Don’t like the new Morbid Angel album? Here’s some excellent advice I was given.

Morbid Angel, purveyors of fine death metal since 1984. Then came 2011’s confusing Illud Divinum Insanus, comprised of mediocre death metal tracks interspersed with ill-conceived industrial-inspired tracks and at least one awkward attempt at a sing-along anthem. Based on the reactions of both professional and backyards reviewers and by countless trash-talkers across the internet (have I just joined their ranks?), this may be their least critically acclaimed album to date.

Personally, I don’t enjoy listening to it at all – and I’ve given it more than one chance, truly I have. I even like industrial music – but I think that Trent Reznor, Al Jorgensen, Fear Factory et al do it much better. So when I found myself in the company of Morbid Angel frontman David Vincent as well as a few members of their touring party drinking outside at a small nightclub in Hamburg the night after Wacken Open Air, well, what was I supposed to do? Holding back has never been my strength. Add a few Jack and cokes into the mix…

It all started when I overheard someone say “that’s David Vincent, in the hat”. I scanned around but the only person I could see wearing a hat was a dude who did NOT look at all like the Morbid Angel singer. “Is that really David Vincent?” I asked a guy who happened to be standing to the left of me. “No – that’s David over there,” he said, pointing behind me.

I turned around for a quick peek and sure enough, that looked more like the dude I remembered. I joked to someone else that I should go ask him about that latest album. The first guy immediately pounced with “Ask him what? Ask me, I’m the sound engineer.”

Uh-oh. Well, once you put your foot in there’s no turning back… so I unloaded on this guy, starting with “are they serious” and going through everything else I didn’t like about Illud Divinum Insanus.

As it turns out, I was talking to Juan ‘Punchy’ Gonzalez, sound engineer and all round death metal dude, who has worked with a number of great artists, most notably (after Morbid Angel, of course) Nile. He was an absolutely lovely guy and opinions about the latest Morbid Angel disc aside, we got on great. I got him a fresh Jack and coke and he started into what I think of as the Morbid Angel standard party line – the album is innovative, breaking with expectations, etc. etc. along with a dozen other reasonings I’ve read it in a dozen press releases already.

But then he said something that stopped me in my tracks. “It’s just an album,” he said. “Don’t worry – you’ll get over it. You’ll be ok.”

And that, my friends, is the crux of it. Like Morbid Angel? One bad album is no reason to stop liking them. Give it a chance, and if it still doesn’t sit well rip into some Domination or put on Covenant. You’ll feel better. If there was a Nobel Peace Prize for metal, Juan “Punchy” Gonzalez should be it’s first recipient.

All in all, it turned out to be a ripper night because as well as meeting Punchy, I also met Trey Azagthoth’s guitar tech Phil, who has worked with Danzig. I showed him my Danzig tattoo and demanded to know all about the great man, naturally, and he told me some great stories. We also met a couple of Polish guys on the Morbid Angel crew who Dave got along great with (in Polish, of course, so I don’t know what they were talking about).

I did eventually have a chat with David Vincent himself. As we were leaving I said it was nice meeting him and that his man Punchy had set me straight on the album and I was ok with it now. Of course that was a dumbarse thing to say (I’d had quite a few Jacks at this point) as he demanded to know what I didn’t like, and then he started in on the innovation line, saying many of the same press release things that Punchy had said. All in all I’m sure he had a few less than complimentary things to say about me after we left but he was getting plenty of rock star god worship from the other people who were there, so it’s all checks and balances, right?

Just remember Punchy’s advice: It’s just an album. You’ll be ok.

We all will.

~ by goatlady on August 29, 2011.

10 Responses to “Don’t like the new Morbid Angel album? Here’s some excellent advice I was given.”

  1. Ahaha good for you. I agree – it’s only an album and at the end of the day, who cares right?

    Buuuttt after this effort I won’t be buying or listening to Morbid Angel again. I don’t even wear my MA shirts anymore, because I want to have no association, however slight, with their latest effort.

    So, yes it is just an album. And I am just a fan. The difference is that we can ignore an album but if a band’s fans desert them, they’re fucked.

