1989 - Altars Of Madness.
1991 - Blessed Are The Sick.
1993 - Covenant.
1995 - Domination.
1998 - Formulas Fatal To The Flesh.
way more Helter Skelter.

September 1989 - 2019: 30 years of: Altars Of Madness.

MORBID ANGEL is one of the originators of the deathmetal genre, with demos dating all the way back to 1986. Legendary unit cut from the VENOM + POSSESSED old-school vibe mold, guitar wizard and visionary Trey Azagthoth single-handedly crafted the world's ultimate evil deathmetal band. And from the ashes of seminal grindcore act TERRORIZER, bassist / singer David Vincent along drummer Pete Sandoval were summoned by the Ancients Ones and joined Azagthoth and second guitarist Richard Brunelle for the release of 1989's genre-defining classic debut: Altars Of Madness !

Unknown to the masses, Florida, land of fun, sunshine and tourism was also the mecca for the most extreme form of music known to man. Other deathmetal pillars from this exploding scene included: DEATH, MASSACRE, ATHEIST, NOCTURNUS, DEICIDE and OBITUARY ...all from the same 1987-89 era ...we dare to ask: "Ma & Pa, what were you feeding these boys ?"

While the thrashmetal expansion was deep past it's 3rd phase, and losing speed at the dawn of the upcoming decade, the quest for new extreme music was set on Death-Metal: the sickest and most gruesome type of music ever assembled ...and then comes MORBID ANGEL, the unholiest band since the mighty SLAYER !

The ritual opens-up with the backward-intro of "Immortal Rites" and right there at that point in time, we know that we are "Gathered for a sacred rite". The heat turns-up on "Suffocation" a vile track displaying Pete Sandoval's commanding drumming. Track #3 "Visions From The Dark Side" is another trend-killer featuring some mind-boggling guitar harmonized-riffing, there's no turning back. The haunting "Chapel Of Ghouls" sets the bar ever higher and cements the band's religious position with it's epic mid-section "Demons attack with hate, Satan in the fire of hell awaits, death against you all, God hear my death call", while the über 2:23sec blast of "Bleed For The Devil" stands as one of deathmetal's fastest and most vicious track.

The LP closes with "Evil Spells" a older re-vamped and updated demo-track that officializes MORBID ANGEL's musical superiority in this rabid scene, yet the center-piece of the album remains the Earth-shattering "Maze Of Torment", total majestic brutality, matched with a wicked set of evil-infused lyrics. The hidden-gem, the CD bonus-track "Lord Of All Fevers & Plague" is one of deathmetal's best track, ever. It features demon calling, speedmetal rhythms, dive-bombs leads and a progressive bridge, a unique pattern to this song and a now MORBID ANGEL time-signature.

Granted, deathmetal was never really meant to be Satanic or Christian-hostile, but make no mistake that MORBID ANGEL took it upon themselves that the original VENOM + POSSESSED message gets across to this new crowd ...a heavymetal version of H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon if you will.

Now 30 strong years later it still stands today as one of the genre's most insane release, ever, and just like it's predecessors in VENOM's Welcome To Hell and POSSESSED's Seven Churches ...Altars Of Madness is a fine exhibition of dark, occult and spiritual-themes wrapped in updated aggressive deathmetal with grind-core overtones. The letter "A" stands as the first of the alphabet and also the first in the MORBID-catalog, but it also stands as a new musical beginning for a now entire legion of bands that spawned 3 rich decades of brutality ...thanks Trey !

Ia !!!
Iak Sakkakh !!!
Iak Sakkakth !!!
Ia Shaxul !!!

Altars Of Madness = full LP
A very special interview in 1989 - merci Laurent
Live in the UK in 1989

May 22, 1991 - 2021: 30 years of: Blessed Are The Sick.


The year is 1991, the State is Florida and the sound is Death-Metal: the most abominative music on Earth. And from the glorious Class Of '91 dominates the sickest band, the legendary desolate act that kickstarted the genre way, way back from the altar in 1983: Hail Trey Azagthoth, the original angel of disease !

Extremes have always been put to test. From VENOM, to HELLHAMMER / CELTIC FROST, to SLAYER, to POSSESSED, to DEATH and now a classier brutality sets in and initiates a fatal formula for the new face of deathmetal: MORBID ANGEL's Blessed Are The Sick. The animalistism of 1989's all-killers Altars Of Madness LP is still present, yet refined to new heights. An ultra modern posh production, courtesy of Tom and Morrisound Studio, where all the instruments clashes into a whirlwind of sophisticated hatred.

