L to R: Thor Myrhen, Tim Yeung, Trey Azagthoth, and David Vincent.
Morbid Angel is a Death Metal
band hailing from Florida, and is one of the many bands that helped lay the foundations of the genre, alongside Death
, Cannibal Corpse
, and such. Despite forming in 1983, MA was plagued with lineup changes left and right, with guitarist Trey Azagthoth being the only original member left. That being said, he is not the only member many fans know, as both Pete Sandoval and David Vincent are both long-serving members.
In 1989, they finally debuted with Altars of Madness
, released by Earache Records, which is hailed as a masterpiece among the death metal community and one of the genres classics.
Their sound changed rather dramatically on their second album, Blessed Are the Sick
(1991), the latter half of that album containing re-recorded demo songs.
Another album which gained 'classic' status was their third one, the bestselling Covenant
(1993), on which their sound was once again different.Domination
was released in 1995 after the band signed on to Giant Records and thus they were the first Death Metal band ever to sign a deal with a major label. The album sparked some controversy among the fans regarding both its lyrical content and more sleek-sounding musical direction.
Frontman David Vincent left the band in 1996, after which the band recruited Steve Tucker to handle the bass and vocal duties. This incarnation recorded the Formulas Fatal To the Flesh
album, released in 1998. Again, the sound differed markedly from its predecessor, taking the band in a more ruthless and brutal direction.
Long-serving touring member Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal
) was involved in penning the next album Gateways To Annihilation
(2000), resulting in a somewhat more polished sound.
Morbid Angel seemed to have the tendency to alternate between brutal and more polished albums, their seventh studio album Heretic
(2003) again being somewhat rawer. It was at that time the band started to get criticized because of what was perceived as being directionless. The album sold not very well compared to earlier ones as well.
The band did a lot of touring and although no new studio album was forthcoming, 2004 saw the return of David Vincent. In 2008 a new touring member was found inThor Anders 'Destructhor' Myhren.Illud Divinum Insanus
, studio album number eight, was finally released in 2011. Apart from three solid trademark death metal tracks, the band went into a more industrial and electronic direction. The drummer was Tim Yeung, due to Pete Sandoval recovering from spinal surgery.To say the album was received poorly is an understatement although it most certainly has its adherents.
- Trey Azagthoth – guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals (1984–present)
- David Vincent – lead vocals, bass guitar (1986–1996, 2004–present)
- Destructhor – guitar (2008–present)
- Tim Yeung – drums (2010–present)
Notable Past Members:
- Pete Sandoval – drums, percussion (1988–2013)
- Steve Tucker – vocals, bass guitar (1997–2001, 2003–2004)
- Erik Rutan – guitar, keyboards (1993–1996, 1999–2002, 2006)
- Jared Anderson – vocals, bass guitar (2001–2002) (deceased)
- Altars Of Madness (1989)
- Blessed Are The Sick (1991)
- Covenant (1993)
- Domination (1995)
- Entangled In Chaos (live album; 1996)
- Formulas Fatal to The Flesh (1998)
- Gateways to Annihilation (2000)
- Heretic (2003)
- Illud Divinum Insanus (2011)
Morbid Angel use the following trope:
- Achievements in Ignorance: The band once played a prank on Pete by playing an extremely fast drum machine track and telling him that it was a legit recording; Pete, thinking that they were telling the truth, practiced and practiced until he was actually able to play faster than the recording, finally forcing his bandmates to inform him that it was not, in fact, an actual drummer on said recording.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Sandoval certainly had the sound.
- Altum Videtur: Illud Divinum Insanus is supposed to be this, and is supposed to mean something resembling "that insane being", however even basic students of Latin will be able to point out that the grammar is incorrect and that it more closely resembles something that ran through Google Translate.
- Death Metal: One of the pioneers of the genre.
- Epic Rocking:
- Domination had "Caesar's Palace", clocking at 6:21
- Formulas Fatal to The Flesh had "Covenant of Death" (6:08) and "Invocation of the Continual One" (9:47)
- Gateways to Annilhation gives us "Summoning Redemption" (7:17)
- Heretic has "God of Our Own Divinity" (6:21)
- Illud had the most songs that qualified, giving us "Too Extreme", "Destructos vs The Earth/Attack", and "Radikult". Ironically, those were the more hated tracks off that album.
- I Am the Band: Trey Azagthoth
- Lead Bassist: David and Steve Tucker were both type B. David is also a type C.
- Lead Drummer: Pete Sandoval is probably the single most influential drummer in the entire genre of death metal. Ask a death metal drummer about their primary influences; Mike Smith, George Kollias, John Longstreth, Derek Roddy, Tim Yeung, Kevin Talley, and Flo Mounier all show up on a regular basis, but 99 times out of 100, they will always say Pete.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally a 10, as per being death metal. Illud Divinum Insanus sometimes drops to a hard 9.
- They have tried to allude to this with "Too Extreme!" (which could have possibly been their hardest song, at an 11), but the song itself was barely a 9 and probably closer to an 8 with the vocals subtracted.
- New Sound Album: Everything:
- Altars was far less thrashy than their demos and a lot heavier and more vicious, part of which can be owed to the then-newfound presence of Pete Sandoval.
- Blessed slowed things down and focused on doomier, more "evil" material, though it did also bring back a fair amount of the thrashier material on their demos.
- Covenant mixed Altars and Blessed and introduced seven-string guitars, creating an even more evil atmosphere.
- Domination was hookier, more melodic, and generally less experimental than Covenant, though it did sneak in some industrial and ambient elements.
- Formulas bumped up the speed and heaviness while expanding on the industrial and ambient elements.
- Gateways was essentially Blessed taken and expanded upon and was probably their doomiest and most "evil" album.
- Heretic was an "everything but the kitchen sink" album and tried to combine elements of their entire career.
- Illud is, well... yeah, it was different. Most of the death metal was eschewed in favor of late-90s industrial metal ala Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson (Too Extreme!, Destructos, Radikult), groove metal ala Lamb of God (10 More Dead, I Am Morbid), or bizarre industrial grind ala The Berzerker (Profundis - Mea Culpa). The fandom's opinion is, well...not at all positive.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Tim Yeung.
- Revolving Door Band: For most of the Nineties.
- Rock Me, Asmodeus!
- Shout-Out: HP Lovecraft gets referenced from time to time, more so on their newer stuff. In fact, Trey's stage name is a Lovecraft Shout-Out.
- Start My Own: Erik Rutan left to focus on Hate Eternal.
- Theme Naming: Every album's title starts with a letter of the Latin alphabet in chronological order.
- An interesting case, as it was done unintentionally with Altars and Blessed, but done intentionally from then on.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Dave flirted with this for a brief period of time.
- Trope Codifier: Of Death Metal.
- Uncommon Time
- Vocal Evolution: A particularly dramatic example with David, whose growl has pitched up so far from the band's early days that some fans assume he sustained a chronic injury at some point.
- Voice of the Legion: Just after the solo on "Chapel of Ghouls".