I assume that no introductions are needed when we are talking about MORBID ANGEL. They have been there since the start of what we call Death Metal. They have been and still are, one of the most genre defining bands in this genre’s history. In the world of Death Metal, MORBID ANGEL are arguably the most influential band of them all. The blast beats are here, the vocals are gruff and the guitar work is truly amazing. Trey holds tremendous skills in both guitar playing and song composing. David Vincent also plays an important role, that’s evident because the best MORBID ANGEL records are done with him handling the mic and bass. “Blessed Are The Sick” has followed me through all the years I’ve been listening to Extreme Metal. The first song I ever heard from MORBID ANGEL was “Fall From Grace”, which are found on “Blessed Are The Sick”. After 14 years “Blessed Are The Sick” hasn’t faded a bit, it still sounds great and my guess is that it will never sound dated, much like the art made by Mozart, Beethoven and other geniuses within the art of music.
The record starts with some really disquieting sounds that Trey Azagthoth twists out of his guitar. It sounds like a machine-gun and with a baby crying in the background it is sure to get on somebody’s nerves. I remember one of my friends hating the intro on “Blessed Are The Sick”, though I always thought it was a good intro. The fact that I remembered it after the first listen indicates that there is quality to be found. How many intros on a Death Metal album really stuck to your mind? In my head there really aren’t that many, most of them are skipping material as far as I’m concerned. If there are one thing you won’t find on “Blessed Are The Sick”, then it’s filler material. From start to finish quality saturates this album. “Fall From Grace”, along with the rest of the album, is a song that only MORBID ANGEL could have made. That’s because of their unique skills in both playing and writing song. The genre of Death Metal certainly has some of the best musicians in the whole world, but where many fall short is in the songwriting department.
It’s kind of hard to put music this good into words, but there is one word that describe MORBID ANGEL as a band: Identity. Just listen to the guitar solo(s) in “Rebel Lands”, here Trey transforms his guitar into a new years rocket (at least it sounds like that), not forgetting the overall chaotic guitar playing he use throughout the song, truly intensive. I always liked chaotic guitar solos and Trey is the champ of frantic guitar soloing, even better than SLAYER if I dare say so. When it comes to instrumentals, MORBID ANGEL where at their peak on “Blessed Are The Sick”. “Doomsday Celebration” shows a band that manages to make excellent instrumentals and not the filler shit that are found on way too many records, these days and yesterdays. On “Desolate Ways”, another instrumental, Trey shows that he can play the classic guitar as well and of course it’s done with style.
As mentioned before “Blessed Are The Sick” only holds killer material and therefore it’s nonsense to talk about a favourite song. I rate this as MORBID ANGEL’s finest work of art and maybe the best Death Metal record of all time. Anyone who missed out or didn’t know about this record should take a close listen to the samples that can be found along with this review, this one’s essential. (Online April 21, 2005)