Well, that's more like it! After the complete failure that was Illud Divinus Insanum, death metal legends Morbid Angel regrouped, David Vincent left once again, Steve Tucker came back into the fold, and new guys, drummer Scott Fuller & guitarist Dan Vadim Von, have joined the team. The result is Kingdoms Disdained, probably as close to a return to form as we are going to get, though the days of Morbid Angel being the same band that created Altars of Madness all those years ago have long since passed. As such, Trey Azagthoth & Co. have put together a pretty brutal and impressive release here, one that should appease many of their longtime fans who probably thought Illud Divinus Insanum was the final nail in the coffin. Tucker's return is welcome here, his forceful growls and rumbling bass in fine fashion, almost as if he's got something to prove, his vocals truly venomous on the piledriving "The Righteous Voice" and the crushing opener "Piles of Little Arms". Azagthoth and Von have put together a wealth of riffage throughout the album, bulldozing their way through "Architect And Iconoclast", "Paradigms Warped", and the boiling "For No Master", with Trey tossing in some of his always amazing acrobatic solos every so often for maximum effect.
One aspect of Kingdoms Disdained that is another pleasant surprise is the phenomenal drumming of Fuller. The former Abysmal Dawn member is just mesmerizing here, his potent, acrobatic bashing on the album, particularly the raging "From the Hand of Kings", is a thing of beauty, yet superhuman at the same time.
The production on Kingdoms Disdained is quite good, the band helped out by none other than Erik Rutan, and there is some spectacular cover art courtesy of Ken Coleman that adorns the package. Opinions so far are mixed on the album, and while I won't count this latest Morbid Angel release among their top 3, it's easily one of the best things they've put out since the mid-'90s. Welcome back guys!
1. Piles Of Little Arms 03:44
2. D.E.A.D. 03:01
3. Garden of Disdain 04:25
4. The Righteous Voice 05:03
5. Architect And Iconoclast 05:44
6. Paradigms Warped 03:59
7. The Pillars Crumbling 05:06
8. For No Master 03:29
9. Declaring New Law 04:21
10. From The Hand Of Kings 04:02
11. The Fall Of Idols 04:49