Sound — 8
The long awaited/anticipated Morbid Angel album with legendary death metal front man David Vincent filled me at once with both fear and excitement. Why? Because like all "reunion" style albums they are usually either just passable or just tragic. Sadly (or luckily?) "Illud Divinum Insanus" falls into the former. It is just passable. Sound wise everything is fantastic, Trey's guitar sound is as awesome as it ever was, Destructhor's solos are easily distinguishable, Dave's bass is there in all its glory as are his vocals and Tim Yeungs drums thunder along like a steam train at midnight. You are able to tell that it isn't "Commando" "Pete Sandoval behind the kit purely by the techniques. Not that this detracts from the sound but those of us who were really drooling at a complete joining of the 3 amigos from the Covenant era might feel short changed. Everything is crisp and tight and the production has everything sounding like it should. Otherwise as I said everything sounds good. No Pete drumming.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics are the usual Morbid Angel fair. Lots of mystique, folklore and witchery. Nothing new, just what you would expect of Morbid Angel. As with any death metal style record the lyrics are suitable dark enough for the type of music that is being played. Singing about flower arrangements wouldn't suit the kind of blast beat filled mayhem that is can be found here. Dave Vincent's vocals sound more in line with "Domination" delivery... More voice, less throat. Personally I would have like a little bit more throat. But that being said he delivers with aplomb and in any style his voice sounds as good as ever. More throat please.
Overall Impression — 7
The fact that Pete Sandoval unfortunately had to undergo surgery to fix his back and therefore couldn't perform on this record is a let down. But obviously a mans health far outweighs anything else. However all through the album it does feel like something is missing. Trey and Destructhor's shredding is a delight through out. Sadly for me it isn't completely a return to form (were they ever out of form?) You be the judge but as great as it is to have Dave Vincent back I feel Morbid Angel has missed a trick. I guess it depends on what you prefer. Early melody driven Morbid Angel or post modern faster is better Morbid Angel. The instrumental interludes that intersperse most Morbid Angel records are lacking here, and electronic sounds are great for B-sides, not a death metal record. Album low point... The song "Radikult" is just woeful. It gave me the same kind of vibe I felt the day I first heard "Ain't My Bitch" from Metallica. A mixture of grief and despair. Album high point: "Nevermore". A song that will doubtless stay entrenched in the set list for many years to come. Overall this is a solid effort from one of the pioneers of death metal. It won't cheapen their catalog but it probably won't be remember as one of their greatest efforts. Maybe a few more playlist repeats will she'd more light on the intricacies but first impressions are not looking good. Most of the songs will sit nicely in the live set list and the song "Nevermore" is quite excellent but after 8 years and the re-introduction of Messer Vincent I was hoping for a little bit more. More melodies and instrumental interludes please.