Tuesday, 3 April 2012

MORBID ANGEL - Blessed Are The Sick (1991)

01  Intro
02  Fall From Grace
03  Brainstorm
04  Rebel Lands
05  Doomsday Celebration
06  Day of Suffering
07  Blessed Are the Sick/Leading the Rats
08  Thy Kingdom Come
09  Unholy Blasphemies
10  Abominations
11  Desolate Ways
12  The Ancient Ones
13  In Remembrance

'Blessed Are the Sick' is the second official release from Floridian death metal pioneers Morbid Angel. It was released on May 2nd 1991 by Earache Records. The album was reissued in 2009 as a Digipak in DualDisc format. The CD side contains the original audio release and the DVD side contains a one-hour documentary. A promotional video was shot for the title track.

Firstly, the production is deeper, darker, and more assured here, lending a bleaker tinge to the proceedings. And while the album actually kicks off with one of it’s weaker tracks (“Fall From Grace”) it soon regains it’s footing. “Brainstorm” and “Day Of Suffering” are quick and grinding tunes that provide the extremity Morbid Angel were renowned for, whilst the slow, churning, methodical title track is not only musically sanctified with one of Trey Azagthoth’s more cerebrally deranged riffs, but also impressive lyrics and a haunting flute outro entitled “Leading The Rats.”

During the second half of the record, we delve into the band’s lo-fi past. Now dusted off and powered by this band’s premiere membership. Azagthoth and fellow six-string blasphemer Richard Brunelle lay forth the structures, as Pete Sandoval’s machine gun drum assault nails the proceedings to an unmovable inverted cross of might. Elder and classic cuts like “Thy Kingdom Come” and “Unholy Blasphemies” streak by with impressive fury, but it’s the immortal, sublime riffs of “Abominations”  and "The Ancient Ones" that remain the highlight here, as they did in their original demo tape incarnations.

Buying this is an excellent choice even if you are new to death metal because it isn't aggressive like other well known death metal albums, but is more for people who can really appreciate good progressive music and the hard work that is put into it. I would also say that this record is probably the best starting point for discovering Morbid Angel's discography.

*The artwork is an 1894 painting titled "The Treasures of Satan" by Belgian symbolist painter, writer, and occultist Jean Delville. The original painting is located in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, in Brussels.

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