Morbid Angel – Illud Divinum Insanus – Album Review
|Fans Of:||Death, Suffocation, Deicide, Immolation|
|Label:||Season Of Mist|
|Download This:||4 Blades For Baal, 10 More Dead|
One of the hardest things to do is put yourself into another’s situation. Sometimes you can’t help thinking what was behind a certain action or song or takedown in the box (though I love a penalty kick regardless). When listening to Morbid Angel’s latest Illud Divinum Insanus one can’t help but ponder what inspired these 11 tracks, which vary from classic raging death metal to industrial/synth/rock.
Being a pioneer in any field comes with a burden, especially in the often rigid world of metal. Morbid Angel helped define the death metal genre, with essential albums like Altars of Madness and Covenant. On Illud Divinum Insanus, it’s obvious a conscious decision was made to change up the format and like any experiment, some parts work and others…still need testing.
After an extended intro akin to Thor entering Asgard, the first track immediately sends notice that Too Extreme! is not going to be about crushing metal extremes. Its got a techno-vibe that requires an almost immediate repeat listen…since its hard to believe its on a Morbid Angel album. One wonders if this was placed up front to send notice that their sound is expanding – because there are some ripping tracks that might have been better in this all-important leadoff spot.
I mention this because if you’re looking for Trey Azagthoth’s trademark sound, you won’t find anything close until track 4 ‘Blades for Baal’; a song where the band is firing on all its death metal cylinders. Another blistering song is ’10 More Dead’. While these seem to stand out even brighter and louder against the other sample-laced offerings, they might be secondary tracks on previous records.
Of all the performances on the album, David Vincent stands out. His vocals, albeit sometimes sounding enhanced, are still sung with conviction…even when singing in Latin on Mea-Culpa.
This is the type of album that will be incredibly scrutinized, given Morbid Angel’s stellar past. Are there enjoyable parts for long time fans? Yes. But it seems to incorporate so many elements absent in past releases; in a way, it sounds like a completely new band…which is puzzling given the return of Vincent.
If Illud Divinum Insanus is truly an experiment, then I‘m curious to hear the next album; since after two spins I am still at a loss to understand the current direction. Its one of the strangest listens of the year, and one I will probably stop trying to understand and move on.
I am at least confident of one thing that will be on next album; a title starting with the letter J, since Morbid Angel uses the alphabet for inspiration. What the music will sound like, I have no idea.
1. Omni Potens
2. Too Extreme!
3. Existo Vulgoré
4. Blades for Baal
5. I Am Morbid
6. 10 More Dead
7. Destructos VS the Earth / Attack
9. Beauty Meets Beast
11. Profundis – Mea Culpa