November 2017 Album of the Month – Morbid Angel’s Kingdoms Disdained

Thursday, 14th December 2017

Everybody loves a comeback, right? After Morbid Angel’s last studio album, Illud Divinum Insanus, a large chunk of the fanbase was not pleased with the band’s musical direction. But it did prime things for a huge return. Much of the band left in the years following Illud, opening the doors for vocalist Steve Tucker’s return (as well as signaling a more death metal driven shift). Kingdoms Disdained may not be an immediate album to many, with plenty of spiraling and intricate guitar riffs intertwined with melody. But, it allows the band to move forward as the genre-titans that they are, with a renewed sense of death metal spirit.

An excerpt from Kyle McGinn’s 9/10 review, which posted on November 29, 2017:

Kingdoms Disdained is not a throwback or simple catering to fans that griped about Illud. It’s living and breathing death metal, that’s for sure, but it also continues Morbid Angel’s perpetual evolution. Opener “Piles of Little Arms” is completely visceral and seems designed to work as a call to arms for fans. The return of vocalist Steve Tucker cements the death metal aesthetic, as his roars feel intimidating and energetic atop guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s trademark spiraling guitar riffs. New drummer Scott Fuller delivers a pummeling job behind the kit, not content to simply bury the listener in blast beats (though they are here in full force, a la “The Fall of Idols”). Even the grumpiest of Morbid Angel fans will no doubt be won over by the album’s third track, “Garden of Disdain,” where some of the earlier speed grabs are diminished and the muddy, slimy crawl that has become a major component of the band can ooze freely. When coupled with follow-up “The Righteous Voice,” which has a few moments that will make you think of the band’s early work, it is a massive one-two punch sure to raise plenty of horns.

Rounding out the album is a completely fitting production by Erik Rutan. Even though no longer an actual member of the band, it’s clear he has a precise understanding of what the band wants and needs. It’s monstrous and slimy, yet still crisp and clear in tone. Kindgoms Disdained is exactly the type of album Morbid Angel needed to make in 2017. Unabashedly death metal in tone, uncompromising in brutality and structure, and strong enough to push the band forward while retaining some key fundamental elements.

Read the entire review HERE.

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