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Ezra Claverie. Andrea Sorini. Stephen Phillips. Viewer Distortion Advised. Jacob F. Veggietales From The Crypt. Thierry V. Jon Dexter. Chris Voss. Will Stubbings. Jacob Weiss. Alexandre Vieira. This is a true death metal masterpiece. Nothing sounds like it, and nothing ever will.
Blessed Are The Sick is a perfect package, gift-wrapped and tied together with a very poetic and satanic theme. If you still haven't listened to this record, you should get on that. Treat yourself to one of the genre's best. It showed the metal world that death metal can be taken seriously as an art form.
Instead of the comically looking faces trapped in hell by Dan Seagrave on Altars of Madness we are presented with a much more serious portrait of the human condition just by looking at the cover art alone.
Everything sinful that man commits such as lust, greed, selfishness Morbid Angel seeps in. Musically this album is far different than its predecessor. Everything has been stepped up quite a bit. The production has a stronger lower end, the drums sound thicker and fuller, and everything is more balanced sounding. David Vincent is the most improved musician on the album. On altars he had more of a ghoulish rasp, while here he developed a monstrous roar which he credits to him quitting smoking.
He also brings out the vocal style employed on altars on tracks like Brainstorm, Abominations, Ancient ones, and Thy kingdom Come. Most of the songs though employ the low end roar he developed over the past two years. Lyrically his subject matter has seen the most improvement. Azagthoth and Brunelle seriously stepped up in the guitar department on blessed. On Altars the soloing displayed was very chaotic and sloppy to an extent.
While, here you cannot say the same. The soloing by Brunelle and Trey became far more cohesive and clear. They actually solo with melody on many of the songs and use much less effects on the guitar to solo relying more on actual playing of scales rather than heavy wah pedal use, or whammy bar abuse.
The riffs became more balanced as well. The guitar riffs are often modeled on classical melodies, but delivered like a thunderbolt or an earthquake in finesse and precision. In the booklet Vincent states Mozart was his biggest influence on this album. On Altars most of the riffs are played extremely fast with constant tremolo picking, while here they utilize some doom metal riffs See Fall from Grace and Day of Suffering intros on top of playing the very fast tremolo picked passages.
Here the riffs might be slower than altars but they deliver more crushing force due to the production becoming better and the riffs carrying more weight than before.
Morbid Angel went from playing a more extreme version of Slayer on Altars of Madness to finding their own musical identity on this album. Pete Sandoval also grew as a drummer in the past two years. His rolls of the tom and snare became more frenzied and difficult to pull off. His fills and cymbal utilization helped in making this album his best drum performance.
Since altars his blast beats have actually gotten faster see Brainstorm and Thy Kingdom Come. He also is able to utilize to the slower tempos in many of the songs to get really creative with his drumming. For example in Abominations he plays some off kilter snare hits but he is then able to return back to being in sync with the guitarists for when the chugging section shows itself.
All in all Morbid Angel grew as an entire band on this album. They went from energetic youngsters hopped up on Slayer and Kreator to a serious musical cohesive unit bent on destroying the world. A well-oiled machine shall we say that could play circles around most musicians with a very prideful stance among themselves which is one of the lyrical themes on this album. You had Dave Vincent displaying impressive range with great verbose lyrics, the guitar players Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle who really stepped up in the soloing and riff department, and Pete Sandoval who became more creative in his drumming.
Morbid Angel has influence countless bands through this album and Altars such as Immolation, Hate Eternal, Nile, Immortal, and Behemoth and they still continue to influence metal bands all over the world. My suggestion is buy this album it is a definite classic in the metal world. Instead of working out a few songs as a demo, to shift channels between the twisted, Possessed-to-the-max, death-thrash found on debut "Altars of Madness," and the pummeling and yet more straightforward "Covenant," Morbid Angel decided to put forth this offering as their second full-length, a perfect blend of both worlds.
