Review Summary: Not Morbid Angel's best, but worthy of their name, and a damn good listen.
2 of 6 thought this review was well written
During this time period of Morbid Angel, many fans of their music were quite disappointed. For some, Domination was their last worthy release. In 2000, they released Gateways to Annihilation.
This album definitely isn’t the opus that Covenant was, and after a band releases a classic, the expectations for later releases can soar to ridiculous heights. So what could possibly be wrong with Gateways? Honestly, very little. The songwriting is great, incorporating riffs that are easily memorable. For example, the opening riff of Summoning Redemption can be described with multiple words: chugging, sludgy, heavy, etc. In fact, it is probably my favorite riff of the album. They also know how to slow things down, because what is a death metal album without crawling, mind-crushingly slow passages? They’ve got their fast songs and they’ve got their slow songs, and they’re both equally effective. Azagthoth’s crazy, otherworldly guitar solos are still here as well, thankfully. The drumming is as great as ever, of course, with Pete Sandoval behind the drum kit.
Now that David Vincent is gone, another vocalist/bassist has taken over: Steve Tucker, and he does an excellent job. Nobody could ever replace Vincent, but Tucker certainly does not disappoint in the vocal department. Speaking of vocals, on Secured Limitations, Azagthoth gives a shot at doing vocals with a higher pitched rasp, resembling a sound that might be on a black metal record, and layered with the deep growls, creates quite a destructive force. The intro on this album was useless, but the only other instrumental, Awakening, is a great example of the kind of dark, sinister atmosphere Gateways to Annihilation creates and holds throughout. It would have benefited from better production, the drums being too low in the mix. Otherwise, Gateways has a satisfyingly thick sound.
I really tried to find the flaws on this release, but I can’t find any. So why is it only a 3.5? Because I’ve already heard this before from Morbid Angel, and it was done better. I suppose if this wasn’t a Morbid Angel release, it may have gotten a 4, maybe even a 4.5. But the songwriting isn’t up to par with their best work. In conclusion, Gateways to Annihilation is surely worth the listen, just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t blow your mind.
I suppose if this wasn’t a Morbid Angel release, it may have gotten a 4, maybe even a 4.5.
Pretty much. TBH there isn't much Trey's done that I haven't enjoyed and his stuff tends to be way above par for DM.
The vocals are fine...honestly can't see what
people wouldn't like about them (assuming they like harsh vocals, of course), but I like legato growls.
This album's pretty much a classic from a drumming standpoint btw...I think Opening of the Gates was when Pete broke
some sort of speed record which was a big deal for blasters.
Gateways is an incredible album, and one of MA's best. What I can't understand is the praise for Altars. The album lacks a lot of variety and the tunes aren't as engaging as the ones found on Gateways at that.