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Morbid Angel - Heretic review

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Band: Morbid Angel
Album: Heretic
Release date: 2003

01. Cleansed In Pestilence (Blade Of Elohim)
02. Enshrined By Grace
03. Beneath The Hollow
04. Curse The Flesh
05. Praise The Strength
06. Stricken Arise
07. Place Of Many Death
08. Abyssous
09. God Of Our Own Divinity
10. Within Thy Enemy
11. Memories Of The Past
12. Victorious March Of Reign The Conqueror
13. Drum Check
14. Born Again

Unquestionably one of death metals pioneers, Morbid Angel have once again returned to prominence with a new album, and to show all why their highly regarded influential reputation precedes them before anyone else on the scene. Keeping in line with Morbid Angel's alphabetical album titles, the three piece act's latest [and eighth studio album to date] goes under the name of ?Heretic?.

In the three since their last album [2000's ?Gateways To Annihilation?], the line up has been reduced to a three piece with guitarist Erik Rutan deciding to devote full time to his [now full time] side project Hate Eternal.

The combined forces of Trey Azagthoth [songwriter, guitars, guitar synthesizers and synthesizers], the return of Steve Tucker [vocals and bass guitar] and Pete Sandoval [drums, additional piano and keyboards] still makes for a powerful death metal noise, not to mention surpass some other recent releases from the group in recent times [most notably ?Gateways To Oblivion?].

?Cleansed In Pestilence [Blade Of Elohim]? is a mighty return to the old Morbid Angel sound with lightning paced drums from Sandoval, while Azagthoth's relentless speed riffing and innovative soloing is as eclectic and demanding on the senses as ever.

Next up is ?Enshrined By Grace? [which also happens to be the albums first promotional video clip] is steeped in demonic tones, while Tucker has mixed his vocal dominance with plenty of variation with different levels of ungodly sounding growls.

?Beneath The Hollow?, ?Curse The Flesh? and ?Praise The Strength? all utilizes plenty of distinctive old school riff elements, while ?Stricken Arise? and ?Within Thy Enemy? make speed the deciding factor for their solid metallic base.

Both ?Place Of Many Deaths? and ?Abyssous? offer brief moments of demented and harrowing sound effect interludes, while ?Memories Of The Past? and ?Vicious March Of Rain The Conqueror? are somewhat Victorian sounding with violin, guitar, piano and synthesizers providing the appropriate imperialistic sounding setting.

As the title suggests, ?Drum Check? is a drum sound check from Sandoval. Yes, it sounds good, but why it's included on the album still remains a mystery. Adding to the mystery is Azagthoth's guitar solo number ?Born Again?. Both tracks bring the album to a close, and not a strong one at that!

Whether or not you can figure out the loosely based numerology concept within ?Heretic? or not is neither here nor there. And if you take away the last couple of tracks from the album, you?ll find ?Heretic? a bold return to form from a band that wandered a little into the wilderness, but found the path in time before being lost forever.

Written by Justin | 22.09.2003

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

Staff review by
The first tracks of this album are worthwhile enough; people say this might be Morbid Angel's weaker album, the vocalist became powerless (cool thing because that fact marked David Vincent's return) the music is a little uninspired and the songwriting wasn't as tight as it used to be?but those two first songs are way intense and more powerful than any song in the entire "Steve Tucker" roster.

published 18.04.2007 | Comments (6)


Comments: 10   Visited by: 74 users
26.07.2006 - 18:27
Rating: 7
Retired Staff
this album compltely bored me, the reason being i heard the band Mithras before i had heard Morbid Angel...
BAS - Beautifully Accented Sexiness
26.07.2006 - 22:24
Mr. Noise
When I noticed you posted here, I expected nothing less. But it's true, since Mithras owns.
SLUDGE. DOOM. DEATH. Wait, what?

"The reason I'm running for president is because I can't be Bruce Springsteen." - Barack Obama
26.07.2006 - 22:58
Rating: 6
The production of this album isn't very good, but I still enjoy it.
27.07.2006 - 02:41
Rating: 8
Lactation Cnslt
This album is my second least favorite Morbid Angel album, but I still like it. Praise the Strength is an awesome song.
27.07.2006 - 03:36
Sepulchral Oath
Account deleted
I agree with what some of you guys have said. Of all the Morbid Angel albums i own, this one is probably my least favorite.
03.02.2007 - 02:25
Account deleted
This album was dissapointing. I found it pretty boring because it really is formulaic Morbid Angel, all the songs sound much the same and sound much like everything else they have released, but with less passion and originality. My least favourite Morbid album, 6/10. I read somewhere that David Vincent has rejoined the band, maybe this will see an improvement with their next release.
03.02.2007 - 02:33
Rating: 8
Lactation Cnslt
heh....I've had this album ever since it first came out and I still have only listened to it once. Praise the Strength always comes up on my internet radio though, on the rare occasions that I use it, and that song owns. One of the few good songs on this album.
04.07.2007 - 11:47
Rating: 6
LeChron James
the "drum check" track is fucking OFF THE CHAIN. Pete Sandoval is easily one of the best death metal drummers EVER.
Kick Ass, Die Young

Less is More
Stay Pure
Stay Poor

Music was my life, music brought me to life and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz in my head that only I can hear.
08.08.2007 - 07:33
Account deleted
this album is awesome it is different just like every other morbid angel release. it had its moments that made you say WHAT THE F**K. other than that it was a great album \\\\\\\m///////:banger2:
04.04.2011 - 08:59

I can see what happened here with these guys. I'm a strong fan of theirs and I could never get into this album until not too long ago. I can hear it as a guitarist that grew listening to Morbid Angel, starting to play just as Formulas came out, that Trey has lost a great deal of creativity in song writing. I've been watching interviews with them, post-Vincent. He acts like it was because David Vincent wasn't writing lyrics that he likes, but what really happened is that Vincent married Gen from the Genitortures and played bass and toured with her band. It's really that simple. Vincent's more social, and he isn't. It's my guess Vincent teamed back up with them when he heard this album, because compared to every other album, this one is complete and utter garbage. Track 14 is nothing more than the solo at the end of Invocation of the Continual off of Formulas without any backing music. If you were a big fan in the late 90s, they had a special edition CD you could get with JUST Trey's guitar solos without any backing instruments. THIS ALBUM IS SOCIO-PATHETIC

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