However, as the band tries some new experiments in addition to the re-recordings, the songs and style of the album often feels rather divided, often made more obvious by the odd production practices used. The songs themselves are divided mostly between fast-paced thrashers, down-tempo sludge-fests, and atmospheric interludes.
The riffs in each individual song, as well as the guitar solos, all seem to be a bit more intricate and technical than the songs and solos found on "Altars. The drum work on "Brainstorm," the appropriation of beats on "Unholy Blasphemies," the 'lava' on "The Ancient Ones," all point out to Morbid Angel showing off two years of strength building since "Altars. The interludes, a new addition and experimentation as well, show the beginning of this practice that extends to every album after this in Morbid Angel's discography, and also, out of all the albums featuring interludes, this one has the ones that play it safe the most.
Perhaps because this is Morbid Angel's first foray into such atmospherics, but the synthetic symphonic "Doomsday Celebration" and the touching acoustic "Desolate Ways" all seem rather typical of this sort of track on a metal album, and do not quite reach up to the foreboding "Nar Mattaru" of "Covenant" or the strange beauty of "Dreaming" from "Domination," even though they do remain enjoyable tracks in their own right and fit well with the flow of the album.
Speaking of album flow, "Blessed" has got third best out of the Morbid Angel discography, right after "Gateways" and "Altars," only hindered by David Vincent's vocal variations. While the rest of the band pounds along each track, sounding like the same group of musicians as the album previous and next, Vincent switches his vocal style between a throaty snarl, similar to his vocal approach on "Altars," and a deeper growl, a beginning for what is to be found on "Covenant.
Despite a more promising death growl, David's higher vocals do not sound as menacing as what was found on "Altars," they seem more strained, as though Vincent was more keen on his lower vocals, but was somehow forced into continuing to use his old style on some songs by Trey Azagthoth.
The production really doesn't help these higher-pitched vocal's case, as they are put to the forefront, and not made more mysterious by reverberating effects as on "Altars. The drums I had seen in an interview that this album was the first instance of triggered drums in metal , are loud and clangy, and have a queer 'fakeness' to them. Both the slow and fast passages are hindered by the drum tones, as the first blast of "Fall from Grace" comes in sounding strangely off-time, and the trashy high-hat in "Blessed are the Sick" gets almost obnoxious at times.
The tom and kick tones are pretty standard affair for an early-nineties Tampa death metal album, but the cymbals and snare sound particularly machine-like, with blatantly poorly-recorded samples.
The vocals also being brought to the forefront, as mentioned before, weakens the high style and empowers the low style. The guitars and leads, however, are made much, much stronger than the debut, and bring the standard Morbid Angel guitar tone into their discography, which had only small changes until 's "Heretic.
While the production is somewhat unfortunately distracting from the quality of the material, it stands as the one of the better Morbid Angel albums, and a true collection of the band's style pre-"Domination. I want to kill myself now because I had been writing a review for 20 minutes and I accidentally pressed the backspace button and all was gone : Nevertheless, fuck that shit, Morbid Angel back in the early nineties were undoubtedly gods within the death metal scene.
While most people seem to be more into Altars of Madness or Covenant, I'm definitely a sucker for the band's sophomore effort, which is like the transitional state between Altars' speed and aggression and Covenant's heavier and sludgier darkness.
So as far as the record itself is concerned, this is a fucking milestone. It begins with a noisy introduction and after a minute and a half, the opening riff of "Fall from Grace" sets the frame. Seconds afterwards, one of my favourite riffs of all time, which is also an "effigy of what's to come" - did you see what I did there? If not, go listen to Suffocation's debut NOW - for the rest of the album cracks the skulls of the feeble. All hell breaks loose and Pete Sandoval's blastbeats are immediately recognizable, and his drumming does not just stay to that, yet flows greatly through the album with insane drum fills and rolls that fit in greatly with the music.
