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Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained

Morbid Angel
Kingdoms Disdained
by Jon Conant at 22 December 2017, 3:04 PM

MORBID ANGEL are back and at it again with “Kingdoms Disdained”. If you know Metal then you almost certainly know MORBID ANGEL, but if you don’t, it has basically become guitarist Trey Azabarth and friends. Although to his credit, vocalist and bassist Steve Tucker (who’s back for this album) has been in and out of the band, having departed and returned twice, trading time with David Vincent. Vincent’s been in more albums, but Tucker has been in more recent albums. I’ll let you decide if that’s a good or a bad thing. Guitarist Dan Vadim Von and drummer Scott Fuller are new on this album, and away we go.

This album honestly boils down to another solid entry in an already solid catalogue of Metal from MORBID ANGEL. Azabarth and company are considered pioneers of blast beat and guttural-vocal driven Metal for one reason: they started it and they keep doing it; and somehow it always sounds good. And you can expect more of the above; Metal isn’t going anywhere if MORBID ANGEL have anything to say about it. “Kingdoms Disdained” is heavy, it grooves, and it is non-compromising of its genre.

“Piles Of Little Arms” and “D.E.A.D” are pretty standard tracks to start things off, nothing unexpected; although “D.E.A.D” does see more unique moments with the guitar work. However, they ultimately both pale in comparison to the first real head banger of the album and the moment things really pick up, which “Garden of Disdain”. It starts off with speed guitars and crashing drums before dropping into one of the chunkiest and grooviest Death Metal riffs I have ever heard. This is a top track of 2017. Every instrument is perfectly in rhythm, laying down an amazing Metal groove that Steven Tucker absolutely destroys with his vocals. I want to mosh to this song. I need to mosh to this song.

Track 4 “The Righteous Voice” keeps things moving with an even heavier, but much more traditional Death Metal riff. I don’t know how MORBID ANGEL finds ways to take the same style and elevate, change, and otherwise improve it, but they do.

Other noteworthy tracks for me include “The Pillars Crumbling” which had one of the other most crushing riffs on the album. I love the bass and borderline (borderline) Djent feel that is brought on in tracks like this. “Declaring New Law” also sees some of the most heavy and technical work on the album.

I want to give track 10 some special attention, for it shows what makes MORBID ANGEL so awesome. Often with Metal bands, the second to last track on an album will serve as the token slot for a soft ballad (or something of that nature) in an otherwise Metal album. I know that’s not something that MORBID ANGEL does, but it’s nice to hear that even after all these years they still aren’t having any of that bullshit. Album after album they remain resilient, and in the second to last slot of “Kings Disdained” they thrust in “From The Hands Of Kings” - one of the most blast beat and speeding songs on that album. Keep the Metal alive, boys. I love it. Album closer “The Fall of Idols” is just as heavy and fast, and also sees the best vocals on the album from Steve Tucker. He was amazing throughout, but he steps it up here in terms of sheer brutality.

This was just a great album, plain and simple, from start to finish. It’s another MORBID ANGEL entry that you are going to love and that you just have to listen to for yourself. My only complaint that I could conjure would be the lack of creativity and/or originality, but when you basically contribute to the invention a genre and then continue to find ways to build on it, I’ll say just keep doing what you’re doing, and that’s exactly what MORBID ANGEL does.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Piles of Little Arms
2. D.E.A.D
3. Garden of Disdain
4. The Righteous Voice
5. Architect and Iconoclast
6. Paradigms Warped
7. The Pillars Crumbling
8. For No Master
9. Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)
10. From the Hand of Kings
11. The Fall of Idols
Trey Azagthoth - Guitars
Steven Tucker - Vocals & Bass
Dan Vadim Von - Guitars
Scott Fuller – Drums
Record Label: Silver Lining Music


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