Rating:
N/A
Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus
6 June 2011


01. Omni Potens
02. Too Extreme!
03. Existo Vulgoré
04. Blades For Baal
05. I Am Morbid
06. 10 More Dead
07. Destructos VS The Earth / Attack
08. Nevermore
09. Beauty Meets Beast
10. Radikult
11. Profundis - Mea Culpa


More than any other release in recent times, Morbid Angel's Illud Divinum Insanus has polarized our staff members. As anyone familiar with these Floridian death metal forefathers knows, they just came back from a long 8 year absence with a new album that also features their original vocalist, David Vincent, for the first time in 16 years. Due to the notability of this release, we decided to create a collaborative review, which gives all of the staff members to voice their opinions. Here they are, ranging from most negative to quite positive.



jupitreas:

I think there is really only one lesson to be learned from Morbid Angel's latest magnum anus and it is that... Gen, David Vincent's wife, must give a wicked blowjob. If you've ever heard her crappy band Genitorturers, you'd immediately notice that her hubby's band's attempt at inane industrial metal is just a bad copy of an already shitty derivative. Don't get me wrong, I really love the idea that an established band such as Morbid Angel should surprise all of their dumb orthodox fans with a left-field release. But not if they are so shit at it. Besides those awful, stale and flat industrial metal tracks, Illud Divinum Insanus is populated with extremely mediocre death metal that continuously insults the listener's intelligence with inane lyrics and cliche musical passages. Truly, the only impressive thing about this album is its intense Nefilim-style album artwork, the rest of the band's inspiration must have gone down Gen's throat.



Troy Gallant:

Morbid Angel. That name should mean something to you if you consider yourself a metalhead. Altars Of Madness, pioneers of death metal, Trey Azagthoth. Prior to 2011, the worst they could do was Heretic. On June 6th, 2011, everything the metal community knew about this timeless act became a lie. Crushing innovative extreme metal riffing devolved into a "metallic" attempt at covering "Be My Lover". David Vincent's harsh mumbling all but asserts the audience that his talents are waning along with the rest of the band. Rob Zombie actually gained credibility as a musician. Marilyn Manson actually gained credibility as a man! Somewhere in the distance, Till Lindemann can be heard laughing at all the true crusaders. Somewhere further back legions of death metal fans can be seen on their computers purchasing the FutureSex/LoveSounds deluxe edition because iTunes recommends JT as a similar artist. This shit is more viral than "Friday"; and yes, Morbid Angel are well aware of what day comes after...wards. KILL A COP!



DerRozzengarten:

It's been done before by many bands. In one hand common and cheap electronics blend with second league death metal, on the other... Morbid Angel try to make us believe that Illud Divinum Insanus is "Too Extreme!" Well, it is… not. And this song has to be one ugly motherfucker that makes you think your CD player has spikes and lags big time. Concerning the album in general, it's groovy, kind of dynamic, blending a deflowered Morbid Angel sense with mechanical vibes, it's funny and cool to listen to, unless it's not a Morbid Angel one. But it is, damn. A mediocre and funny to hang around buddy that you won't remember after brave doses of alcohol , but he'll be somewhere around. Feeling already genitortured? Then kill a cop! Or Marilyn Manson.



Barry Anderson:

Disappointment from an album is only possible when expectations for it are high. The release of the new Morbid Angel album had been put back so many times over the years that expectations had been subtly lowered, thus resulting in my experience of Illud Divinum Insanus to be one without the expectation of it being a new classic, but rather out of morbid curiosity. Regardless of being a massive Morbid Angel fan, I couldn't help but find this new album bizarrely addictive at first, but after the gimmick wore off I am left with an album albeit enjoyable, with no staying power in the long run.



