Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained review



Reviewer:
6.0

78 users:
7.21
Band: Morbid Angel
Album: Kingdoms Disdained
Release date: December 2017


01. Piles Of Little Arms
02. D.E.A.D.
03. Garden Of Disdain
04. The Righteous Voice
05. Architect And Iconoclast
06. Paradigms Warped
07. The Pillars Crumbling
08. For No Master
09. Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)
10. From The Hand Of Kings
11. The Fall Of Idols


When your debut is one of the best metal records ever released, also defining an entire genre, it takes a lot of effort to live up to it through the rest of your career. Morbid Angel have not recorded a death metal album in the last 14 years; they have not recorded a great death metal album in the last 24 years. Kingdoms Disdained is a death metal record through and through. Keep reading to find out if it is great or not.

Morbid Angel's new release finds the band with only one of the members that participated in the legendary A-B-C albums. On the other hand, Trey Azagthoth is Morbid Angel and I guess not many people care much about David Vincent being replaced by Steve Tucker; after all, Vincent's glorious return to the band resulted in the abomination that was Illud Divinum Insanus. Iconic drummer, Pete Sandoval, is once again absent; behind the drum kit is Scott Fuller (Annihilated, ex-Abysmal Dawn) and he is pretty much the main reason why you should listen to Kingdoms Disdained.

The artificial-looking cover artwork, coming straight from a '90s video game and displaying an elderly, gigantic beast resurrecting from the earth's core spreading fire and destruction, is actually an apt visual description of the album's music. Kingdoms Disdained is undeniably brutal and on fire, but it also deeply lacks variety and emotion. It is an offering that comes from an old, once pioneering and massively influential band, which has resurrected only to play it as safe as possible. The music sounds dated and obsolete and the album's bland production goes hand in hand with the generic death metal featured in it.

On a more positive note - and if you manage to disregard the awful, guitar-burying and plastic mix - there are some interesting moments in Kingdoms Disdained, such as the constant tempo and riff changes in "D.E.A.D.", Tucker's bass lines in "Paradigms Warped", the magnificent lead guitar work in the outro of "The Pillars Crumbling" and the dissonant riffing over Fuller's drum orgy in "From The Hand Of Kings". The mid-tempo crushers, "Architect And Iconoclast" and "Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)", might also get you excited in their beginning, until you realise that they lack the necessary juice to keep you pumped up. This is the main problem with Kingdoms Disdained; its only steady characteristic throughout is repetitiveness, with tracks that play out without real edge. Trying to find something identifiable and memorable is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

If the purpose of this release was to clear the stain the previous album left on Morbid Angel's reputation, Kingdoms Disdained should be considered a success. At least it is a decent effort, albeit too often dull and monotonous for its own good. If it is viewed as a release of one of the trendsetting and most prominent death metal bands in the history of the genre though, I am afraid it doesn't live up to the logo on the cover. In all fairness, if said logo wasn't on the cover we probably wouldn't be discussing it at all.

"A shattered ego fallen,
Dismissed and soon forgotten,
Your name will soon be erased…"


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 3
Production: 3


 



Written on 02.12.2017 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 27   Visited by: 303 users
02.12.2017 - 17:08
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
24 of years? Fuck you, man! I like Domination!

Jokes aside, great review! I agree with you with the production it truly sank the album from "meh" to "haha, no". Unimpressive and certainly no one would have mentioned it if the members were anonymous because so is the music.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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02.12.2017 - 18:34
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.12.2017 at 17:08

Fuck you, man! I like Domination!

I do too.. I can also find some nice things to say about all the albums from Domination up to - and including - Heretic. But none of them is great
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on and on south of heaven

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02.12.2017 - 20:25
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Influential albums aside, Domination is their crowning achievement in my opinion so I don't know if I can trust this
Otherwise, well-written review man!
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02.12.2017 - 20:35
Daniell
_爱情_
Quote:
I am afraid it doesn't live up to the logo on the cover. In all fairness, if said logo wasn't on the cover we probably wouldn't be discussing it at all.

Let me rephrase this for you: if said logo wasn't on the cover, we would be praising a good album from an obscure band. Because it is a good album. The only thing hat prevents you from liking it is that logo on the cover. You expect Morbid Angel to re-invent death metal? They co-invented it (in a way). That's enough achievements for one band. Quality-wise "Kingdoms" is somewhere close to "Formulas", and better that "Gateways" and "Heretic". (The "I" album doesn't even deserve a mention). The production is not so great I agree, but my only real gripe is the vocals being too low in the mix.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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02.12.2017 - 20:40
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Written by Daniell on 02.12.2017 at 20:35

Quote:
I am afraid it doesn't live up to the logo on the cover. In all fairness, if said logo wasn't on the cover we probably wouldn't be discussing it at all.

