring New Law," The tension-building bass breaks midway through "Paradigms Warped," and the wild Motorhead-meets death metal closing guitar on "The Pillars Crumbling."
Critiques: I suppose the dense, loud nature of the production is both a positive and a negative. On the one hand it really satisfies my appetite for pure mayhem, but on the other it doesn't leave much room for the instrumentation to breathe or differentiate. Pretty much forget about dynamics. Also, most of these songs could be a good minute shorter.
The Verdict: The album art pretty much says it all. Kingdoms Disdained is a giant, lumbering demon leveling everything in its path. Morbid Angel have, for this noob, crafted their most enjoyable album to date imho. It's a simply punishing affair filled with great songs and melds the good of the old with the good of the new.
Flight's Fav's: The Righteous Voice, Architect And Iconoclast, The Pillars Crumbling
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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