Bittercold:

"Frankly I'm not sure what the big deal is. If it wasn't Morbid Angel, I don't think anyone would care. The warning signs were all there... their prior album Heretic was mediocre and the worst in their discography. This thing took the better part of a century to record. To me it just sounds like a mediocre continuation of their last album with David Vincent ("10 More Dead" is "Where The Slime Live MMXI"... ) with some oddball tracks. Ok, so they are nothing particularly special or experimental... Radish Kult's lyrics are laughable and "Destructo" sounds like Trey wrote the theme song to an Anime show that does not yet exist. The album isn't that good, but it really isn't that bad, either. It's meh. But let's face it, they are a legendary band returning after a long hiatus, so no matter what they came out with, people were bound to overreact one way or another. The biggest disappointment was the lack of Morbid Angel's infamous, zany liner notes."



Darkside Momo:

Be it as it may, I'm a huge fan of death mixed with industrial, so I'm quite easily drawn to the indus tracks. But, my oh my, "Too Extreme" is fucking boring, there's no soul, no energy, nothing. Too Extreme Boredom indeed. "Destructos", if you forget the lame name, is infinitely better (and maybe Mr Coldy is right with his 'anime soundtrack' idea). And, yes, "Radikult". Well, I'll just say that when I manage to ignore the lyrics, I kinda like the track.
The death songs are a mixed bag as well. Many people seem to like "I Am Morbid" or "10 More Dead", but I'm usually bored before the track ends. "Blades For Baal" is another matter, really, and the album's highlight as far as I'm concerned.
Also, no one really mentioned the drums. The insanely boring, mechanical, soulless drummer. Tim "The Missile" Yeung could as easily be replaced by a drum machine, we wouldn't hear any difference. Or maybe that's because of the over-slick production by Erik Rutan?
Oh, and did I mention that, while I understand the outrage, I'm not one of you? No, I'm not a lifelong MA fan. Shame on me. And While I hugely respect the band (and somehow still do), I only a like a few songs here and there. So, guess what? There's no difference, in the end.



Mr. Doctor:

It's definitely NOT a good album... But it's not completely awful either. I don't mind experimentation at all but only when it's done well. Morbid Angel couldn't make this whole "industrial/death metal" concept work at all if we look at the great picture. I have to admit that I enjoy some moments from time to time but it's only because of the huge feeling of the album being "so bad that is good"... Like a shitty horror B-movie. Some death tracks aren't a completely a waste of time... I believe songs like "Existo Vulgore" and "Nevermore" really work if only they were a bit more aggressive and with a more ambitious songwriting (this last thing is something the album lacks a lot IMO).
The reason to why the fans are overreacting is understandable. No matter if the album was good or bad, the fans would exaggerate to epic proportions. Morbid Angel released an album after 8 long years. The possibility of failure was right there... But the music being completely different of what they used to make AND being bad at it feels like a double failure for the fans, giving them more reasons to bash it completely.



daniell_p

It would seem that people's expectations about music are directly proportionate to time. The longer the wait for an album, the more people expect of it. It would seem that an 8 year hiatus somehow obliged Morbid Angel (at least in the eyes and ears of the fans) to make a groundbreaking masterpiece that would re-define death metal, metal in general, and maybe even the music in general. It was supposed to be better than Black Sabbath, Slayer, Death and Nile put together! I'd say this is the main reason why fans are so disappointed with the album. They expected too much.
Another reason is that some of the songs on Illud Divinum Insanus are actually pretty bad. I can't imagine anything that would defend songs like "Too Extreme!", "Destructos..." and "Mea Culpa". Especially the first one easily ranks among the worst fucking shitty sound bits that ever saw the light of day. On the other hand, many other songs on this album (the more "traditional" ones) are actually very decent, even excellent - "I Am Morbid", "10 More Dead" stand out the most. All in all, Illud Divinum Insanus is a good release on the traditional side, but it fails miserably on the experimental side. It depends on a listener which side he will let prevail.



