Morbid Angel - Gateways To Annihilation review
|Album:||Gateways To Annihilation|
02. Summoning Redemption
03. Ageless, Still I Am
04. He Who Sleeps
05. To The Victor The Spoils
06. At One With Nothing
07. Opening Of The Gates
08. Secured Limitations
11. God Of The Forsaken
Morbid Angel's fifth full length, 'Gateways to Annihilation,' comes to us as a truly monolithic piece of Death Metal. At first listen this may be very hard to consume but I believe it came out of natural, obersvable progression. What Morbid Angel began on 'Blessed Are the Sick' and continued on through David Vincent's departure and their first full length with Steve Tucker is clearly sustained in well form here and even expanded upon to an extent. That certain element I am talking about is a heaviness, an atmosphere, a "larger than life" persona, that seeps through their production, performance, and especially their lyrical content.
While 'Gateways…' at first listen may seem just like a jumbled heap of riffs, blasts, and growls, upon further examination (or experience) the overall image of the album becomes that of a prehistoric, cyclopean entity evoking visions of the chaotic, the surreal, and the numinous. The whole attitude, nay, the whole aura of this album just oozes Lovecraft. The artwork; the lyrics; the eerie, near-eastern lead work; the ominous, crushing riffs; the feral, deistic vocals; the unrelenting arsenal of blasts, fills, and cymbal work; all of these factors together, while exquisite in their own right, coalesce and create a performance that personifies, I feel, Cthulhu in audio form.
As mentioned, the performance of these four "mere mortals" on this album is both technical prolific and impressive. At the helm of the band is Steve Tucker, the relatively new (at the time) bassist, vocalist, and lyrical contributor to the band. While his bass duties are sufficient it is his performance lyrically and vocally which provide a step up to this already exceptional band. With lines like this: "Omniscient are the eyes that see beyond what we choose to see, transcending of beliefs, that limit man's being," what's not to enjoy about Steve Tucker? As always Trey (or George E. as I like to call him) is behind the scenes churning out riff after riff and some exceptional solos along with his partner in crime Erik Rutan, with whom this was the last album. Their output ranges from the slow and slithering to the fast and fierce, all the while being epic as the word can get. Keeping the "beat" is a man who needs no introduction, a classic in the scene, Pete "Commando" Sandoval. Pete has another nickname, that simply being "Feet," and if you listen to this album it is obvious to decide why. He puts out a performance that many contemporary blasters, along with us fans, still drool at. It is as if time has no effect on this "Elder God."
So all in all, I believe this album holds a little bit more than the average Death Metal album. Of course, the only way to actually understand anything that I have written is to go and listen to the album. So do that. Now!
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