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Morbid Angel: Illud Divinum Insanus

It if wasn't for the fact that Illud Divinum Insanus was the first new release in many years for legendary death metal act Morbid Angel, and was perhaps something new from a lesser, more obscure band, I'd say "hey, ok, I can kinda deal with this". But you know what, it ain't, and because it's Morbid Angel, and we expect a hell of a lot more from them, they are not going to get a pass here, not after all the loyal fans had to wait this long for something new from them. The return of David Vincent to the fold should have been something to celebrate, but instead of the band returning to form they have adopted a new found industrial/nu-metal/goth/death metal vibe here on Illud Divinum Insanus that some might find 'experimental', but no doubt the majority of the extreme metal masses will instead feel disappointment and anger.

It's not all a putrid mess thankfully, as "Blades of Baal" is a pretty kick ass death metal track with a blazing guitar solo from Trey Azagthoth and some ferocious vocals from Vincent, and "Nevermore" is a pretty decent slice of Morbid Angel doing Slayer, but the rest is just generic, mid-paced metal with a techno edge that is just trying to be too cool for its own good. Death metal it certainly isn't, as Morbid Angel seem more intent on trying to channel their inner Rob Zombie/Korn/Marilyn Manson than delivering the crushing death metal album that everyone expected. "Destructos Vs. the Earth/Attack" is just plain laughable-if someone played this to me off the street for the first time I would have sworn on my life that it wasn't Morbid Angel. And let's not even get into the song titles and lyrics..."Too Extreme" ? Really? Come on guys. Not only is that cut completely not extreme, but it just seems to go against everything that Morbid Angel have always been about. And I won't even touch the hip-hop on "Radikult" more needs to be said. Awful.

Season of Mist must be kicking themselves here, as I'm sure a year or so ago they were thinking they were on top of the world having scored for their roster one of the biggest death metal acts on the planet, only to have the band take forever finishing this bomb up. As bad as this one is, it's even worse having to hear all the telephone rings that the label littered all over the digital promo. I would have loved to deliver a more positive message on Illud Divinum Insanus, but unfortunately there's not much good that can be said about this one. Hopefully in the future they can recover the damage that no doubt is going to come with the release of this.

Track Listing
1. Omni Potens (2:28)
2. Too Extreme! (6:13)
3. Existo Vulgoré (4:00)
4. Blades of Baal (4:52)
5. I Am Morbid (5:16)
6. 10 More Dead (4:51)
7. Destructos Vs. the Earth/Attack (7:15)
8. Nevermore (5:07)
9. Beauty Meets Beast (4:56)
10. Radikult (7:37)
11. Profundis - Mea Culpa (4:05)

Added: July 5th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4446
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Morbid Angel: Illud Divinum Insanus
Posted by Brian Block, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-05 12:06:35
My Score:

Every person who calls themselves a metal fan knows, or at least should know, Morbid Angel. When I heard the death metal masters were releasing a new album this year I was ecstatic. And to say this release landed with a thud would be an understatement. This is the same band that release Covenantand Altars of Madness, and somehow they've also released an album like Illud Divinum Insanus. This is their 8th studio release, and by far the worst. There isn't much that I can say now that already hasn't been said in countless other reviews, but there is still something I would like to say.

No, I do not like this album at all, but I can appreciate where Morbid Angel is going with this album. This new, industrial type metal that has become prevalent on this album isn't that good at all, and I don't like it at all, but if Morbid Angel can perfect this approach to their music I can see future releases being pretty good. I do wish that they'd go back to the raw, untamed death metal that made them famous back in the 90's, but miracles don't always happen.

Another thing that I would like to mention are the hilarious song titles. Of the many, I believe that "Too Extreme!" is definitely the worse. Besides being an almost techno metal song, it is also the worst song on the album in my mind. And really David Vincent, you had to add the exclamation point? Besides being very inconsistent, the album is kind of confusing. At first they have some industrial metal, than techno metal, and the rare appearance of actual death metal. Of the eleven tracks on this album only two, "Blades of Baal" and "Nevermore", are actual, straight up death metal tracks.

As with all their releases the musicianship is very good, and professional, but it lacks the drive that they had on their earlier albums. The drumming by guest drummer Tim Yeung is very annoying at times, especially with the techno-like production on the album.

I waited a long time to review this album, for the simple reason that I was hoping it would get better with time, as some album do. And I was dead wrong. This long awaited 2011 release by Morbid Angel leaves me wanting more, much more of their great 90's style death metal. Metallica did this with St. Anger and now so did Morbid Angel. Thank god we still have an Opeth and Dream Theater release coming out later this year.