Richard:

It's too early for me to give a definite opinion, but I've found myself going back to some of these songs quite a lot already - originally from 'morbid' curiosity at how unexpected it was, but gradually they become more appealing with more listens. Sure, there's some shockingly non-'traditional' sounding stuff on the new album - but MA have always experimented to some extent. Domination used to get slagged off by some people saying it was too commercial, that some bits sounded like Pantera, and such like - and even the masterpiece Blessed are the Sick received negative criticism from some due to having a few 'different' songs.

Oh, and he's blatantly saying "killer cult", not "kill a cop", for pity's sake! Just goes to show that some people aren't bothering to listen to it properly!



Thryce:

What some of you don't see is that, at least from a business point of view, releasing a boundary-pushing beast of an album like Insanus makes perfect sense. Think about it. Those ABC albums may have been way ahead of their time and flat-out bitching and all, but it pretty much went downhill from there. So, after some mediocre releases and eight years of silence, how do you (as in: first-waver defending your reputation as 'notorious' death metal act) stay relevant in an overly saturated scene with countless of copycats that do exactly the same and in some cases even better than you (think Deicide or Arsis)?

Answer: you strategically differentiate yourself from the pack. Not by living up to the ridiculously high expectations set forth by elitist metal douches roaming internet forums all day, but by doing something interesting for a change. Y'know, experiment a bit, let the creative juices flow (like Paradise Lost or Darkthrone did). Until you get a sky-melting mix of influences that range from old school death metal to cutting-edge extreme indus metal (perhaps a bit too extreme though). Unlike you, Morbid Angel stopped being stuck in the past and modernized their shit, setting new standards for the next generation of death metal bands to come. Elitist haters gonna hate.


Band profile: Morbid Angel
Album: Illud Divinum Insanus


 



Written on 13.06.2011 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
More reviews by jupitreas ››



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RavenKing - 28.07.2011 at 03:54  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.06.2011 at 14:23

Written by Papanilala on 14.06.2011 at 12:37

Drudkh, Lifelover, Burzum, Shining all bands that changed their music over time.

Morbid Angel isn't a black metal band; that kind of experimentation is easier within the black metal genre.


I, too, believe there is much more space for experimentation in Black Metal than Death Metal. It's a reason why I prefer by far Black to Death.
Death Metal, and especially Brutal Death, is far too trapped in its own boundaries.

@Thryce: I don't want to start a fight with you but I'm afraid you confuse tastes with elitism. Some people like it old school, some like it modern. Some like both. Matter of tastes.
Also (I'm not saying it's what you're doing) but ditching everything old school just because "it is not new or original" is just a different kind of elitism and no less arrogant.
BeastOfMetal456 - 02.09.2011 at 05:08  
Written by RavenKing on 28.07.2011 at 03:54

I, too, believe there is much more space for experimentation in Black Metal than Death Metal. It's a reason why I prefer by far Black to Death.
Death Metal, and especially Brutal Death, is far too trapped in its own boundaries.

Couldn't agree more.
Whenever I play death metal, I hardly come up with some riffs and they all sound a bit similar. However, when I play black metal, I never run out of ideas. You have millions of ideas. Raw or melodic, atmospheric or evil sounding...... Innovative genre. That said, I don't like black metal. I like playing it, but I was never able to get into the genre...
MrMojoRisin - 13.09.2011 at 00:46  
How in the hell does this make the picks list?? I mean WTF!!?? This is total fuckin shit!!!!!!!!! GARBAGE!!!!! Listen to Altars of Madness and Blessed are the Sick (2 of the death metal releases in history) then try to give this fuckin turd some good words. I mean wtf is this record suppost to represent? That Trey has finally lost his marbles? That hes so desperate to sell CDs he has taken a once mighty band and drug it down to the sewers with the other sellouts? I mean what the hell are they trying to prove here? Have they finally given up? This sounds like a half assed attempt at mixing Fear factory with some tecno shit. I hope that people listining to Morbid Angel for the first time dont think this is their sound. Because, THIS IS NOT MORBID ANGEL! They have officially lost me once and for all as a fan. FUCK TREY and MORBID ANGEL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daniell - 13.09.2011 at 09:27  
Heart attack? Stroke? Whatever it was, I hope the ambulance came for you in time.
Mr. Doctor - 13.09.2011 at 17:45  
Written by Daniell on 13.09.2011 at 09:27

Heart attack? Stroke? Whatever it was, I hope the ambulance came for you in time.


