Morbid Angel live in 2011
|Origin||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Labels||Earache, Giant, Season of Mist, New Renaissance, Combat, Relativity|
|Past members||Pete Sandoval
Sterling Von Scarborough
Morbid Angel is an American death metal band based in Tampa, Florida. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked Morbid Angel's 1989 debut Altars of Madness first in its list "Top 40 greatest death metal albums". Decibel Magazine also rated guitarist Trey Azagthoth as the number one "death metal guitarist ever". The band's songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of both Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval, who also played in the grindcore band Terrorizer. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Morbid Angel is the third best-selling death metal band in the United States (after Cannibal Corpse and Deicide up until 2003 with sales of over 445,000), with their third album Covenant being the best-selling death metal album during the beginning of the Soundscan era time with over 150,000 units sold.
Morbid Angel was formed in 1984 in Tampa, Florida. The band made their debut in 1987 on the New Renaissance Records record label. They recorded their debut album, Abominations of Desolation, in 1986, but the band was unsatisfied with the final product and it remained unreleased until 1991. Their first proper studio album, Altars of Madness, was released in 1989.
Morbid Angel was one of the original death metal bands signed to Earache Records, and was also influential in the transition of death metal from its thrash metal roots to its current form by incorporating guttural vocals, up-tempo blast beats, atonality in guitar soloing, and dark, chunky, mid-paced rhythms. They were also the first death metal band to have a touch of mainstream success in connection with being signed to Giant Records in 1992 and having the music video for the song "God of Emptiness" shown on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head.
The band's original lyrical themes focused mostly on Satanism, occultism and anti-Christian subject matter, but from Blessed Are the Sick onward, the lyrics moved toward the ancient Sumerian gods. Much of this is a nod to the Simon Necronomicon, which was influenced by Sumerian mythology, the author H. P. Lovecraft, and fascination with the Roman Empire. However, some anti-religious elements continue to permeate the lyrics. Their albums are notable for being released in alphabetical order (their first album starts with the letter A, the second with B, etc.). Guitarist Trey Azagthoth commented in an interview that it was a coincidence with the first two albums, but has been done consciously since then.
Morbid Angel's appearance on some of the mid-summer 2008 European festivals was announced as a "short break from writing and pre-production of their new 8th studio album". In May 2008, it was announced that Thor Anders Myhren (Destructhor) of Zyklon and Myrkskog would be the band's new guitarist, and Destructhor would appear on the new album. Guitarist Florian Magnus Maier was the runner up.
On March 5, 2011, the band headlined the Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California. This performance was their first in the US in six years, aside from a one-off show in Los Angeles in May 2009. On March 18, 2010, the band announced that Tim Yeung would play drums on the upcoming album, allowing Pete Sandoval to recover from back surgery. On June 22, 2010, the band entered the studio to begin the recording of their new full-length album. On March 9, 2011, Morbid Angel confirmed that their new album would be called Illud Divinum Insanus. The album was released on June 7, 2011 on Season of Mist. In an interview in December 2013, David Vincent confirmed that Pete Sandoval is no longer a member of the band, claiming that Sandoval had "found Jesus", and stating, "Pete Sandoval and Morbid Angel are not compatible", laying to rest speculation that Sandoval would eventually be returning to the band.
Asked in a December 2014 interview about Morbid Angel's plans for 2015, Vincent replied, "We're done [touring] for awhile. It's time to write." Yeung has said that the band is in talks of recording an EP.
- Trey Azagthoth – guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals (1984–present)
- David Vincent – lead vocals, bass guitar (1986–1996, 2004–present)
- Destructhor – guitar (2008–present)
- Tim Yeung – drums (2010–present)
- Terri Samuels – vocals (1984)
- Dallas Ward – bass guitar, vocals (1984–1985)
- Mike Browning – drums, percussion, vocals (1984–1986)
- Kenny Bamber – vocals (1985)
- John Ortega – bass guitar (1985–1986)
- Richard Brunelle – guitar (1985–1992, 1994, 1998)
- Michael Manson – vocals (1986)
- Sterling Von Scarborough – bass guitar (1986) (deceased)
- Wayne Hartsell – drums (1986–1988)
- Pete Sandoval – drums, percussion (1988–2010)
- Gino Marino – guitar (1992–1993)
- Erik Rutan – guitar, keyboards (1993–1996, 1998–2002, 2006)
- Steve Tucker – vocals, bass guitar (1997–2001, 2003–2004)
- Jared Anderson – vocals, bass guitar (2001–2002) (deceased)
- Tony Norman – guitar (2003–2006)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|1989||Altars of Madness
|1991||Blessed Are the Sick
|1998||Formulas Fatal to the Flesh
|2000||Gateways to Annihilation
|2011||Illud Divinum Insanus
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
|1996||Entangled in Chaos
|2012||Illud Divinum Insanus – The Remixes
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|1991||Abominations of Desolation
|1988||"Thy Kingdom Come"||Non-album single|
|1994||"God of Emptiness"|
|2011||"Nevermore"||Illud Divinum Insanus|
|1991||"Blessed Are the Sick/Leading the Rats"|
|1993||"God of Emptiness"||Tony Kunewalder|
|1995||"Where the Slime Live"|
|2003||"Enshrined by Grace"||Pete Bridgewater|
|2012||"Existo Vulgoré"||Thomas Mignone|
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- Peak chart positions in the United States:
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