Let me rephrase this for you: if said logo wasn't on the cover, we would be praising a good album from an obscure band. Because it is a good album. The only thing hat prevents you from liking it is that logo on the cover. You expect Morbid Angel to re-invent death metal? They co-invented it (in a way). That's enough achievements for one band. Quality-wise "Kingdoms" is somewhere close to "Formulas", and better that "Gateways" and "Heretic". (The "I" album doesn't even deserve a mention). The production is not so great I agree, but my only real gripe is the vocals being too low in the mix.

Maybe he doesn't think so?
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02.12.2017 - 20:59
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Daniell on 02.12.2017 at 20:35

Quote:
I am afraid it doesn't live up to the logo on the cover. In all fairness, if said logo wasn't on the cover we probably wouldn't be discussing it at all.

Let me rephrase this for you: if said logo wasn't on the cover, we would be praising a good album from an obscure band. Because it is a good album. The only thing hat prevents you from liking it is that logo on the cover. You expect Morbid Angel to re-invent death metal? They co-invented it (in a way). That's enough achievements for one band. Quality-wise "Kingdoms" is somewhere close to "Formulas", and better that "Gateways" and "Heretic". (The "I" album doesn't even deserve a mention). The production is not so great I agree, but my only real gripe is the vocals being too low in the mix.

To me, Morbid Angel is a legendary band because they did co-invent a genre. They have achieved more than enough for one band, but I don't think I am very influenced by the logo because I wasn't expecting much anyway. Tbh I was pleasantly surprised, because this was a great improvement compared to its terrible predecessor. I tried very hard to like it, listened to it so much, but in the end it always came down to this: it is decent, but fucking boring. It reminds me a lot of this year's Suffocation album. If it was released by an unknown band, I might have bumped up the final score by half a point.
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on and on south of heaven

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02.12.2017 - 21:18
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Written by Daniell on 02.12.2017 at 20:35

Because it is a good album.

That's a pretty big stretch
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Sometimes Pro Motocross racer, check my instagram @tanner741
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02.12.2017 - 21:50
Kub
So it's just like every other Tucker album - boring and average. Meh.

Say what you want about Illud, at least it changed the formula and was something new. Somehow, without David VIncent, Trey just cannot compose fresh sounding and memorable music. I can easily recall every song from ABCDI albums, but none from Tucker ones.

I would love for Vincent to come back again and do another experiment with Trey. On their own they don't seem to be able to do too well.
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03.12.2017 - 11:39
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Kub on 02.12.2017 at 21:50

I can easily recall every song from ABCDI albums

The only thing I can recall from Illud is killacopkillacopkillakillakillacop.. it took a long time for my ears to recover after this.
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on and on south of heaven

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03.12.2017 - 18:12
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Kub on 02.12.2017 at 21:50

I can easily recall every song from ABCDI albums, but none from Tucker ones.

"Invocation Of The Continual One" is brilliant. As are a few more tracks on "Formulas"
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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03.12.2017 - 18:51
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by nikarg on 03.12.2017 at 11:39

Written by Kub on 02.12.2017 at 21:50

I can easily recall every song from ABCDI albums

The only thing I can recall from Illud is killacopkillacopkillakillakillacop.. it took a long time for my ears to recover after this.

that's not TOO EXTREME!!!!!!!!
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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
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04.12.2017 - 00:48
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Darkside Momo on 03.12.2017 at 18:51

that's not TOO EXTREME!!!!!!!!

Please.. I have tried so hard to forget
Seriously, compared to Illud, Kingdoms Disdained is a fucking masterpiece.
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on and on south of heaven

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04.12.2017 - 01:10
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by nikarg on 04.12.2017 at 00:48

Written by Darkside Momo on 03.12.2017 at 18:51

that's not TOO EXTREME!!!!!!!!

Please.. I have tried so hard to forget
Seriously, compared to Illud, Kingdoms Disdained is a fucking masterpiece.


(and I guess that's not too hard)
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
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04.12.2017 - 23:58
BitterCOld
Gringo
Truthfully i enjoy it more than anything they've done in 20 years. bordering on 7.5 for me. Only reason i might prefer Domination is some of the werider tracks.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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05.12.2017 - 07:45
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by BitterCOld on 04.12.2017 at 23:58

Truthfully i enjoy it more than anything they've done in 20 years. bordering on 7.5 for me. Only reason i might prefer Domination is some of the werider tracks.