The above are naturally testimony to Sandoval's talent, skill, and musical intelligence. However, Richard Brunelle's contribution is not to be overseen as more than half of the solos here are his.
David Vincent's bass lines are complementary to the riffs and sound closer to Suffocation than to Obituary. The lyrics are about the ancient gods and all that occult stuff, and David Vincent's vocal performance derives growls adequately comprehensible so as for one to be able to hear almost every single word without being Kyle XY or possessing any superhuman powers in general.
Finally, the band has put some orchestral tracks to create an ambiance at some points to close the disc. Especially "Doomsday Celebration" works perfectly as a calm before the storm that is "Day of Suffering". So, I believe there is not much more to be said about this unstoppable death metal beast.
If you like extreme metal and you don't like this, you just probably don't really like extreme metal, but you're unaware of that fact. This is simply essential. GET IT! Most great metal bands have two, three or four albums that fans love, but not too many bands have two albums that instantly go in the top 10, if not top 5 of their particular genre. And you better fucking believe that this album is top 5 for death metal.
What makes this album great? You have your epic numbers like The Ancinet Ones; your fast face-ripping fuck tracks to borrow a colloquialism like Day of Suffering, Thy Kingdom Come, and Unholy Blasphemies my personal favorite Morbid Angel song ; your doomy slow songs like the title track and Abominations.
Even the interludes are really awesome. I bend my knee not but for my selfish desires. Before this album, death metal was a slightly laughable cult following for those who wanted a little more rape and guts with their thrashy festivities. It is always interesting to review albums that are as old as your humble reviewer.
Whereas others are able to make comments about the atmosphere of the music scene at the time, I am only able to comment on the music itself and how it affects me. So it is with an irreverent shrug that I continue this review sans the 'cold wind blowing in ' and 'I eagerly awaited the release of Blessed Are the Sick' style of commentary.
Blessed Are the Sick is an album that I have had an interesting relationship with for the past three years, ever since I became enamored with the death metal genre. Morbid Angel was one of my first death metal acts. I was air drumming to Maze Of Torment before I was even aware of bands such as Cryptopsy or Gorguts and as an aside, air drumming to Maze Of Torment is a great aerobic workout -- try it sometime. So, when I was fishing for new albums to try in this exciting and brand new to me genre, Blessed Are The Sick often came up.
I was told it was the personification of all that was death metal presumably with the exception of the parts that were personified by Chuck Schuldiner, RIP. I was told that it was a masterpiece.
And so naturally I sought it out eagerly. My first listen elicited enjoyment only from the track Doomsday Celebration. Yeah, I liked the interlude; in fact, I only liked one of the interludes, because I didn't even get far enough into the record to hear the other two. The 'metal', I thought, was absolute garbage. Reflecting back, I know now that my opinion was predicated solely on the production. And what awful production it was!
I don't mind lo-fi sound. I don't mind static. Albums like Death's Human, Asphyx's The Rack, and even the infamous black metal productions didn't turn my ears away. No, my eternal hatred was bestowed solely on albums like Blessed Are The Sick, with the sterilized and clicky drums; the weak atmosphere; the lifeless guitars; and the muddy, too-high-volume vocals. But it was only Blessed Are The Sick that was ever completely ruined by this kind of production.
I could still listen to and enjoy albums like Obituary's Cause Of Death another one of my firsts , despite their clicky drums. But this.. And Blessed Are The Sick really is great. I never did completely dismiss the album. At the constant urging of my fellow death metal listeners, I would give the album yet another try every few months, and every few months I would put it back largely disappointed.
Though I must admit, each time I put it on, I would find a new part that I'd like, and I'd usually get further into the album before I had to switch it off and listen to something with meaty production, like Suffocation's Pierced From Within. Songs like Fall From Grace, with its relentless riff and meaty vocals, stood out of course.