[Like]
JD - 30.09.2011 at 13:07  
Reading all this mini reviews, I believe that I mostly agree here with Bittercold, Daniell, Richard and Thryce.

But then again for me I don't like this album, but it's not that bad.
Angelic Storm - 30.09.2011 at 13:46  
Id say out of all the staff members' opinions, Mr. Doctor, ("Nevermore" and "Existo Vulgore" being good songs, but could have been great with some changes) Darkside Momo, ("Blades For Baal" being the best song on the album) and daniell_p, ("Too Extreme" being indefensible and just totally awful, and "10 More Dead" and "I Am Morbid" actually being great songs) are the ones I seem to agree with the most when it comes to my own opinion of the album. xD

For me, it's far off from being a great album, and doesn't come close to even "Domination" or "Covenant", let alone their classic first 2 albums, but it's not a terrible album either. I think perhaps the fact that "Too Extreme!" is so abysmal, and might just be the worst song ever recorded by one of death metal's iconic and classic bands, has made some people let their opinon of that one song cloud their judgement of the whole album. IMO at least, after a really horrendous start, the album never quite plummets back to those depths again. (although "Radikult" isn't far off from them!) "Existo Vulgore'" is much better than the previous song, and then for the only time, the album really gets going with the awesome "Blades For Baal" and the not quite as good but still great "I Am Morbid" and "10 More Dead".

I did have a fear before the album was released that David Vincent would bring some influences from his time in Genitorturers to Morbid Angel, and that unfortunately did happen. And if the whole album had been filled with those influences, then I would agree and understand the level of hatred shown by most towards the album. But thankfully, most of the songs are free from those influences, and while most of those other songs aren't classics, they're hardly awful songs either... *shrugs*
Daniell - 01.10.2011 at 13:50  
Written by Angelic Storm on 30.09.2011 at 13:46

e a fear before the album was released that David Vincent would bring some influences from his time in Genitorturers to Morbid Angel, and that unfortunately did happen. And if the whole album had been filled with those influences, then I would agree and understand the level of hatred shown by most towards the album.


The internet isn't a place where people are willing to display their positive feelings. Much often you will encounter frustrated lonely wart ridden wankers who find special pleasure in spewing their frustrated hate on everything that isn't to their liking (not talking about posts in this review, it's just a general remark, so don't start replying with vengeance, peeps). This is exactly what happened with Morbid Angel's latest album. Half of it is quite decent, but haters will never notice that I can't really defend the album till my last breath, because I also don't really love it, and I lowered my initial rating from 6 to 5. I guess blind bashing is as stupid as blind infatuation, most apparent in recent reviews of Opeth, Dream Theater and Draconian
Angelic Storm - 01.10.2011 at 14:29  
Written by Daniell on 01.10.2011 at 13:50
The internet isn't a place where people are willing to display their positive feelings. Much often you will encounter frustrated lonely wart ridden wankers who find special pleasure in spewing their frustrated hate on everything that isn't to their liking (not talking about posts in this review, it's just a general remark, so don't start replying with vengeance, peeps). This is exactly what happened with Morbid Angel's latest album. Half of it is quite decent, but haters will never notice that I can't really defend the album till my last breath, because I also don't really love it, and I lowered my initial rating from 6 to 5. I guess blind bashing is as stupid as blind infatuation, most apparent in recent reviews of Opeth, Dream Theater and Draconian


