Morbid Angel

(Earache - 1995)
I've been dying to get this album for ages. I would be willing to pay 4 times the price just for the one masterpiece on this album: Hatework. This track is one of my all time favorite songs. The only song I can play 25 times in a row on repeat and I have done so numerous times. A work of genius. A blacker than pitch, sludgy, hate-ridden, dark masterpiece. Crank this song up, turn off the lights and play it 10 times in a row - I guarantee some scary results. You'll feel your eyes turning black. Regarding the rest of the album: It's a very oppressive and dark death metal work. The guitar playing is like a jagged black saw with tight, sharp edges. I can't call the tunes melodies, they are more like morbid moods. An oppressive and very original sounding album. Guitar solos are original and fit the music very well, as do the blast beats - no blasting for the sake of blasting. The drumming is dynamically superb and the vocals are perfect, powerful death growls. Extremely recommended.
Formulas Fatal to the Flesh
(Earache - 1998)
Seems like they have been listening to some Cannibal Corpse lately. The expected Morbid Angel touches are still there though with jagged riffing and changes and Trey's unique talent-bursting guitar solos. But this is a much more brutal and grinding album with tons of blast beats. The band has changed two of its members as well - the vocalist now has a more frantic, slightly thinner (relatively) death growl. I prefered Vincent's fuller, low and powerful roars but this one is good as well albeit more standard. Do I like it? Well this is definitely not love at first listen for me as with Domination. This one is so chaotic, it's difficult to grasp at first. Whereas Cannibal Corpse just stick a bunch of brutal sounds together and have yet to show me some compositional talent, MA have still stayed very interesting. I would say their fuller sound makes them sound even more brutal than CC and no way as boring and primitive. With MA there is always a sense that there is much more going on than meets the ear. After all these considerations and a few listens however I must say I am disappointed. It seems that they have focused on the brutality this time and lost something in the song structure. A lot of the original 'genius' from Domination is gone. That album takes me places, this one is just 'there'. Like that one had some kind of morbid tune and this one is just sound (Am I making any sense?). Three simple but effective instrumental mood-setters are included and the album ends with a 3 minute bombastic drum solo and a short Noise track. I give them top marks for musical creativity as usual but other than a few tracks, this one isn't for me. If it sounds like your thing though, by all means try it out.

The Last Exit 1996-

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