Morbid Angel – Illud Divinum Insanus (2011)
Quite often a band, a huge favorite tends to disappoint. We’ve had Iron Maiden’s The Final Frontier last year where they had a complete new age sound, catering to the cock rock fans. Well disappointment is too much of an understatement to describe Morbid Angel’s new album. A band worshipped by many, who with their album beginning with the letter ‘I’ have tarnished and mutilated their well crafted image of veteran death metal spearheads. Illud Divinum Insanus is full of shit, hence they decided to have “anus” in the title. Oh wait, that’s just a joke. Wait, that is quite true! The album sees Trey and David take a new approach to composing and going down the industrial/techno line. Industrial is still okay with some, though they’d rather not have it anywhere close to a death metal band. Techno is pretty much left to the tasteless partying crowd who seek to get laid through music. Plus this album features Tim Yeung on drums and not Commando Pete Sandoval. Eye brows not raised yet? You’ll get there.
The album begins with Omni Potens. A symphonic, dark, war like intro. Sure, one can go with that, MA have had lots of fillers in the past. It’s followed by Too Extreme. Yeah right, it cannot get any more extreme than industrial and techno. A completely new sound, especially drum wise, hard for any seasoned MA fan to try and digest. David Vincent sounds far different than he did before. Owing to his new approach to exlporing various kinds of music. Tech NOOOOO! The next one Existo Vulgore, the song that was released as a preview to the album, a major disappointment back then, is no better now. Though it bears significant amount of double bass and blast beats and fills, it’s still no MA material. The guitar solo does manage to sound like Trey though. Blades for Baal, not a bad one at all. Tim doing a good job behind the kit. The song gives out hints as to what MA used to be back in the day. The next song, a wake up call to the listener who might assume he’s listening to a band wrongly tagged as Morbid Angel. I am Morbid, is again an OK track, one that can be passed off as MA. Decent effort in composing. A sneak peak of death metal half way through the album, before they jump on to the real deal, their new found love for industrial and techno. 10 More Dead is a song the listener would just yawn through, it offers nothing to lend your ears to. Maybe just a small lead from Trey, a saving grace for an otherwise very boring song. Destructos vs. The Earth is their attempt to make an epic song, stretching over seven minutes long, sounds like a marching anthem for military polar bears. A squeaky techno voice in the background chants “Destructos” as the song wastes seven minutes of the listener’s life. Nevermore, the next track, is another “listenable” song. Some classic MA stuf going on there, David too, doing his bit. This is followed by Beauty Meets Beast. Monotonous, yet a lot better than a lot of others on the album. Trey seems like he’s doing justice to his title of one of the greatest death metal guitarists. But that soon disappears into a void of weirdness when the next song takes over. Radikult, the title itself being bizarre, is probably a mistake MA should never have made. The icing on the cake that has destroyed MA’s image with no remorse, the one song that can (and will) be used to draw comparisons and point fingers at MA for years to come. I really have no way to classify this song, all I can say is it’s the kind of stuff that they would write if they were on LSD and dancing at some club. The kind of song that makes anyone go “WTF?” Another seven minute punishment, making the listener wanna get out of this “trance” as soon as possible. The last track Profundis – Mea Culpa is a below mediocre track that brings this dreadful album to a shuddering halt.
I should say, that the album is produced well enough. Though not a signature MA record by far, it’s sound is well within the vicinity of one. An album that gave rise to a million jokes, a million abuses to Trey and David. And virtually no appreciation for Tim Yeung, who hasn’t been that bad on one or two tracks. Though some would say criticizing this isn’t an open minded approach, it’s no excuse not to, and an MA fan of years will definitely not let himself digest and enjoy this.