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Evolutionary - 92%

Thamuz, February 22nd, 2005

Taking the foundations laid down by the speed metal of Slayer, Morbid Angel incorporate their own techniques to forge a highly influential record in the development of Death Metal’s heritage. The songs are based around recursive structures, flowing in and out of tempo fluctuations, combing both ultra-fast riffing and slow bludgeoning with amazing grace. A variety of tempos are employed in a non-procedural fashion. This makes provision for an eloquent template combining lessons learned from the aforementioned Slayer and the primal sludge riffing that Black Sabbath bore upon this world.

The riffs are often “interrupted” with counter sections or scalar fills, only to arrive back on the same path with precise fluency. Central motifs are concurrent, with composition being of a progressive nature, laden with soloing that concentrates on either atonality or conversely a flavoursome display of melody at selected intervals. The songs encompass riffs of contrasting natures against each other This development of style enabled later bands to move away from recumbent cyclic riff-sets, instead focusing on counter-point exploration and progression of themes within a song. Yet, “Blessed Are The Sick” does this better than most because of their precision, brevity and a caution not to waste a note.

The drumming fits in meticulously with these procedures, making use of deft fills to provide an excellent control of spatial feeling. The aggressive clarity of the vocals completes the repertoire, capping of a potent mixture that attacks the basis of modern society by promoting traditional values with the espousal of mythology.

By far one of the biggest highlights of the early Florida movement, this is a testament to the genre as whole and is essentially one of its strongest pillars – denying both time and later advances to remain a classic.