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Classic Review: Morbid Angel - Blessed Are The Sick
Morbid Angel
Blessed Are The Sick

Label: Earache Records
Year released: 1991
Duration: 39:31
Tracks: 13
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Blessed Are The Sick

Rated 4.66/5 (93.14%) (70 Votes)

Pretty much every death metal band around today takes inspiration from either Entombed or Morbid Angel. Some people insist that "Altars of Madness" was Azagthoth and Co.’s best album and they have never equaled it. I myself am of the opinion that "Covenant" was their best, but this one, their second release, is still my favorite.

With "Blessed Are the Sick" the Morbid crew had the unenviable task of following up one of the most heralded releases in death metal. "Altars of Madness" had redefined death metal, mashing death, thrash and speed all together in a vicious and original sound. It’s no surprise "Blessed" is more varied and experimental, as well as more evil. Morbid Angel pushed their sound in all directions on this disc and moved the bar for death even higher.

The album does start out with a bullshit intro of the sort so prevalent among death bands, but then "Fall From Grace" kicks off with a seriously doomy riff that soon enough blasts into the signature Morbid Angel neckbreaker speed. The remarkable thing about this CD is how catchy they managed to make most of it. There are throwaway cuts like "Brainstorm" and "Abominations", but there are standouts like "Day of Suffering", "Thy Kingdom Come" and the crushing title track that will have you snarling along like a choir of the damned.

The guitar work is very good here, as is to be expected, with Azagthoth’s trademark noodling solos and hyperspeed picking. David Vincent sounds awesome, forsaking the raspy sound of "Altars" for a more guttural roar that still remains understandable. Pete Sandoval hammers his way through another tour de force of frenetic drumwork, though not as good as he was on "Covenant"

The production on the CD is better than on "Altars", it has a looser, dirtier sound with more bottom end. The package is very cool, with lots of medieval engraving artwork inside and excellent cover art. The lyrics are all included, which is also cool as this is some twisted fucking stuff. How about "Infant entrails are hung on the twisted cross" for ya? Numerous bestial deities, both imaginary and mythical, are invoked and Christianity cursed and reviled throughout.

When I got this 10+ years ago it was practically cemented in my CD player for months. (Okay, it was a cassette deck) This album sticks in your head and won’t let go, and no Morbid Angel album since has managed to enthrall me like this one.

Standout Tracks: Fall From Grace, Blessed Are the Sick, The Ancient Ones.

Other related information on the site
Review: Abominations of Desolation (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Altars of Madness (reviewed by Scott Murray)
Review: Covenant (reviewed by Dakuroth)
Review: Domination (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Formulas Fatal To The Flesh (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Gateways To Annihilation (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Heretic (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Illud Divinum Insanus (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Kingdoms Disdained (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with David Vincent on January 12, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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