Written by Alex Stojanovic
Piles Of Little Arms
Garden Of Disdain
The Righteous Voice
Architect & Iconoclast
The Pillars Crumbling
For No Master
Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)
From The Hand Of Kings
The Fall Of Idols
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Label: Silver Lining Music
Steve Tucker - Vocals & bass Trey Azagthoth - Guitars & keyboards Scott Fuller - Drums
Dan Vadim Von - Guitars (not on album)
Some people will think that it's not Morbid Angel without David Vincent, but Trey Azagthoth has solidified a great new lineup for a new Morbid Angel record with Steve Tucker returning to the fold, new drummer Scott Fuller and new guitarist Dan Vadim Von, although he doesn't appear on the album, and they're right back to where they need to be, which is pure, straightforward death metal. Instead of going to "J", the band went right to "K" for the title Kingdoms Disdained. For those that were fans of Gateways To Annihilation and Formulas Fatal To The Flesh, you'll be happy to know that this record picks up where those records left off.
Kicking the festivities off is "Piles Of Little Arms". Right off the bat, we find ourselves in a sea of classic Azagthoth riffing and Tucker's gnarly vocals. It serves as the perfect indicator of what's to come with the rest of the record. Some people have said that the title almost seems like a Cannibal Corpse type of title rather than a Morbid Angel title. You know what, I would have to agree with that. As far as the drumming on the album goes, Scott Fuller proves he's more than worthy for the drum throne in Morbid Angel on tracks like "For No Master" and "The Righteous Voice" with blast beats, double-bass and insane fills galore.
The signature Morbid Angel groove is heard on tracks like "Garden Of Disdain" and "Paradigms Warped". The latter is where Tucker's dirty bass tone gets a moment in the spotlight. Vocally, Tucker is on fire and sounding even more menacing than he did on the previous albums he made with the band. On "Architect & Iconoclast", he sounds like he's channeling Glen Benton at the end. "Declaring New Law" is one of the more simpler tracks with a single-note, chugging riff that runs throughout a majority of the track. It gives the record a chance to breathe rather than just bludgeoning you all the way through with blast beats and machine-gun riffs, but it still gives you a good pounding. The last two tracks: "From The Hand Of Kings" and "The Fall Of Idols" are sure to become fan favourites. The former is one of my favourites.
After a catastrophic experiment back in 2011, Kingdoms Disdained serves as redemption that is sure to appeal to the Tucker era fans, as well as people who embrace both the Vincent and Tucker eras. I'm pretty sure that many hardcore Vincent era fans from the first four records won't even bother with this record, but all I can say is give it a shot. Don't judge it because it's not all original members. You might just find something that appeals to you. It might not be Vincent on vocals, but this record is exactly what the last record should've been. Welcome back Morbid Angel!
Highs: Morbid Angel isn't back to fool around again, Morbid Angel is back to crush your skull.
Lows: Some hardcore David Vincent era fans might not embrace this album.
Final Rating: 9/10