Review Summary: Mixes thick, sludgy, and doomy grooves with Death metal technicality to produce an insanely good album. A must-hear.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Death metal has a curse. A genre where pretty much anything can pass for a quality riff. The only other genre i believe can surpass this is Grindcore. This leaves hundreds of bands that are just repetetive crap. There are however, certain bands who bring something new to the table as their discography grows. They write riffs and songs that arent just "cool" or "okay". They write riffs and songs that truly infect your mind with sludgy death grooves (courtesy of the 7 strings),
articulate tremolo-picked parts that let the drums really shine, Vocals that literally make you feel like your going to hell, and solos that simply annihilate.
Morbid Angel are one of these bands. I was on a death metal spree starting about a week ago, and i picked up "alters of madness". I found it alot like other death metal however, needing several spins for the songs to catch. I was growing impatient and so my friend reccomended domination. I got it right away, came home, and Popped it in.
What flowed from the speakers was indescribable. It was articulate and intense. Gripping me and pulling me in. It literally sounded like hiroshima. Churning deathy guitar riffs, Insanely precise drumming with plenty of blasts and double bass, demonic vocals, and face-melting solos.
1. Domination (4.5/5)
Great opener, kicks off with a heavy muted-cymbal riff, not unlike "hammer smashed face" by cannibal corpse. It then immediately Goes into an insane blastbeat Tremelo picked part.
Then morphs into yet another blasting tremelo part. it transitions into a nice chunky deaththrash section. It flows into a sick riff with a very original and tasteful drumbeat. The solo starts abruptly and simply destroys. Ends with a blasty riff to the scream of "WE WILL DOMINATE".
2. Where the slime live (5/5)
There is no downtime before the incredile intro riff to this song starts exploding out of your speakers. The intro is also the verse, with a few variations being done to the main riff for other sections of the song. Alot of people might complain that the song is too repetetive, but i believe that the simply mammoth groove of this song as well as the lyrical catchiness makes up for it. I dont see people complaining about Pantera's "5 minutes alone". There are however a few Different riffs later on in the song. Including some Start-stop riffs. A nice Sludgy groove that the solo is played over. The solo is short but sweet. You can't not like Trey. It ends with the main riff, and some laughing. Very evil. and simply brutal. I'm also starting to see where Gojira got alot of their ideas.
3. Eyes to see, ears to hear (5/5)
The more i listen to the album, the more i notice that gojira really took a page or a hundred from this album. The song starts off with an intense and simply pummeling drum riff, with some thrashy chunk over it. It then goes into some shimmery distorted chords to the same rhythm, actually reminds me of the red chord. The vocals come in and just shred it up. Once again, very grindcoreesque, which i like personally. It then transitions into another Thrashy deathriff with with the chorus being vocally hammered over it. Back into the shimmery chord part. It then goes into a really cool doomy party that sounds alot like slayer, changing the riff completely for the abruptly entering solo. Which is very smooth with lots of delay and actually decently melodic this time around and my favorite on the album. Immediately following the solo there is a spoken word part over a flowing doomy riff. This song has alot of energy and simply an evil attitude. Definately one of my favorite death metal songs of all time. It ends abruptly but your still satisfied.
4. Melting (2.5/5)
Simply a filler with war drums and that big horny sounding thing. like that Job for a cowboy intro track but cooler. I think it adds to the album. but still. a wasted track.
5. Nothing but fear (4.5/5)
Opens with a sick evil double bass riff, including dissonant evil notes trickling from one guitar, while the other plays a pummeling rhythm with the drums. It then slows down for a sludgy doomy riff, before continuing the previous riff with vocals swooping in for the kill. I actually like the band lyrically, and the choruses are quite catchy and to the point. The song continues into a thrashy tremelo harmony. A massive blast riff follows with chunky descending guitars. Then back into a mix of a thrashy beat and tremelo harmonies. Once the chorus finishes, it goes into a sort of breakdown, with doomy chugs, and more harmonized tremelo parts, then into sort of an interlude with a slow harmonized part with the drums still pounding away. After another chorus The solo blasts in, short and sweet. Abruptly going back into a blasty tremelo part. Another amazing solo, ending the song.
