Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Review: Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus
Album: Illud Diviunum Insanus
Genre: Death Metal
I had briefly sampled a few of the songs off of IDI back when the album had first come out. I felt almost embarrassed at the time. As someone who follows numerous metal blog and forum sites, experiencing people's shock and disgust over Morbid Angel's Illud Divinum Insanus was like watching a train crash. You knew something awful was happening but it's just too difficult to take your eyes off of it. So lets get this out of the way, all the negative things you have heard about this album are true.
MA fans seemed to be really excited about the I album. Maybe it was because it had been 8 years since the last album, maybe it was because David Vincent was back, but they couldn't have been expecting this. You can easily split the album into two forms of music. There are the proper death metal songs like Beauty Meets Beast, Nevermore, Blades of Baal, and Existo Vulgore. Then you have the techno/industrial saturated tracks with hints of death metal like Too Extreme!, Radikult, Destructos Vs the Earth, and I Am Morbid.
First I will get into the pure death metal tracks. They are really lame. Alright, Beauty Meets Beast is actually a good song, in fact the only one on the album. Nevermore is just ok. I mean Nevermore/Blades of Baal/Existo Vulgore are just pretty mediocre death metal with some groove in them. But compared to the other tracks on the album these shine, but they still aren't all that good. Thing of a generic by the numbers death metal song and any of these three would probably sound pretty similar to that.
This album has become so infamous that its spawned its own memes within the metal community. Who hasn't seen/heard someone randomly shout or type Too Extreme! or Killa Cop? Those memes alone made those songs difficult to listen to. Once the instrumental Omni Potens finished and the awful electronic drum beat started for Too Extreme! I knew this was going to be a chore. The first time David Vincent screamed "Too Extreme!" I couldn't help but chuckle. That happens a lot on this album. Those electronic drums also sound downright dreadful, like this was some sort of Ministry joke track. The album ends almost as badly as it starts with Radikult being the second to last track. MA completely ape Marilyn Manson and you can't help but think they were listening to The Beautiful People way too much as they were writing this track. This one also got some laughs from me, listen yourself and tell me how this can be taken seriously.
Lyrically Illud is just as comedic as the music. It's mostly tough guy bullshit or some weird shallow science fiction crap. The tough guy songs are even worse because the band seems to have a complete hard on for themselves. Too Extreme, and I Am Morbid seem to be about how super duper awesome the band are. I'm glad they are here to tell us these things, how ironic. To put it simply, there is just no substance here.
David Vincent's vocals are really nothing special here. He gives your run of the mill performance that fails to impress. Maybe hes just getting old, but its not super bad. Just a bit boring. Then there is the bass, or is there? You could have fooled me cause I didn't hear any. The production is a minor annoyance since the vocals soar over everything else, which sucks cause they aren't much to write home about. The drumming sounds kind of fake, especially the double bass. Some parts seem programed which sounds like trash and the real drumming isn't the least bit interesting.
The major reason this album fails isn't because of the electronic parts, but because the electronic parts just aren't done well. It comes off sounding like some awful joke/satire of 90s industrial metal. And not only do the industrial songs sound like shit but they are some of the longest on the album and get most of the time. I just can't see how the members of Morbid Angel thought they could get away with this and not be the laughing stock of the metal scene. Even the straight up death metal tracks are bad with the exception of Beauty Meets Beast. And now there is news of a Remix album? I guess here goes round 2.
Standout Track: Beauty Meets Beast