Album Review – Morbid Angel “Illud Divinum Insanus” 2011

  If you’ve formed an extreme metal band, it basically goes without saying that you take at least some pleasure in the discomfort of others. Morbid Angel have always pushed the boundaries of good taste and challenging material, and with Illud Divinum Insanus they’re pissing everyone off, even their own fanbase. Oh sure, the lightning fast riffs and technical wizardry of Trey Azagthoth still dominate the landscape, but what are the scowling, arms-in-crossed-longsleeves faithful to make of the Alec Empire-tinged industrial techno pound of “Too Extreme!”? 

The record is recognizably Morbid Angel in parts, which only serves to make it more divisive. For every more traditional death metal track in “Blades for Baal” or “Nevermore” there is an equal upraised stylistic middle finger such as “Radikult” or “Destructos vs. the Earth”, the former a lengthy swing/jazz influenced number (yup) and the latter seven solid minutes of cartoonish vaudevillainy reminiscent of this scene from the Rankin/Bass Return of the King

Morbid Angel are taking gleeful license with their aesthetic here, and the success or failure of the album is based on your opinion toward whether or not their responsibility is to the long-time fan or their own evolving vision. Answer that and you will unlock the mystery of whether Illud Divinum Insanus is a spit in the face of history or an inspired piece of lunacy; Morbid Angel’s St. Anger or their own version of Now, Diabolical. My score tells you where I stand. 8.5 out of 10

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2 Responses to “Album Review – Morbid Angel “Illud Divinum Insanus” 2011”

  1. Glassbane Says:

    I’d never realized how techno “Where There’s a Whip” was…

    Now you’ve gone and done it.

  2. It’s more disco in the film, but I suspect that’s just a symptom of production period. The Rankin/Bass version fascinates me as it presents the orcs as maybe not so bad guys.

    It’s the first thing I thought of when I heard “Destructos”, which is a silly monster-movie of a track. BTW, I love it.

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