Formulas Fatal to the Flesh (Earache Records)
By: Jeb Branin
Like the proverbial prodigal son the MORBID ones have come home... to Earache Records that is. With new bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker on board for his first record, diehard MORBID ANGEL freaks were holding their breathe wondering what changes the band was going to make. Well, you may all begin breathing again because all changes were for the best and this is easily the best MORBID ANGEL record to date. The band, and primarily main man Trey Azagthoth, take full advantage of their years of experience and merge all the best trademarks of the band's past efforts. The album is primarily blazing fast with all the mandatory technical riffs solidly in place; but there are moments where things slow down to a tortured crawl as the band easily manhandles their heaviest riffs ever ("Nothing is Not" is a prime example). Steve's vocals have a fresh and vital edge to them and lack no power or sickness. There are several times the vocals are double tracked, something new for the band, and that choice adds a depth and presence to the vocal delivery that is tremendous. The lyrics, although bizarre, are spiritual and surprisingly positive. Trey looks at the evils of mankind and points to spiritual shortcomings that lead to our deviant behavior. I certainly don't know a lot about the religious references contained in his lyrics but they plainly take a solvency approach as opposed to one that glorifies, or merely, documents the ugly side of mankind. The hype on this record is going to be high, well you can be sure it is all well deserved.
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