Morbid Angel - Formulas Fatal to the Flesh

Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2012

I’m sure you know that vocalist/bassist David Vincent and guitarist Erik Rutan are out of MA. And for maybe a nanosecond I was concerned, but then realized Trey would find the best possible replacement for an otherwise inconsistent position in the band. Steve Tucker fills that position with so much ooze, er, ease that it’s madness! He uses a deeper register to his vox, and sings much faster, reminiscent of Altars of Madness, combining some of the best vocal elements required to make this band the rolling juggernaut it is and should always be. With Trey at the lyrical helm, the vessel that carries the Morbid enlightenment conjures images from the myths of Babylonia and the Ancient Ones, and in ancient tongues to boot! You know, the way it should be. Produced by Trey himself, this is certainly his album. His guitars are proof of that. Sludge induced riffs and contorted chaos solos, with unimaginable screeching arpeggios that maybe only two people on Earth can do, let alone use dexterously in a song repeatedly, speaks for itself. And let us not forget the swirling roaring ground which the unearthly Morbid Angel is grounded in, being the otherworldly drumming of Pete “Commando” Sandoval. I’ve heard many drummers, and a lot of them are fast, and I’ve done rational fair comparisons, but by far the best Death Metal drummer for some time has been Pete. His compositions are unmatched, and his control at multiple varying speeds of double bass is like a switch. An awesome album! But there’s something else here. The last track is this strange opus of more of a Rock origin. Weird, but I like it. I was certainly not expecting it, as opposed to the other strange musical diversions usually found on a Morbid album. Of these musical diversions, there are three distinct ones tacked to the end of the album. Perhaps one for each member of the band, because one is certainly Pete’s. First the title is in Spanish, loosely translated as “Ritual Hymns of War,” and its this rolling drum piece I initially thought was programed with this Dead Can Dance beat behind it or something. It’s nice to see these guys branch out and experiment a little, but perhaps they can somehow infuse these segregated aspects of themselves together into an amalgam of perfection. Oh, and they use that evil chime from “Blasphemy”! Spiritually, a superb Morbid album, and something… else.

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