Death metal legends return in style
Rolling Stone magazine once placed Morbid Angel in their Top 10 Most Important Heavy Bands of All Time list along side the mighty Black Sabbath amongst others. They were right. Since they burst onto the scene with their classic debut Altars of Madness some fourteen years ago, they have consistently managed to define and push the boundaries of death metal, and that trend continues with their latest effort in their series of alphabetically named albums, Heretic.
Returning once again as a three piece, this album is a barrage of time changes, crushing riffs and brutal arrangements in true trademark Morbid Angel style. It may be nitpicking to be critical of the production of death metal albums as such, but it's very easy to say that with this album the production is a far side better than the muddy sound on their two previous releases. Trey Azagthoth's guitar work is very clearly audible over whatever amazing drumming that Pete Sandoval is capable of. In addition, Steve Tucker's vocals are much clearer in the mix this time around as well. The only tweak needed would be a boost in bass frequencies. As always, the album is broken up by a couple of soundscape type pieces, but in addition this time, it closes with a drum solo and a guitar solo in a sound check type manner. It's egotistical for sure, but it cannot be denied that both Sandoval and Azagthoth are masters of their chosen instruments. This album is a must for any Morbid Angel fan, especially those who had lost interest in the band in recent years.