Reviews : Albums : Morbid Angel, "Heretic"

Morbid Angel, "Heretic"

No history lesson is necessary when introducing Morbid Angel. On the band's 2003 release, Heretic, we see the music moving forward in a straight line, as the whole disc is pretty much the same, quality death metal as always. It's heavy, proficient, fast and still has the strange guitar production values?but that's what makes them Morbid Angel, right (and I never have understood it)?

The madness ensues with "Cleansed in Pestilence (Blade of Elohim)" and doesn't die down until the end of "Stricken Arise." Through these first six songs, Morbid Angel pummel the listener with hellish, fast drumming, weird atmospheres created by the strange production, and Trey's interesting guitar work which manages to be both flashy and slow at the same time in a way that reminds me of more recent Immolation.

The next two tracks, "Place of Many Deaths" and "Abyssous" follow, and surprisingly, both are instrumentals. They break up the intensity before the band launches back into it with "God of Our Own Divinity" and "Within thy Enemy," two more powerful tracks that benefit from being separated from the first six. And this is where things get strange. The next two cuts, " Memories of the Past" and "Victorious March of Rain the Conquerer," are again instrumentals?and then to finish the disc, Pete Sandoval goes nuts on the killer "Drum Check" followed by Trey showing off similarly with "Born Again."

The material on this disc is all very good, and we do get eight full Morbid Angel songs, but to break them up the way they've chosen to on Heretic seems more than just a little strange. It is, however, only a small price to pay to hear this disc.

Standout Tracks

   Enshrined by Grace
   Praise the Strength
   God of Our Own Divinity
   Drum Check

Peter Johnston