Yep, I do know exactly what you mean... lol And of course, there are also just bandwagon jumpers who will be overtly harsh (as compared to their real, deep down opinion) on an album, if it's also being bashed by the majority of their peers. Yep, half of it is quite decent, and it totally bewilders me how some people are actually trying to put songs like "Nevermore" and "Blades For Baal" into the same category as "Too Extreme!" and honestly can't see that they are far superior songs. (and far closer to the true Morbid Angel sound)

Blind bashing is as stupid as blind infatuation, and for sure, there is definitely some of that going on with the new Morbid Angel. Of course, not everyone who dislikes the album is bashing it blindly, but some definitely are. I agree, it is a difficult album to defend, but by the same token, I'm not going to deny the existence of good songs on the album when it goes against my honest feelings. As terrible as "Too Extreme!" is, I can just see it as a mistake and an awful song by Morbid Angel. But I'm not going to disown the band (as some "fans" have said they have done after hearing the album. ) or fail to see the merit in the non-experimental tracks on the album (although I will also say that Destructos... is not as woeful as the opening track!) just because of that.

My rating would probably be 6.5... though that would probably increase to 7.0, had the production been better, and Pete Sandoval had played on it. Overall, it is a very disappointing album from one of my fave bands, but compared to another one of my fave band's latest albums ("Dedicated To Chaos" by Queensryche) it's really nowhere near as bad. At least overall... "Too Extreme!" though, is amongst the worst songs Ive ever heard by a band I love. I wouldnt even try and defend that one!
JD - 01.10.2011 at 14:55  
Written by Angelic Storm on 01.10.2011 at 14:29

My rating would probably be 6.5... overall, it is a very disappointing album from one of my fave bands, but compared to another one of my fave band's latest albums ("Dedicated To Chaos" by Queensryche) it's really nowhere near as bad. At least overall... "Too Extreme!" though, is amongst the worst songs Ive ever heard by a band I love. I wouldnt even try and defend that one!

For me I think it deserves a 6, for songs like "I am Morbid", "Nevermore"..etc.. and I think if "Too Extreme" wasn't in the trackslist I'd have give it a 7 or maybe 7.5 I guess.



TOO EXTREME! \m/ being the second track really didn't help at all.
Angelic Storm - 01.10.2011 at 15:15  
Written by JD on 01.10.2011 at 14:55
For me I think it deserves a 6, for songs like "I am Morbid", "Nevermore"..etc.. and I think if "Too Extreme" wasn't in the trackslist I'd have give it a 7 or maybe 7.5 I guess.

TOO EXTREME! \m/ being the second track really didn't help at all.


Yep, the prescence of "Too Extreme!" (and to a slightly lesser extent, "Radikult" too) is a huge blackspot on the album. I'd also agree that it being the first track on the album (As "Omni Potens" is really just an intro... lol) hurts the album more. As it automatically illicits a highly negative response, and definitely some people would have refused to give the rest of the album a proper chance after hearing it. "Existo Vulgore' " should have been the opener...

I also dislike the production on the album... it sounds very artificial and sterile. Definitely, songs like "Blades For Baal" would have benefitted hugely from a warmer, more organic production. But I can definitely see past all the negative points of the album, and songs like "Nevermore" are really good songs, production aside. I'm also glad that Destructhor was recruited, as the two songs he wrote for the album ("Blades For Baal" and "10 More Dead") are high points on the album. It's a 6 - 6.5, but could have been a 7 - 7.5 with better production, and "Too Extreme!" removed from the album.
John Shock - 04.07.2012 at 20:27  
I totally agree with the last review...it's a nice inspiring one! I agree with the experimental part...but i have to confess: i like the album, but there's gay parts on certain songs, even if it has industrial beats, which i like a lot, but to reach som gay parts it's too much! ...But overall i enjoy the album, and the gay parts turns out the fun of the album! I laugh a lot on those parts, specially on "Kill A Cop", that's so gay that turns out to be epic as a unit!

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