The madness starts with the commanding "Fall From Grace", with it's intricate riffing and time-signature and the hyperblast continues with a headshot on "Brainstorm". A frolic into the unknown is offered with the gothic interlude of "Doomsday Celebration" and then instant Armageddon with the short brutal "Day Of Suffering".

Some underground previous material gets entombed with the killings of "Unholy Blasphemies" and the fret-board juggernaut of "Thy Kingdom Come". Like the great works of dual-legends Downing + Tipton, the Azagthoth + Brunelle combination raises the stakes, as displayed on the adventurous 5:54sec epic "The Ancient Ones".

This majestic deathmetal release still stands proud today, 30 years later, as it is the first to feature a full piano piece and a classical-guitar solo piece. Setting new trends and pushing audio-boundaries to the extremes, the Blessed Are The Sick CD is not only the corner-stone in MORBID ANGEL's immovable legacy, but one of the Top 10 All-Time Classics in deathmetal's bloody imperial doom history.

In concert, some of us were truly blessed into this covenant, like myself, as not only this unit was in it's prime, but also performed a lovely treat: the TERRORIZER classic "Dead Shall Rise" obviously 50% of the TERRORIZER lineup were on-stage. This sickness also transcended and spearheaded this newly formed branch of deathmetal: dark-deathmetal.

RIP Richard Brunelle (1964-2019)

Blessed Are The Sick = video
Blessed Are The Sick = full CD
Interview MTV in 1991
Live in 1991
Tales Of The Sick documentary
Some guy

June 22, 1993 - 2023: 30 years of: Covenant.

Deathmetal reigns on top of the world.

1993, top deathmetal album from the top deathmetal band at the top of the genre's creative peak. This eccentric era where the most extreme form of music on Earth was portrayed on MTV and distributed by major-labels Warner and Sony. What a time to be alive and what a Grand Slam for MORBID ANGEL ...Fathers Of The Extremes !

Breaking away from 1991's perfect showcase of Blessed Are The Sick CD, this new darker and low-fi edition of the Azazel worshippers would push deathmetal into a maze of torment.

In "Rapture" we're born again. One of the most brutal deathmetal track ever, with a sick matching video. Fast and furious, this dirty trio never lets loose. The hellrasing continues of the grinding "Pain Divine" and the inner self madness of "Vengeance Is Mine". The groove gets uglier on "The Lion's Den", a bloody Roman rage where Christian stands breathless, while the 1985 dark / deathrash cult-classick "Angel Of Disease" gets a modern facelift.

The Ibanez 7-string guitar gets a guest-appearance in Azagthoth's palms on "Blood On My Hands" and the moody trendsetter of "God Of Emptiness" ...were doommetal makes a cameo in one of deathmetal's most daring tracks. Are you morbid ?

Recorded at night at Morrisound Studios and produced by Flemming Rasmussen, the man behind the desk for the immortal thrash-trio of Lightning, Puppets and Justice LPs ...Covenant is: the be all end all in extreme-metal. Live onstage, please welcome the collaboration of Erik Rutan on guitars.

1993, during the epitome of the Seattle signature and also a beloved facewashing by Beavis And Butt-Head, this hellish trio could do no wrong. Simultaneously released in Europe by Earache Records and by Giant Records in North America and with a Soundscan-certified 153000+ units sold in the US / CAN, Covenant is: one of the most successful selling deathmetal CD in history.

1993, the commercial height for deathmetal but also the beginning of the end, as most band from the First Wave were moving away from the very roots of the movement ...namely: PESTILENCE, CARCASS and ENTOMBED.

After this brainstorm, the last David Vincent led abomination shall ascend in 1995 ...the final piece of the perfect deathmetal quatro: Domination !

"Bow to me faithfully - bow to me splendidly...
Bow to me faithfully - bow to me splendidly."

Rapture = video
God Of Emptiness = video
Covenant = full CD
Interview in 1993
Live in Hollywood in 1993
Beavis & Butt-Head
some guys

May 9, 1995 - 2020: 25 years of: Domination.

The official end of a dominating era.

1995, the last straw for the classic deathmetal era, the year the wheels were falling off: NAPALM DEATH weren't grindin', Chris Barnes was out of CANNIBAL CORPSE, CARCASS were now officially a metallized rocknroll band, OBITUARY had recently released the same album for the 3rd time ...and now this: David Vincent's last MORBID ANGEL collaboration.

