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Morbid Angel > Covenant > Reviews > Slater922
Morbid Angel - Covenant

In the rapture, I'm reborn! - 95%

Slater922, June 20th, 2022
Written based on this version: 1993, CD, Earache Records

Morbid Angel had already proved in the last two albums that they were leading the underground death metal scene with their chaotic and exciting instrumentals and vocals, but in 1993, the band began to enter the mainstream with their third album "Covenant". This album would have two new music videos, one of which made an appearance on the Beavis and Butthead show, and would go on to become one of the best-selling death metal records of all time, and for a very good reason.

Beginning with the first track "Rapture", we do see the band continue on the RATS sound that they've built up, but this time, it sounds more technical than before. The guitar riffs still play a chaotic riff, but its composition is more fixed and rigid when compared to the previous album, and is even stronger at its chaotic atmosphere. The drumming has also gotten a bit more intense, as its blastbeats sound fierce, and even the slower moments still have the drumming pack quite a punch. The bass has also improved drastically, as its bass play is stronger and the deep sound flows well with the guitars. "Rapture" establishes the theme of the instrumentals as being more chaos-driven, but also still technical, and it's the same deal with a lot of the tracks. Other great tracks include "Pain Divine", "World of Shit (The Promised Land)", "Angel of Disease", and of course "God of Emptiness". Each of these tracks have a different interpretation to the intensity of the composition, with God of Emptiness in particular taking on more doom metal influences in its guitar riffs. Regardless, Covenant is pretty much a much more intense version of RATS, and it's really great at packing a punch with its abrasive riffs and blastbeats.

The vocals are also still fantastic. David Vincent's vocals on the previous two records were great, but here, they're somehow even better. He still continues to do the deep growls, but this time, they're slightly better in sound and execution, and a great example of this is in the track "Lions Den". This particular track takes on more tech-death influences, and David's vocals does enhance this greatly with his deep growls making the guitar riffs sound more sinister, as well as flowing well with the intense blastbeats. Also, going back to "God of Emptiness", Vincent utilizes some deep spoken word-like chants in the middle of the song, which adds in a ritual aspect in the tone of an empty god. As the albums go on, it's clear that David's vocals have only gotten better within time, and on this album, they're better than ever.

In many ways, Covenant seems like a natural evolution to the MA sound. AOM focused mainly on brutality, whereas RATS focused more on technicality. Here, the instrumentals are a mix of technical riffs and chaotic riffs, which gives the album a more calculated extreme atmosphere, as well as having some incredible vocals that triumph the others. If you're looking for a mix of the previous two albums sound-wise, then Covenant is an album I highly recommend.