After a much-maligned previous full length, Morbid Angel are back with a new lineup and 48 minutes of classic death metal.
The band now boast the drummer of Annihilated in their ranks, as well as returning vocalist Steve Tucker. The latter is someone whose voice I’m a huge fan of, whether its on Morbid Angel’s previous work, or with Warfather.
The signature Morbid Angel sound is present and correct. I feel I should clarify this, however – obviously Morbid Angel have gone through various different incarnations and attempted many different styles over the years, but one of the constants has been the interesting and distinctive riffs of their main guitarist, and on Kingdoms Disdained these estimable talents are focused on producing brutal and charismatic death metal.
Across eleven songs of heavy, destructive death metal, the band easily demonstrate why they are still more than worthy of people’s attention. There’s a good mix of slow, medium, and fast-paced material, and plenty of good ideas thrown into the pot. Quality riffs are unleashed and capitalised on like they’re going out of business, and it’s great to hear some of the band’s trademark atypical solos once more.
The songs on Kingdoms Disdained are actually quite catchy and memorable, but usually in a subtle way. This is a very good thing, as it means that the album grows and improves the more you listen to it. For an album that’s relatively long by death metal standards, this increases its longevity and enjoyment factor quite considerably.
Heavy, nasty, and belligerent, this is Morbid Angel at their brutal, extreme best. Kingdoms Disdained is a ridiculously strong collection of songs. Although not perfect, it’s way better than I was hoping for, and I’ll be listening to this over and over again for some significant time to come.
Morbid Angel are back and are better than they have been in so very long. Snap this up.