6. Dawn of the angry (5/5)
A harmonized tremelo guitar part with pummeling double bass that actually combines to make something very catchy used as a linker riff of sorts throughout the song. It abruptly launches into a verse with Thick resounding chords and a quick pulloff riff, weaving in and out of that insanely catchy tremelo picked intro part. The drums really shine on this track being surgically precise and intense as running from the Police. It then Grooves smoothly into a harmonized part following up with a solo. Abruptly becoming a start-stop hammer-groove that sets up the following solo with underlying thrashy part. A pit stop at another verse, then ANOTHER solo, pretty creative with nice note-choice. IT chunks away until this insane Almost Celticfrostesque doom riff at the very end. with the precise double bass backing it up. One of my favorite tracks.
7. This means war (4/5)
A grindy pummeling intro, with an almost black metal verse riff, and a thick boomy part of almost grindy speeds. Retreats back into that black metal verse riff, with a solo keeping it company this time around. Then a harmonized evil part, with ANOTHER solo. Man does it ever stop? i think not. It Grinds back in with the afformentioned riff, and kinda does a recap of the song before abruptly ending. Not my favorite track but still very Catchy and well crafted.
8. Caesar's palace (4.5/5)
Starts off with a weird ambient creepy part. This continues for about a little over a minute. before a lone guitar starts chunkin' out some stereotypical but still mammoth riffage.
It abruptly starts into a slower palm muted part with a tremelo ending. The vocalist then slams in amidst some thick chords and some just plain groovy drums with very nice fills. This is more of a groovy song like "where the slime lives" but its a different kind of groove, keeping the album fresh. It continues on into a doomy crushing part with a semi-bluesy solo being shredded over the top. It then transitions to another a deathy groove with a repetetive tremelo solo over it. A sort of epic chorus ensues before being cutoff by another of trey's masterpieces, a good mix of shred and trippy dissonance. The doomy verse repeats before yet another solo and fading out. Amazing song.
9. Dreaming (1/5)
Starts off with boomy war drums, and a zeldaesque melody with keyboards being strung out on top...and stays that way through the whole thing. just a filler. darn.
10. Inquisition (Burn with me) (4.5/5)
Opens with a sick sludgy thrash riff with an evil harmized solo over it. the riff continues the same while the vocals come crashing in. More thrashy riffs ensue with catchy vocals and lyrics about heresy and such, A sort of chorus with a churning riff like waves crashing against a cliff. A nice deathy riff follows, with another sick melodic solo being played over a chuggy death part. A heavy groove ensues with a pull-off echoey interlude. Then back into the versey grooves. A sick groove with a harmonized ending follows and grooves on into a fadeout.
11. Hatework (5/5)
Weird haunting sound effects, combined with a sort of marching snare beat, and slow doomy chords, Great intro. The guitar leaves and bells start to dance with the drums. Then...BOOM!!! The best growl on the album BLASTS in your face with seemingly endless lung capacity with a disgustingly heavy guitar riff and dissonant keyboards, a short solo, then ever LONGER screams with an even DOOMIER riff and MORE discordant keyboards.
More of the Marching to war kinda sound effects with a chunky guitar riff. The vocals continue to spread evil through the airwaves. It abruptly stops. then back into the marching snare beat with the slow doomy guitar and the marching to war sound effects. The guitar fades out and lets the bells do their thing with the drums. Everything then EXPLODES back in with the vocalist screaming "HATEWORK" in like 10 second streams. A sick King diamond-esque Wailing guitar harmony Plays over the doomy rhythm...and it abruptly ends.
Amazing song. Very atmopsheric, and they actually pull it off. could pass as a simpler Emperor song.
I reccomend listening to the album as a whole. Its an amazing album. Its just put together really well. The only things i can see wrong with it is the repetetiveness, but any metal will generally do that to you. So i really couldnt care less. I'd actually consider this album Deathsludge. Its like if slayer tuned really low and slowed down.