Morbid Angel – Illud Divinum Insanus

This is difficult! To come to terms with the fact that for the 1st time in my metal years my words towards MORBID ANGEL will not be of complete adoration.

In fact this time it is a love/hate situation, that sense of having for so long been in a relation with a dear girlfriend, but who is lately acting strange, so strange that I still cannot come to terms with her sudden current attitudes – that is MORBID ANGEL’s latest to me!

A love towards the portion of this slab that delivers some mean good songs (i.e. Blades for Baal, 10 More Dead, Nevermore etc), and dislikes of different measures towards other tracks that surface throughout, particularly Too Extreme! and Radikult.

The album launches with Omni Potens, an intro of sorts reminiscent of Blessed are the Sick samples which although not as ominous, would still have served its purpose had it not led into this track for the misplaced hairstyle EMO boys that is Too Extreme! New religion? No thanks! Next!

So in for the kill we go with Existo Vulgore – authentic MORBID ANGEL in all deserved glory, with Dave screaming his guts out as if his status of model death metal vocalist depended on it, a flesh-ripping Trey solo towards its end, and an overall ferocious aura that commands respect! With no ado or compromise this leads into Blades for Baal, another furioso showcasing the newcomers’ skills (penned by new guitarist Destrukthor and with precise kick drum aplenty courtesy of Tim Yeung). In my opinion, Blades together with Azagtoth’s own Nevermore later into the track listing make up for the 2 best tracks here on offer.

Following this comes close contestor 10 More Dead (also a Destrukthor contribution) with a reminiscent Where the Slime Lives feel (including the mid-song tempo change) and a signature gut-wrenching Trey solo!

Time now to raise our eyebrows again, especially if you are too morbid for I am Morbid, possibly a good metal anthem had we were speaking Ozzy Osbourne, but anything that its title stands for! In other words, why these festival “hey hey” motives connected to the MORBID ANGEL name?

……….. oops! We are slipping further! Destructos vs the Earth marches in, and sorry to say but it only makes me envisage EBM club girls waving ultra-violet shining dildos inside Dave Vincent (or his alter-ego Evil D)’s mouth! Not the 1st time MORBID ANGEL have experimented with an industrial band, but back then it was a real one in the name of LAIBACH, not COMBICHRIST, a band who started out fine but have since some years been dabbling in the mud of commercial mischief.

Bang! Welcome surprise! In comes sweeping Nevermore, Azagtoth’s 1st composition to this new album, dating back to 2008 and a live crowd favourite since, for the good reason that this is an excellent song that reeks of  ripping riffs! Followed by mid-paced Beauty meets Beast – another song, that if nothing, highlights Dave’s versatility as a vocalist!

But what comes next? Fuck sake, the moment I have good words again for MORBID, they throw me Radikult – a song which master files have to be found and lost forever! Not only as this song is not even close to the MARILYN MANSON & ROB ZOMBIE it is trying to emulate, but particularly as such sub-standard song in a sub-standard genre made its place onto a MORBID ANGEL album. I would go as far to say that not even the excellently heartfelt Trey solo helps it save face! Enough said, except maybe my discontempt that Radikult and the other 2 lesser appealing aforementioned MORBID ANGEL tracks are the longest on the whole album!

Why were these 3 tracks not left as bonus towards the end of the album? Thus, not ruining a tracklisting that would have otherwise made for a good MORBID ANGEL album! I dare all naysayers to remove these 3 tracks from your player and tell me if MORBID ANGEL is still not good death metal!

Closing the album come the military industrial beats that characterize Profundis – Mea Culpa. Alas the 1st and only good electronic experiment on this album, maybe too late into the tracklisting to gather some respect on its own terms, but definitely still a worth try at merging the abrasiveness of both extreme metal and real industrial (which for connoisseurs of the genre does not mean COMBICHRIST, MARILYN MANSON & ROB ZOMBIE).

To close, I return to my dear longtime girlfriend. I can understand she has been hard studying for a higher degree of some sort, but after 8 years at it, she is now back acting stranger than the whole duration. My love towards her is at test her! I wish to continue to love her, but nevertheless she confused me so much that although I own all her lingerie sets as originals, her most recent has been a bit of an insanely divine delusion to me that I am still contemplating if to stick to a download version. Doubting if she will manage to sell her box editions, I feel sure she will return to me as few other real death metal men will welcome her into their arms this way

I am confused – really confused to the point of contradicting myself! I re-read this review; there are moments where I glorified MORBID ANGEL, others where I could not believe myself at having to write what I wrote. But that is it, the review is over, and I hope (if not trust) that MORBID ANGEL will come back with some good slab once Pete Sandoval returns to the skins. (PS – although Tim’s foot work is commendable, it is justified to say he would need more years with the band/songs to develop the hand action creativity Pete owns).

  1. Omni Potens

  2. Too Extreme!

  3. Existo Vulgoré

  4. Blades Of Baal

  5. I Am Morbid

  6. 10 More Dead

  7. Destructos vs. The Earth/Attack

  8. Nevermore

  9. Beauty Meets Beast

  10. Radikult

  11. Profundis - Mea Culpa