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Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus (7/10) - USA - 2011

Genre: Industrial Metal / Death Metal
Label: Season Of Mist
Playing time: 56:43
Band homepage: Morbid Angel

Tracklist:

  1. Omni Potens
  2. Too Extreme!
  3. Existo Vulgore
  4. Blades For 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
Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus

There is a lot owed to MORBID ANGEL. They were a cornerstone of the Death Metal movement and sound, so for that they will forever be remembered. Thusly, with their first album in eight years (first one with returning vocalist/bassist David Vincent in 16 years) there was a lot – and that cannot be stressed enough – a lot of hype for this album. The band left on a rather mediocre note and this was supposed to be the Death Metal album to blow all modern Death Metal albums out of the water.

 

I guess MORBID ANGEL didn’t care.

 

“Illud Divium Insanus” is the ultimate controversial album. Hype and expectations were going one way; the band and their music on the album went the opposite. Instead of throwing down with monstrous riffs and blast beats all to the roar of Vincent at the helm, MORBID ANGEL gears itself in, dare I type this out, an Industrial and Groove oriented direction. Not only did they change their sound, but also they moved in a direction that would make most of their fans puke.

 

I guess MORBID ANGEL didn’t care.

 

They not only moved away from their core sound, but they didn’t look back. Occasionally one can hear smidgens of their previous life in tracks like “Blades For Baal” and the audio intensity of the Deathy “Existo Vulgore," but the modern age certainly has shifted their focus. As a reviewer that doesn’t completely dismiss Groove or Industrial styles, the album just also happens to be rather catchy and energetic. The fist-pumping chant along style of “I Am Morbid” and “10 More Dead” kill with their Groove swing and the synthetic beats and distorted vocals on “Destructos Vs. The Earth” and “Too Extreme!” lead to rather well-placed Industrial rhythms that the band fully embrace and use to move the sound forward. MORBID ANGEL may not sound like they were, but they certainly don’t half-ass their dedication to the material.

 

I guess the fans didn’t care.

 

The fans do have legit concerns. The major issues with this album are that it feels like a transition album. Many of the elements still feel a bit out of place and even my open mind has trouble crunching “Radikult” and its MARILYN MANSON Alternative vibes. Although it would seem that MORBID ANGEL fully embrace their artistic license on this album, it does have awkwardness that is the band fitting into their new skin.

 

The album isn’t near as bad as so many claim, as I would venture to guess that having the name MORBID ANGEL on the cover is what the biggest problem is with the release. Had they changed the name and went under a different moniker, I’m sure more fans would have been understanding. As is, “Illud Divium Insanus” is a romp into Industrial synths and Groove structures that isn’t half bad. It’s just not the MORBID ANGEL we all wanted to come roaring out of the gate.

 

Songs to check out: “I Am Morbid," “Too Extreme!,” “10 More Dead."

(Online September 29, 2011)

Matt Reifschneider



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