The deathmetal-scene had been around since 1987, and like any genre, changes do occur. Musical explorations, scene saturation, fan tiredness and strong competition from Norway's church-burners was full-on 360°. Not to be outdone, MORBID ANGEL's Domination CD, the second and last release for major-label Giant Records, is the most extreme album on their catalog, after 1993's cut-throat attack, the legendary Covenant CD.

One final shot of hate.

"I'm staring at you through the eyes of the wolf - tell me who is going to save you now ?" Vincent proudly shouts aloud on the fast title-track. "Dominate" could be one of the band's best track, ever, as the brutality level hits 666% on cue. After exploring the options of the Ibanez 7-string Universe guitar on 1993's sludgy "God Of Emptiness", this weapon of mass-destruction would now be fully utilized on beheading tracks like "Dawn Of The Angry" and the killing-machine "This Means War"

"Where The Slime Live" is a somewhat attempt to please the casual non-initiated deathmetal fans, the major-label wanted to convert. The mid-paced track and simple verse-chorus-verse and explosive finger-tapping VAN HALEN-ized lead, follows the typical rock-format for an atypical rock-band. Not sell-out, but still catchy, "Slime" did find it's way back into the band's recent setlist. The rock-element is also apparent on "Caesar's Palace", while the closing-track, the enormous "Hatework" displays another eerie side of the band, with uncharted territories, including bell-chimes and timpani drums.

Domination still remains a bold-statement from this legendary band that started this very genre almost a decade ago, with main-writer guitarist and visionaire Trey Azagthoth, still firmly behind the wheel. Yet later on, he would be very critical of the album's sterile production.

The band, minus-Vincent, would later return to their underground roots with new frontman Steve Tucker, as a creative-trio, on the dark onslaught, the raw 1998 Formulas Fatal To The Flesh CD.

Where The Slime Live = video
Domination = full CD
Live a Montreal le 5 aout 1995
MTV interview in 1996
some guy

February 24, 1998 - 2023: 25 years of: Formulas Fatal To The Flesh.

I AM !

Beneath the remains in this post David Vincent-era, we welcome the new ring-master of the extremes: Mister Steve Tucker. With faith, fire and fury, arises The Ancient Ones, the covenant is complete: the return of MORBID ANGEL. The original blessed are the sick re-invents the genre: this is swamp deathmetal.

Raw and relentless, the massacre lands right here on this "Heaving Earth". The assault leaves no souls standing as you beg for mercy with these "Prayer Of Hatred", deathmetal never sounded deadlier. Sonic dismemberment continues on the grinding "Chamber Of Dis" and yes, another blast of unpolished deathmetal on the hot fret-work of "Covenant Of Death".

Under evil spells, two deep demo-cuts gets revamped. First the progressive 1984 "Invocation Of The Continual One", a 9:47sec adventure into the macabre, with Trey Azagthoth on lead vocals ...pure old-school. Next is the 1986 "Hellspawn: The Rebirth" that blasts into Mach V speeds. Never this summoning has been so fast and so vile ...pure possession.

The trademarked interludes are still present, yet the two final outros are a complete trek into the left hand path. Pete Sandoval's traditional tribal percussions of "Hymnos Rituales De Guerra" and Trey's passion for video-games in the "Trooper" war sound-effect loop.

Dark and dirty, the production and loud overheads on the drums, makes this production, the anti early 90s Scott Burns trick. The game is pushed to the edge, as the fat tones, supported by the Ibanez Universe 7-string and hyper musicianship strikes every nerve. This is the new format in deathmetal, this new formula truly is: the root of all evil.

In an ever changing scene, from both deathmetal and the Church-burning Euro-blackmetal, MORBID ANGEL remains the ultimate domination as they are the Fathers Of The Extremes. "F" is the sixth letter of the alphabet as well as the sixth installment in this impressive discography ...this flesh-bound fatal formula reads as follow: "F - F - F" = "6 - 6 - 6"


From giant major-label back to the earache underground, the madness is raised at the altar. MORBID ANGEL digs deep below, into the roots of occultism and Pazuzu-worship. On tour with other dark-death mongers INCANTATION and VADER, this writer can assess that the blunt power and visual aggression from the Lords of all fevers and plague was real and imminent. Into the Lion's den, the trio would attack again with hate in mind, on 2000's modern dark-deathmetal summoning Gateways To Annihilation CD.


Formulas Fatal To The Flesh = full CD
Interview with Trey
Live in Montreal in 1998




Death-Metal 1988-92


Death-Metal US 1991

(c) (p) 2017-2024 All Rights Reserved. Tous Droits Réservés.