Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained
Written By: Dustin Koetsch
Look, we all know what a stain Morbid Angel’s last album was, not a single review or mention of the band can take place without bringing that up and rightfully so, it was a huge creative misstep. Morbid Angel knows this and you can tell they wanted to silence all naysayers and put angry or dissuaded fans reservations to bed with this album “Kingdoms Disdained” And they did that in spades. There was nothing held back with this album it feels like, the pure ferocity this album exudes from the opening blisteringly rapacious moments to the pure unrestrained and savage closing notes.
The first thing that's very apparent on this album is that crushing Morbid Angel guitar tone is back, their guitars haven’t sounded this menacing and volatile since 2000’s “Gateways to Annihilation.”
Azagthoth’s guitar work has an impenetrable fluidity about it that just exudes excessive brutality that's infused throughout the songwriting on “Kingdoms Disdained” The track “Paradigms Warped” has that elephant stomping riff quality that will surely have heads banging for years to come. Its a non stop gallop riff that just obliterates your ears with its grooviness. “Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)” is comprised of a punishing chugging riff that sounds fierce and unmerciful in its execution. And like I sated in the opening of this review, the closing moments in “The Fall of Idols” is HEAVY. There's so many excellent, pure death metal moments on this whole album that Trey expertly composed here. There's no denying the band was out to prove something and the songs speak for themselves.
Bringing back veteran Vocalist/Bassist Steve Tucker was such a good decision, there's something about his vocals that adds a pure confluence into the rest of the bands sound and its is the quintessential Morbid Angel vocal you know and remember. But that being said, I think Tucker’s vocal work on this album is far and above beyond anything he has done with the band in the past. His delivery and projection sounds so much more replete and lavish than it used to and he really just adds that extra bit of bitter savagery that his growls are known for on “Kingdoms Disdained”
The drumming on this album is just a whirlwind force of nature, endless blasting and double bass that feels so unrelenting at times, but in the best way possible. After losing Pete Sandoval and having Tim Yueng on an album, bringing in drummer Scott Fuller to join the band was a beyond proficient addition to the band. The dude is a straight savage drummer and plays his entire kit with blazing fluency that on each and every song you really notice each skillful nuance of what part of the drum he’s playing and how fast.
Another reason this album sounds so good and heavy? Erik Rutan. What better person to have mix and produce your album than the dude that used to be in the band. There really was no better choice than to have him involved to make the band sound the best they have in nearly 17 years.
“Kingdoms Disdained” is a serious return to form with its crushing totality of heaviness. And will easily be a late contender for my end of year list. Lets just act like “llud Divinum Insanus” never existed and that the band was actually on hiatus since 2003 and now they released this beast of an album on us.
“Kingdoms Disdained” 9/10