Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Bitter is the wailing of the sheep, even now the memories are dis - 90%

Slater922, June 21st, 2022
Written based on this version: 1998, CD, Earache Records

When David Vincent left Morbid Angel in 1996, the future of the band seemed shaky. David had been in the band since the release of "Thy Kingdom Come" in 1987, and was a vital member in the last four albums. What will the band do without him? Well, in 1997, Steve Tucker joined the band as the new vocalist, and the year after, they released a new album titled "Formulas Fatal to the Flesh". That's good and all, but how does this album stack up to the previous releases? And is it any good, even without Vincent's vocals?

To find that out, we'd have to check out the instrumentals first. The opening track "Heaving Earth" does seem like it's gonna continue right where Domination left off. The guitar still continue to play some technical riffs, though its composition is a lot more intense than on the last album. It's the same thing with the drums, as its blastbeats are more chaotic and extreme, and the beatings have a lot more power in them compared to the last record. Even the bass is fantastic, as its bass play follows the guitar riffs well and maintains a good foundation in the track. The overall atmosphere in this track is more intense and crazed than on the last album, and it works well on this first track. Other amazing instrumentals include "Prayer of Hatred", "Nothing is Not", and especially the nine minute epic "Invocation of the Continual One". That track in particular is nothing but technical and intense OSDM riffs that make you feel a bit spaced out. And that's not even counting those ambient tracks in the last portion of the album, which sound dark and ritualistic, fitting to the metal track's atmosphere. Instrumental-wise, it's still very good, as the guitar riffs and blastbeats and intensified to play some crazy moments.

But then we get to the instrumentals. With Steve Tucker leading the vocals, he does a decent job overall, but far from being on Vincent's level. To see what I mean, let's check out the track "Umulamahri". Steve goes for some similar growls, but he also incorporates some high-pitched demonic vocals as well. I guess he was going for more of a Deicide-influenced vocal performance, which does work in tracks like "Heaving Earth". In this track, however, the demonic vocals sounds more distorted and weird, which doesn't make the instrumentals any more intense. Not only that, but there are a couple of moments where Steve's vocals feel weaker and don't impact the instrumentals as much. Steve's vocals aren't terrible per say, and in some tracks, they're really good. However, in other tracks, they don't feel as good.

Regardless of some occasional weak vocal performances, this album is still a beast overall. The guitar riffs are faster and more intense than before, the drumming beats crazy and sound maddening, and the ambient tracks on here are also not so bad either. It might not be the band's best album, but for an introduction to a new vocalist, I think this album is a fantastic start.