Let’s get this out of the way: Morbid Angel are pretty cool, but they’re far from my favourite band. Altars of Madness is a fantastic album, but as this is the 20th anniversary of Covenant, Morbid Angel decided to play it from start to finish. I’m still not overly familiar with it or the openers, Belligerent Intent.
First things first: The sound was pretty great. It definitely packed a punch, full of lower tone flavor with enough highs for the crazy soloing. The lighting suffered from a bad case of blind-the-fuck-out-of-me-itis, but the Hi-Fi has quite a high stage, so it’s natural that I’d be looking straight into the lights.
The crowd was rude as fuck, though. There was about 10 to 15 constantly in the pit hardcore dancing — I got punched in the back of the head — and a group of hecklers who would just say stupid pointless shit. You don’t ACTUALLY want to hear anything from Illud Divinum Insanus, no one does. So shut up.
Belligerent Intent were the only opener, and while they shredded mercilessly for about 45 minutes, I wasn’t really enjoying them.
Combined with their stupid name, the lighting right in my eyes, their try-hard stage presence and awkwardly mashed-in soloing, it just didn’t click with me. They tried so hard to be more brutal than they were, with the dumbest song titles I’ve ever heard and recycled riffs. And how many times do you want to say “Fuck” in one sentence, dude? I’m not against swearing by any means but using it that frequently just kind of makes you cheapen yourself and your music. I’ll check out their studio efforts but I really didn’t enjoy them live.
Morbid Angel took a while to take the stage, but they made it eventually.
Through asshole hecklers they forged through all of Covenant, sticking with an ambient red wash lighting for most of the time, and switching to a bright white strobe that I swear to fuck if I saw one more time that night I would beat the lighting engineer to death with. The brilliant sound engineering kind of made up for the stupid lighting, but the damn hecklers really spoiled their live show for me.
David Vincent, who I blame solely on the monstrosity, the aberration that is Illud Divinum Insanus, played spectacularly well, which caught me surprise, even if it shouldn’t have. But the real stars were Trey Azagthoth with his insane shredding that could tear a hole in space-time, and Tim Yeung’s fantastic drumming. I mean, Tim’s pedigree almost (very much almost) puts Gene Hoglan’s to shame, and his ability and skill really shone through that night as he powered through one of Morbid Angel’s oldest albums like he wrote the damn thing himself.
After finishing up Covenant, with barely any segues at all they went straight to their classics, the best of which was obviously “Where the Slime Live.” Unfortunately, they did play “Existo Vulgore” from Illud. It’s not hideously awful like the rest of the album, but it evoked no response from the crowd when David announced it proudly. They recovered well with a few more classics and finished up, not even bothering with an encore. Or maybe the 75-minute set they played included the encore, they just didn’t bother leaving and coming back on. Who knows?
You know the drill. Go check out the bands I’ve written about. Maybe you’ll like Belligerent Intent more than I do. And the old Morbid Angel albums are still killer. Actually, I really like their stuff with Steve Tucker. Gateways to Annihilation is a brilliant album, man. I’m not sure what the next gig I’m going to is, either Origin or the co-headliner of Septicflesh with Fleshgod Apocalypse. Stay tuned anyway.
Until next time.
Morbid Angel set list:
2. Pain Divine
3. World of Shit
4. Vengeance is Mine
5. Lion’s Den
6. Angel of Disease
7. Sworn to the Black
8. Nar Mattaru
9. God of Emptiness
10. Where the Slime Live
11. Bil Ur Sag
12. Ageless Still I Am
13. Curse the Flesh
14. Existo Vulgore
15. Immortal Rites
16. Fall From Grace
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