Definitive Proof of the Mastermind behind Illud Divinum Insanus


Why does Illud Divinum Insanus  sound the way it does? It’s been one of our favorite points of discussion in the blog. Who’s at fault, Evil D. or Trey? Well today, I present to you definitive proof that I’m right and the people who doubted me are wrong.

Months ago, I saw people in the Facebook group blaming David Vincent for the more electronic approach taken on much of Illud Divinum Insanus. At the time, I stated that it was more lead guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s doing than Vincent’s, but I couldn’t remember exactly why I thought that. To his credit, I believe that the Beargod backed me up. The argument smoldered for months until Max published his excellent essay in defense of Illud Divinum Insanus. Again, Vincent was blamed, but this time, a vague glimmer of truth shined in the recesses of my memory. I recalled vaguely reading an article in Decibel where Azagthoth claimed chief responsibility for the more exotic sounds on the album, but I still couldn’t seem to locate the particular feature.

The argument died down again until news of Steve Tucker’s return surfaced. Evil D. detractors were seen dancing in the streets proclaiming the year of jubilee. Still, I, like a lone sentinel on the wall, was skeptical. In vain I tried to warn the masses that their hope was a false one because the primary songwriter of Illud Divinum Insanus remained in the band. The roar of the crowd was deafening, though, so I once again had to slink back into the shadows where truth festers in the dark.

But not this day, for this day I present to you definitive proof that Trey Azagthoth is the chief architect of Morbid Angel‘s demise. Today I present to you a scanned page from the article “Are They Still Morbid?” written by J. Bennett for Decibel Issue No. 81 from July 2011.


You may need to stab to embiggen, but needless to say, the evidence is pretty damning. Choice quotations from the article include:

  • “He’s not a typical, normal guy in any way. He’s a special guy. There are things that come with that, and they’re worth it.” – David Vincent on Azagthoth
  • “I did three songs that were definitely a whole new approach. One was based on industrial hardcore, one was based on speedcore and one was based on terrorcore, which are inspirations I’ve been getting into lately as far as electronic music.” – Trey Azagthoth
  • “I’m basically just trying to explore music and push boundaries and create something new, which is something that we’ve been doing anyway.” – Azagthoth, again
  • “When Trey was working on this material, I walked into the studio and heard stuff that didn’t even sound like a guitar.” – Vincent

There you have it. True, Evil D. did write at least one of the cheesier cuts on the album, “Radikult”, but the majority of the maligned tracks were penned solely by Azagthoth. Trey also appears to have been the primary creative force behind the album, guiding and shaping its eventual format.

Does any of this matter? No, not at all. As the article points out, Morbid Angel, like many established musicians, didn’t write this album as fan-service. They poured their creativity into it and stood behind it. That takes a laudable amount of integrity in the music business today. How you feel about the end result is entirely up to you. I merely wrote this article to settle the argument and to prove that I’m right and those who said I was wrong are incorrect. So there. Petty? Of course, but this is a Sunday Open Swim, and I don’t care. It feels good to be right.

All of that said, I’m very curious to see what happens with the next Morbid Angel album.

(Photo VIA)

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  • Sir Tapir The Based :]

    I always believed you bby.

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      This is because you are faithful and true, Tapir.

      • Guacamole Jim

        Our Tapir is the best of the tapirs. #fact

        • more beer

          That`s why he is Sir Tapir.

  • Any time I want to say something nice about AIDS I just hear KILLER KULT KULT KILLER KULT KILLER KILLER KILLER KULT

  • So I found out this exists. Has anyone seen it/know what it’s about? Apparently Dallas, George, and Karl from Nile also make an appearance.

    • Max

      This is the “B Side” of the dual disc reissue of Blessed Are the Sick. That is – one side of the disc was the album on CD, and the other side was a DVD documentary about the making and touring of the album. Earache did this with quite a few of their classics; I’ve got one for Slaughter of the Soul, and there’s a whole set of the first five Carcass albums too.

      Out of few I’ve got, I’d say this is the most interesting one, even though Trey and Pete themselves don’t actually get interviewed. It mainly features Vincent, their tour managers, Tom Morris (their producer for the first two records), the Nile guys (as you referred), and ,presciently, also Tim Yueng.

      • A Most Curious Poo Poo Pile

        With a blooper reel of David trading spandex and yoga pants with Nile, and rubbing his nipples under his 3 sizes too small mesh shirt.

      • Oh hey Max!

        Thanks, I’ll probably check this one out and any others I can find.

