1993, Giant Records
Morbid Angel, "Covenant"
Transition Record - (def.) 1) an album which begins to show a stylistic shift in the music of a group while attempting the retain the trademarks that the group is known for.
"Altars..." was the fun record, "Blessed..." was the furious one, and "Covenant" marked the transition. Richard Brunelle had been ousted and Morbid Angel was signed to a major label and facing the intimidation of following up an all-time metal classic. Despite fears of major label corruption, what they released was still Morbid Angel, but it was different. "Covenant" is a decidedly darker record, with Vincent's vocals presented naturally and sinking lower than ever to match Trey's new found passion for the 7-string guitar. The production was probably their best to date, as the sound is more organic and earthy, with performances to match. The whole album feels looser, which is somewhat ironic, considering that it was produced by Fleming Rasmussen, who's most famous for Metallica's masterpiece, "...And Justice for All", which was created using what is possibly the most painstaking, mechanical method ever forced upon a band.
In hindsight, "Covenant" marked a significant stylistic bend in Morbid Angel's path and paved the way for the sounds heard on more recent output. It remains one of their better albums.