Morbid Angel: Illud Divinum Insanus
Posted by Jason Guest, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-08 04:44:07
My Score:

I've been listening to this and can't get my head around what they're trying to do.

It sounds like the demos for the 'real' album. It's a death metal album that's been badly produced. The drums, techno, and "industrial" approach sound dated and like 90s gabba (which was unimpressive the first time around, hence it's demise). The electronic sounds on the opening track are so weak it's cringeworthy. Overall, there are about 4 tracks that are good (but not great).

They've called it experimental but this has been done more than ten years ago, and much better. The remixes of the Senser album, 'Asylum', took the same approach and they weren't great.

4 out of 10, at a push.

Morbid Angel: Illud Divinum Insanus
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-06 19:55:15
My Score:

Illud Divinum Insanus had the potential to be the comeback of the century. With the return of legendary frontman David Vincent, a brand new signing with prestigious metal label Season of Mist, and plenty of promising press releases, it would seem that Morbid Angel had another death metal classic up their sleeves. I guess I wasn't expecting this. Although I can appreciate the band's desire to be more "experimental" and innovative, Illud Divinum Insanus is honestly a mess. The only positive accolade I can tag on this album is its unique sound; other than that, this is one of the biggest disappointments in extreme metal history. Over the band's long career, I've come to expect high quality releases from Morbid Angel - and this one misses the bar by numerous country miles.

Aside from the fact that the album says "Morbid Angel" on the cover, this hardly sounds like them. They've lost the bite that characterized their classic albums in favor of a polished, semi-melodic, goth-rock, and techno-oriented (yes, you read that right) sound. It's nice to see that Morbid Angel is still pushing the envelope in 2011... but it just doesn't work at all. Songs like the inaptly titled "Too Extreme!", the laughably awful "Destructos Vs. the Earth/Attack", the goth/techno-oriented "Radikult", and the video game-y "Profundis - Mea Culpa" are the worst material Morbid Angel has ever created. There are a few solid death metal cuts ("Blades of Baal" and "Nevermore"), but they still aren't enough to reconcile for the disastrous remainder of the album. At its best, Illud Divinum Insanus is sub-par, and at its worst, I'd consider it unlistenable. Keeping a finger close to the skip button is highly recommended.

The musicianship is clearly professional, but it lacks the bite that made Morbid Angel so great when they first hit the scene in the 1980's. The drumming is often triggered and downright irritating, the vocals are monotonous and lack power, and only a few guitar solos from Azagthoth are noteworthy... quite surprising considering that every solo on Covenant could be considered legendary. Production-wise, the album isn't much better. The awful techno vibe pollutes the sound with an overproduced, polished atmosphere that makes the album even less listenable.

There's really not much more to say about Illud Divinum Insanus. It looks like St. Anger has finally found an equally terrible counterpart to be used as a coaster. This certainly isn't the comeback anybody was expecting... much less hoping for. Morbid Angel has cooked up a disappointment here, and (as much as it pains me to do this to one of my favorite death metal bands) the most I can give is 1.5 stars. This is quite possibly the biggest disappointment in the last decade of heavy metal - Morbid Angel will need to create a really spectacular album next time around if they want to make up for this disaster. And I almost forgot... if you pre-ordered the $200 wooden box set, prepare to feel a bit of buyer's remorse.

» Reader Comments:

Morbid Angel: Illud Divinum Insanus
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-08-11 08:38:07
My Score:

I get some of the ideas, and sorta understand what their idea was. But their mixing of genres here is kinda too (Mike Pattonish) in the sence that itīs not various genres blendet together to create their own homogene atmosphere, itīs rather like, here we got an industial song that sound 90 % identical to Ministry ! Then we got a straight out rocker like "Radikult" Then we got some death metal songs, then we got another rocker, then we got another Industial song. Some of the ideas are downwright hopeless. Canīt help cringing whenever i hear an attempt when David in his obsession with his own deep voice thought that the "Woah Argh" parts repeated in two different song soundet somewhat cool. It sounds too damn funny with the effect thou, "whaowhaowhaowhaowhaowhaowhao" Couldnīt keep a straight face. But there are quiet some gems on the record imo, itīs 2 1/2 out of 6 in my book! The industrial parts like in too extreme and Profoundus Mea Culpa sounds too much like some weird Ministry parts, some of the death metal songs are decent thou, and I am morbid and Radikult rocks just a bit.

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