Finally someone else than me that appreciates the album
----
Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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05.12.2017 - 12:58
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Spot on review. I would say it is their best album since Heretic. I know, that is not a difficult feat.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.12.2017 - 14:48
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.12.2017 at 12:58

Spot on review. I would say it is their best album since Heretic. I know, that is not a difficult feat.

Best since "Heretic" That's not hard at all.
It's better than I, H, and G.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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05.12.2017 - 15:11
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Daniell on 05.12.2017 at 14:48

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.12.2017 at 12:58

Spot on review. I would say it is their best album since Heretic. I know, that is not a difficult feat.

Best since "Heretic" That's not hard at all.
It's better than I, H, and G.


Nowhere near as good as Gateways, could argue for it being on a par with Heretic. Of course better than Illud, but that one was one gigantic disaster on a par with Lulu.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.12.2017 - 15:46
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.12.2017 at 15:11

Of course better than Illud, but that one was one gigantic disaster on a par with Lulu.

Illud had a few decent songs, while Lulu had none.
----
Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
Loading...
05.12.2017 - 16:03
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Daniell on 05.12.2017 at 15:46

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.12.2017 at 15:11

Of course better than Illud, but that one was one gigantic disaster on a par with Lulu.

Illud had a few decent songs, while Lulu had none.


Okay, true, I should have compared it to St. Anger.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.12.2017 - 17:05
nikarg
Old Nick
It's sad that so many of the great death metal bands of the early '90s released pretty average albums this year. Only Immolation managed to deliver something worthy of their name. Luckily, plenty of newer bands have offered us outstanding dm stuff in 2017.

@Marcel: I would rate KD equal to Heretic, too. And Illud's comparison with St. Anger is a very accurate one.
@Daniel: I agree, Lulu is far worse than Illud. But then again, Lulu is far worse than almost everything, it probably only tops Justin Bieber's shit. Marginally.
----
on and on south of heaven

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05.12.2017 - 17:06
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by Daniell on 05.12.2017 at 15:46

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.12.2017 at 15:11

Of course better than Illud, but that one was one gigantic disaster on a par with Lulu.

Illud had a few decent songs, while Lulu had none.


I liked this track...



back on track... Gateways and FFF (666) had a few weirder tracks towards the end I enjoyed as well. Heretic was completely forgettable. don't think I listened to it more than 3 times. never clicked or piqued with me.

i did go into it with 5-6 expectations, it was better than I thought. this one I'll check out a few more times to see if it goes up or down, but on an initial two spins while blowing shit up on PS4 and drinking watery Aguila (AguaLa) i liked it enough not to delete from SPotify after one pass... something I can't say for fistful of other DM albums i've checked this year in similar circumstances.

though perhaps checking it out after a bunch that failed to interest me helped it... had this come on immediately after Venenum, likely would have scored lower.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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06.12.2017 - 10:05
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by BitterCOld on 05.12.2017 at 17:06

back on track... Gateways and FFF (666) had a few weirder tracks towards the end I enjoyed as well.

I've always thought those weird tracks were stupid, bad and redundant. "Ascent Through The Spheres",
"Hymnos Rituales De Guerra", "Trooper", "Hymn To A Gas Giant", " Victorious March of Reign The Conqueror",
"Drum Check", "Born Again", "Nar Mattaru", "Dreaming", "Kawazu". Almost every album has them. Completely skippable.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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08.12.2017 - 18:19
Maco
Handbanana
Written by Daniell on 06.12.2017 at 10:05

I've always thought those weird tracks were stupid, bad and redundant. "Ascent Through The Spheres",
"Hymnos Rituales De Guerra", "Trooper", "Hymn To A Gas Giant", " Victorious March of Reign The Conqueror",
"Drum Check", "Born Again", "Nar Mattaru", "Dreaming", "Kawazu". Almost every album has them. Completely skippable.

Amen to that. The only interludes I really enjoyed were in Blessed Are The Sick.
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I'm derp.
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08.12.2017 - 19:18
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Maco on 08.12.2017 at 18:19

Amen to that. The only interludes I really enjoyed were in Blessed Are The Sick.

And that's why I didn't mention them
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
Loading...
08.12.2017 - 22:19
Jaeryd
Nihil's Maw
Haven't listened to the whole thing yet, so I can't say much about how much I enjoy the album overall, but so far there's been some decent moments here and there. Production is awful, but tbh so was the production on Domination and Gateways.
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12.12.2017 - 02:15
Baz Anderson
Seems like they'll get criticised whatever they do. Yeh, maybe it's not going to be a classic album, but I'm enjoying it!
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