Rating:
9.6
Morbid Angel - Blessed Are The Sick
1991


Disc I [CD]
01. Intro
02. Fall From Grace
03. Brainstorm
04. Rebel Lands
05. Doomsday Celebration
06. Day Of Suffering
07. Blessed Are The Sick / Leading The Rats
08. Thy Kingdom Come
09. Unholy Blasphemies
10. Abominations
11. Desolate Ways
12. The Ancient Ones
13. In Remembrance

Disc II [DVD] [2009 Reissue bonus]
Tales Of The Sick: A Closer Look
01. Making The Records
02. The Cover And The Image
03. The Background Of The Live Show
04. You¹re Either With Us...
05. Inspiration
06. Making The Video
07. At War With Weakeners
08. Band Merchandising
09. The Tampa Scene
10. Who Is Morbid Angel?
+ Blessed Are The Sick [video]


Nearly every band's career goes like this: it starts with a good album, which is not very experimental, and then continues with an album which is more weird and progressive (and has better production). After that they either start making music that is inferior to the first two albums or start playing catchy and accessible stuff (some bands fail to do either). Morbid Angel belongs to the latter group, but this review will focus on their second and probably the best work (some say that Altars of Madness is better, but I disagree).

To show how experimental this album is, lets just say that four of thirteen tracks are instrumental, and that only two are longer than five minutes ("Fall From Grace" and "The Ancient Ones", which are really the highlights of the album). That doesn't mean that most of the songs are fillers because they are not, in fact, they just show how diverse music Morbid Angel can compose. Some tracks are probably hard to listen (like the title track, which is not far from being doom metal), while some are accessible ("Abominations"). Some really kick ass, especially when they start with a guitar solo, like "The Ancient Ones", while the third instrumental track "Desolate Ways" is there to help you meditate.

The sound of this album is kind of groovy, which is notable because of its originality (don't forget that this album was released in 1991, before some other great bands such as At the Gates hadn't yet released any albums. Nearly every track is filled with slow parts which may be annoying to the new listeners but they really make the music more progressive and allow you to relax after one headbanging and prepare for another. It is best to listen to this album early in the day, exhausted people usually don't have the energy required to fully enjoy this masterpiece.

To conclude, Blessed are the Sick is one of the best death metal albums ever, and shows Vincent's songwriting skills. Buying this is an excellent choice even if you are new to death metal because it isn't aggressive like the other great death metal albums but is more for the people who can really appreciate good progressive music and the hard work that is put into this.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Morbid Angel
Album: Blessed Are The Sick


 


written by metalhead3 | 10.01.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Richard - 11.01.2010 at 01:57  
A very good review, sir. 'Blessed are the Sick' is actually one of my all-time favourite albums. (I bought this album shortly after it originally came out in the early 1990's, so I don't own the new reissue with the DVD bonus, but perhaps that would be interesting to watch).

I agree with much of what you said in the review, and I liked the fact that you talked about how the album offers diversity. At its best, Death Metal should sound 'deathly' - it should invoke a morbid feeling - and the slower, doomier parts of this album help add to the atmosphere. As you said, the instrumental tracks also add variety. This isn't an endless blast-fest - Morbid Angel understand the power of dynamics, and it makes their music all the more effective.
Deadmeat - 11.01.2010 at 10:14  
I love the slower parts in MA songs like World Of Shit but these slower parts are not my type. what i like is songs like brainstorm or DAY OF SUFFERING (one of the best MA songs) but some other i just find useless.. like the title track (if i remember well). BTW the instrumental songs really rule in this album. they are all great...
routa - 11.01.2010 at 12:27  
Written by Deadmeat on 11.01.2010 at 10:14

-- but some other i just find useless.. like the title track (if i remember well).--


One of the better tracks for me. As a whole, a huge step down from A.
theflyingmachine - 11.01.2010 at 17:20  
This is my least favorite of their first five albums...which goes to show how great those other albums are. Great stuff.
Baz Anderson - 12.01.2010 at 01:25  
"Fall From Grace" has to be one of my favourite opening death metal songs.
Winterthrone - 13.01.2010 at 19:15  
This album is simply a masterpiece. I have to add a comment about the artwork taken from a symbolist painter of the nineteenth century: This is one of the most beautiful cover art ever released by a metal band!
Pap - 25.01.2010 at 11:58  
Great album and a must-have for every fan of heavy metal not only death metal. Death Morbid Angel and Possessed deserve respect from every fan of our music. As for Blessed are the sick it s a real masterpiece. However i should admit that i prefer their debut album. It s a little more aggressive and raw.
Infurnace - 12.03.2010 at 00:12  
Written by Baz Anderson on 12.01.2010 at 01:25

"Fall From Grace" has to be one of my favourite opening death metal songs.


My words exactly. The chorus is simply brilliant. This probably is one of my all-time favorite death metal records.

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