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Review: Morbid Angel - Heretic
Morbid Angel

Label: Earache Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 69:58
Tracks: 44
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: March 23, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.04/5 (80.8%) (75 Votes)

This seventh album by the venerable Morbid Angel drew a lot of fire from both sides, some proclaiming it a masterwork, some saying it was complete crap, as usual, the truth is somewhere in between. This is their third full-length since the departure of David Vincent and his replacement by Steve Tucker. Some fans just hate Tucker, and won't give him any credit at all, but I don't see anything wrong with him. Steve Tucker is not responsible for the crappy parts of this album.

The first part of this disc is fine. The guitar sound is a little weak, but Morbid Angel have always had a weak guitar sound, and at least this sounds clearer than the muddy mess of Formulas Fatal To The Flesh. Some of the songs on here are pretty good, with the signature MA riff-style and some catchy punch to them. Overall this is slower-paced than what we expect from the band, with a lot of sentinel-paced marching on "Enshrined By Grace" and "Beneath The Hollow". Mostly the songs are decent if uninspired, without anything to really make them stand out. There is nothing here as vicious and catchy as "Suffocation", "Angel Of Disease" or "Fall From Grace", but it's not bad right up until "Victorious March of Reign the Conqueror", and after that everything goes to shit. The track called "Drum Check" is exactly that, and why it's on here is anyone's guess — did they think we would care? After this there are a few more listenable bits, but mostly the album descends into wallowing self-indulgent bullshit with multiple time-wasting silent tracks and silly little twaddles as 'hidden' tracks.

So half of this is decent if oddly unexciting Death Metal, and the rest is complete crap. The actual music here is okay, but it shows few signs of why this is such a legendary band. Maybe with Vincent back on board for the next album, he can slap Azagthoth back into sanity and they can produce another hungry and pissed-off album. If not, then I expect the next disc to be even more uninteresting. You can skip this one, you won't miss anything.

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