It puzzles me how they managed to decrease the volume of the vocals without a remix, but they did it. I realized, "Holy shit, there really is a guitar in Brainstorm! Of course, the bass was never there, but the bass rarely is in death metal. But moving on. I took off ten points, though, because the album is highly inaccessible. A newbie to death metal simply stands no chance of appreciating the fine time changes and intricate guitar work of the incomparable Trey Azagthoth.
But that's okay -- send them to Altars of Madness first and let them enjoy that amazing gem of death metal before recommending Blessed Are The Sick. Standout tracks include the truly ominous and intelligently evil Fall From Grace, the sinful title track, and the melancholy acoustic piece Desolate Ways. Just do yourself a favor and buy the remastered album. Now this album rocks my socks off. Sure, you could pretty much say the same for any of Morbid Angel's releases; from 's classic "Altars of Madness" to 's phenominal "Heretic" , they have all been freakin' awesome, but this one is different.
This one sticks on the mind like flat Ginger Ale would when spilled all over the new hard-wood floor. However, none of these elements are what make this album what it is. Rather, it's something deeper, and I know what it is Okay, I shouldn't have led you on like that.
I don't have any fuckin' clue what it is, but what I do know, is that I like this album. I feel like it's one of Morbid Angel's most It's no doubt in possession of some of Morbid Angel's catchiest riffs see: main riff to "Fall From Grace" , as well as containing some of the band's strangest musical ideas though they are not even close to being as prominent as can be heard on "Heretic" see: opening rhythm to "Abominations".
He delivers both styles extremly well, arguably better than delivered on their respective albums! Come on, just listen to "Day of Suffering" and try to tell me those vocals aren't just fuckin' killer note: this is not up for debate!
The album is kicked off with it's most controversial track, the Intro. Pretty much, it's guitar distortion, some creepy industrial sounds one of which sounds distinctivly like a steam presser , and some buried, infant screams which add to the horror of it all, and serve as our first legitiment proof that Trey Azagtoth is actually a child molester. This is one of the creepiest intros I've ever heard, actually, though Sodom's intro on "Obsessed by Cruelty" definatly gives this a run for it's money and I can't begin to understand why so many people seem to think it's "retarded" when I hear this, I think, have you ever heard of a band called Cannibal fucking Corpse?
A song called "Meathook Sodomy"? Dare you to listen to that and tell me this is stupid! Anyway, this is when Trey Azagthoth really came into his own realm musically.
Whereas on the previous albums, the riffs and solos had been done in a more traditonal sense, here he experiments more with other styles, namely thrash and doom metal, as well as some prominent classical influence in his solos and lead-work.
And let's not forget those fuckin' instrumentals Rhythm guitarist Richard Brunelle is no weakling either, though. While most of the solos are done at the hands of Trey Azagthoth, every now and then the duo will trade off, leaving Brunelle to supply the shreddage while Azagthoth keeps the pace.
A good example of this happening is none other than the unforgettable, yet painfully short solo which serves as the opening to "Abominations". What makes this so cool, is that there is such an obvious chemistry between the two guitarists, making it sound like they are really working together to create a cohesive work of art through the solos, as opposed to just pointlessly shredding way. As well, Brunelle is the man behind the utterly heart-wrenching acoustic piece known as "Desolate Ways" which appears towards the end of the CD and is, unfortunatly, his only writing credit for the album.
This alone should be proof that he doesn't receive even close to as much credit for making this band so amazing as he deserves. Pete Sandoval's drumming is nothing beneath completly phenominal on this album.
While most drummers simply blast on and on ad nauseum, Sandoval instead supplies a huge amount of variety, as well as still performing constant blast beats, giving us everything from groove-oriented odd-time signatures as seen in "Fall From Grace" , to purist black metal blast beats as seen in "Day of Suffering".
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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.Day of Suffering Lyrics: A call to take your hand / For I'm one with the dark / How dare you come for me / And again you must die / So ancient curse known to me / Behold the powers I unleash.