Morbid Angel - Gateways To Annihilation review


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Band: Morbid Angel
Album: Gateways To Annihilation
Release date: 2000

01. Kawazu
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
09. Awakening
10. I
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!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Clintagräm | 05.05.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 8   Visited by: 128 users
01.07.2008 - 23:56
Good review. This was my first Morbid Angel album, and mostly because of that reason, this is one of my favorites. It still took me a while to appreciate it, probably because it's not just nonstop blasting. It's definitely their darkest album - the guitar tone is boner time.
02.07.2008 - 19:01
Opening of the Gates is a killer song.
25.12.2008 - 19:00
Account deleted
This definitely has to be my favorite Morbid Angel album. Trey Azagthoth's solos are absolutely breathtaking on every song.
02.06.2009 - 18:25
Liver Failure
Good album, I didnt like ''Formulas fatal...'' so this one is a good surprise. ''Ageless, Still I Am'' and ''Opening of the gates'' are the best songs.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
14.07.2009 - 23:31
Very good review... the album seems very interesting
I should give it a listen someday
30.09.2009 - 16:33
Written by Uirapuru on 02.06.2009 at 18:25

Good album, I didnt like ''Formulas fatal...'' so this one is a good surprise. ''Ageless, Still I Am'' and ''Opening of the gates'' are the best songs.

I agree with you on all points
01.10.2009 - 09:35
Very impressive album... my favourite by Morbid Angel. I love the guitar tone in it and vocal is so deep and powerful. Must have for Death Metal fan. like for me it deserves 10/10.
12.12.2011 - 02:06
Wow! the drumming!!

.....That was my reaction when I heard this album for the first time at age 12. It was the first time I'd heard Death Metal, the first time I'd heard kick-drumming. But I was amazed right away! Some may complain about the slower tempo, but I think it adds to the album, it makes it stand out from other MA releases.

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