Our top ten Morbid Angel songs list looks at a band who are considered to be one of the most influential death metal bands who hail from Florida, the city that at one time was considered to be the hotbed for the genre. They were first formed in 1983 by Trey Azagoth who has been the only constant member throughout the band’s career and Mike Browning. In 1986 vocalist David Vincent joined and was soon followed by Pete Sandoval who had previously played in the grindcore band Terrorizer. In 1989 they released their debut album Altars Of Madness which is considered to be one of the greatest death metal albums of all time. They toured across the world to support this album until 1991.
In 1991 they released their second album Blessed Are The Sick which is also considered to be a milestone in the genre. The album was slower in tempo than the first record and they toured to support it and after that signed to Giant Records. Second guitarist Richard Brunelle was fired from the band not long afterwards and they decided to continue as a three piece. In 1993 they released their third album Covenant which saw them start to gain more mainstream success.
Videos for a couple of songs from it received frequent play on MTV and were even parodied on episodes of Beavis and Butthead. Such was their new found success that they were taken on tour with classic metal bands such as Black Sabbath and Motorhead. Their fourth album Domination was released in 1995 and featured a new guitarist in the form of Erik Rutan. It was quite a controversial due to its experimental sound and was not as successful commercially as the band’s previous records. Although it did sell well their record company dropped them soon afterwards.
In 1996 they released their fifth album Entangled In Chaos, after which David Vincent left the band. He was replaced by Steve Tucker. With Tucker they released three albums, Formulas Fatal To The Flesh in 1996, Gateways To Annihilation in 2000 and Heretic in 2003.
In 2004, Tucker left and Vincent re-joined. Over the next couple of years they would tour as a reunited band which included several appearances at major festivals such as Wacken. In 2010, they enlisted Tim Yeong to play drums while Pete Sandoval recovered from back surgery. With him, they entered the studio to record their eighth album. This album was released in 2011 and was titled Illud Divinum Insanus. This album was extremely controversial due to its use of electronic elements and many fans hated it. In 2013 it was confirmed that Pete Sandoval had officially left the band.
In 2015, Vincent and Yeong both departed from the band. Steve Tucker re-joined the band once again and they released their ninth album Kingdoms Disdained in 2017. Here is a list of their ten best songs.
# 10 – Garden Of Disdain
Kicking off our top ten Morbid Angel songs list is this track taken from their most recent album Kingdoms Disdained released in 2017. It was the first album to feature Steve Tucker on vocals since 2003. It also marked the debut of drummer Scott Fuller who had previously played in Annihilated. A music video was made for this song.
# 9 – Existo Vulgore
Up next is a track from the controversial album Illud Divinum Insanus released in 2011. It was the band’s first album since 2003 making it the longest gap in between albums. It is the only Morbid Angel to feature Tim Yeong on drums and the first not to feature Pete Sandoval. It is also the only album to feature David Vincent since he re-joined and before he left again. The album’s different sound received a generally negative reception from fans and a mixed reception from critics.
# 8 – Enshrined By Grace
Next we have a track from Heretic released in 2003 which was the last album of Steve Tucker’s first stint in the band. This song had a music video made for it and was also featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This album was the last to feature Pete Sandoval on drums.
# 7 – I
The next track is from Gateways To Annihilation released in 2000. This album saw the band go in a different direction from their previous record, as it was more slower and reminiscent of some of their earlier albums. Although it was Steve Tucker’s second album with the band, it was the first where he wrote lyrics and music. It was also the last album to feature Erik Rutan on guitar.
# 6 – Heaving Earth
Our next track is taken from Formulas Fatal To The Flesh released in 1998. This album’s shifted the lyrical focus from occult themes to ones involving The Old Ones. It was the first album to feature Steve Tucker. Although it received a mixed critical reception upon its release, retrospectively it is considered to be a very good album.
# 5 – Where The Slime Live
Next up we have a track taken from the band’s fourth album Domination released in 1995. This was the first album to feature Erik Rutan and guitar and was the last album of David Vincent’s first stint with the band. A music video was produced for this song. It was their last album on Giant Records before the label dropped the band.
# 4 – God Of Emptiness
At number four we have the closing song from the band’s third album Covenant released in 1993. This record was their breakthrough album due to the video for this song receiving heavy rotation on MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” and being parodied on Beavis and Butthead. It is considered to be one of the greatest death metal albums of all time.
# 3 – Blessed Are The Sick
Here we have the title track from the band’s second album released in 1991. Although the album is fast in parts it is generally slow in nature which this track is a prime example. There are classical influences on the album, with Trey Azagoth dedicating it to Mozart. The album was reissued in 2009 with a bonus documentary.
# 2 – Maze Of Torment
Just off the top spot is this track taken from the band’s debut album Altars Of Madness. This album is absolute milestone of the genre, up there with Possessed’s Seven Churches and Death’s Scream Bloody Gore. To this day it is often regarded and as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the genre.
# 1 – Immortal Rites
At the top of our Morbid Angel songs list is this track also taken from Altars Of Madness. As well as being influenced by the British grindcore scene, the band also cited artists such as Pink Floyd as an influence on this record. The album is very technically accomplished with Pete Sandoval’s drumming being a particular highlight.
Feature Photo: mario pleitez, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Morbid Angels Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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