    • Heh true. I haven’t worn my Morbid Angel tshirt since the latest release because I don’t want people to think I like it. But, I’m not going to let that ruin Covenant for me, for example. It’s very much like St Anger or Cold Lake. I’m not going to let a bad release ruin my appreciation of the earlier (or in Celtic Frost’s case, later) albums. If anything it should make us appreciate them more.

      One thing I didn’t put in the post was that David said when they released God of Emptiness, a lot of fans hated it. But (and these were his exact words) “a million goth girls loved it”. He said it like that was a great thing, to have upset legions of hard core fans but have found a whole new (presumably sexier) market. That didn’t sit well with me at all. Thing is, he (I would say they, but i can’t speak for the other band members that I didn’t meet) truly believes Morbid Angel is transcending genres, defying boundaries, making history etc etc etc. Blergh.

      I wonder if he’ll have a Metallica moment in the future and realise it was a terrible idea.

  2. And then something you wrote stopped me in my tracks, “…go listen to Damnation or Covenant…”?! Why the fuck would I do that?! Those albums are also weaksauce in comparison to THE ALMIGHTY “Altars…” & “Blessed…”!!! The new album blows goats, for that there is no doubt, but for the love of crucifixion, I wouldn’t run to “Boooow to me faithfuuuly”! lol 😀 At least you said right to his face what we all wanted to say!

    • Hahaha… Sorry Joker, but I *do* like Covenant 🙂

      I tell you, I was flabbergasted at the number of people who agreed with me but were all rockstar-dumbstruck and didn’t say anything. We’re meant to be metalheads who don’t give a fuck!

  3. Well, I never said Covenant, or Damnation for that matter, were bad records. Just comparatively speaking, they are frilly dresses, giant lollipops & double rainbows when placed next to the 1st two Morbid Angel masterworks! Those are two of the most important albums in the history of Death Metal/Black Metal.

  4. I like this story – it made me chuckle. But here’s a bit of a curveball – what about the “fact” (ok, it’s just my opinion) that Gateways to Annihilation and Heretic were a bit shit as well? I mean, ok, they weren’t shit, per se, but for Morbid Angel albums they were really dull and formulaic, imo.

    And don’t get me wrong. I fucking love Morbid Angel, I have been into them since Blessed are the sick, and love everything up until Formulas fatal…

    I guess this is why they are trying to “innovate” – to take it further beyond the dull and formulaic, and to try to push the envelope and bring something new to the table. And how do you do that, while at the same time retaining all your old school fans? It’s not easy…I don’t have an answer.

    Maybe we should all just stop whining and see what the next album will bring…which is kinda what you are saying anyway 😉

    • Yeah, the steady decline of Morbid Angel *is* a factor… But this album was the first in a long time with David Vincent back, They had to “go big” so to speak.

      “Where do you think they should go?” and “it’s not just another Cannibal Corpse album” were two arguments that where discussed on the night. Funnily enough, the band that I told Punchy I thought was in the same league as Morbid Angel was Nile – funny because it turns out that’s the other major band that he’s worked with. And I think that Nile have been delivering great albums in new directions every couple of years without upsetting their fanbase. There’s not a lot of bands you can say that about.

      But yeah, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

  5. I actually think they could try:

    1. Going back to the old school Altars type sound, and adding a bit of thrash back in – I loved that part of it.
    2. Mixing it in with some kind of black metally/industrial/avant garde type stuff, a la Arcturus, or Emperor/Zyklon? But properly integrated, not crappy interludes.

  6. I have to make a nod to iwrestledabearonce… “DEODERANT DON’T FIX UGLY!” They took the bullet train to Shitsville & this album has caused irreversible damage to their fanbase. I can already guarantee their sales have been on the decline since Covenant. This one shows it’s time hang it up. Let Trey do Paul Gilbert style guitar vids with his nose pointed at the ceiling and Dave can go back to being a gimp down at the love dungeon. Oh, “Altars…”, where for art thou?

  7. […] your arse and read things properly. If you don’t like it, good for you. To quote the lovely Goatlady Kay (on something else): it’s just an album. You’ll get over […]

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