  • Hubert


    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      It’s a Sunday post, goatman.

    • Sir Tapir The Based :]






    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      I dunno, dude. I don’t listen to electronic music.

    • CyberneticOrganism


  • Sadistikexekution

    Balling balling

  • Zeke

    I think this article just confirms that trey was responsible for the crazy videogame death metal feel of some of the songs. That didn’t bother me at all, and I actually dig Trey’s creativity. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the cheese factor is what turns me off to this album, and I still think the cheese all comes from captain plastic shirt.

  • What they really should have done was release this album under a different name because adding Morbid Angel’s name to it tarnishes the discography. But many musicians have self indulgent egos and sometimes that supersedes common sense. Could’ve called it Motley Angel and been done with it.

  • The Haunting Presence of Tyree
    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      Looking forward to new Terrorizer.

      • The Haunting Presence of Tyree

        Same, I actually really liked Hordes of Zombies.

  • The Haunting Presence of Tyree

    Still the best live footage of them.

    • Howard Dean

      Indeed. The fucking energy at that show is outrageous. It’s like death metal infused with a thrash party atmosphere and the insanity of old school punk. Killer. And no latex t-shirts or pseudo-bonfage garb is a plus, too.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I would have guessed Trey Killacop was more responsible than Evil D.

  • Howard Dean

    Leaving my probation hearing listening to Radikult on headphones like:

  • tertius_decimus

    Unlike infamous “The Unspoken King” which had nothing new or barely exciting to lay on the table, “Illud Divinum Insanus” has many interesting findings which, unfortunately, failed to work together. Leave Morbid Angel alone. They’re not so bad as many of you point out. Definitely not as bad as mentioned Cryptopsy’s abomination or as Metallica’s “St. Anger” were back in the day.

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      That’s kind of the gist of this article. Like it or not, they definitely tried something different

  • I’ve never even once listened to Illud Divinum Insanus.

    I’ve barely listened to anything else in the Morbid Angel discography and never ever owned even one of their albums. My care-cup may be completely empty but the discussions, and thermonuclear ass-devastation that inevitably ensues, amuse me.

    • Dagon

      I’m jamming Gateways To Anihilation right now.

      It’s a great album.

      • Pagliacci is Kvlt

        Does it sound anything like Dethklok? Because that’s pretty much the extent of my death metal fandom.

        • Dagon

          It doesn’t. But seriously, try it out.

      • Waynecro

        That’s probably my favorite Morbid Angel album overall. It’s a great gym CD. “To the Victor the Spoils” makes me lift a lot of pounds.

        • Dagon

          I’m moving towards hip hop at the gym. I find that the hard hitting and repetitive trap beats help me lift at a nice, focused pace.

          • Waynecro

            I tend to like listening to Fear Factory in the gym for a similar reason. The hard, simple rhythms seem to help me maintain a steady lifting cadence. Crowbar and some sludge bands (7.5 Tonnes of Beard) seem to work well for me too. But really heavy, fast stuff is a great drive booster. I need something to get me pumped during the last few sets.

          • Dagon

            Xibalba’s album Tierra y Libertad this year was a great leg day listen on the first semester. Haven’t revisited in a while.

          • Waynecro

            I haven’t listened to that one for a while. I’ll have to give it another go. I like grind-type stuff during workouts sometimes too. That God Mother CD is killer, so is Oblivionized. The song “Paradise Day” off The Armed’s Untitled is fun for ab work, which I do at the end of my workouts. It’s kind of cheery in a weird way and reminds me I’m almost done.

          • Dagon

            Hahah yeah, I know that song. I dig The Armed a lot.

            Maybe try Call Of The Void’s 2015 album too, I jammed it a couple times at the gym. It’s fun HC with grindy bits.

          • Waynecro

            Thanks! I’ll check it out. Another one I like for the gym is Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals’ Walk through Exits Only, which makes me want to jump kick through all my sets.

    • CT-12

      Do you just not care for them? I’m not gonna push them on you or anything if you don’t like them, but I do think they have some really good albums that are worth checking out if you’re even slightly interested in them.

      • Until about five years ago I just didn’t listen to very much DM. Recently I’ve grown bored of most of it again.

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          I actually played IDI after Max made a case for it and while the sheit is bad the rest is okay. Even some of the industrial-death.

        • CT-12

          Ahh okay. Well if the mood ever catches you to explore some more DM, I’d really recommend those guys. Also, if you’re looking for a little more ease of entry within their catalogue, I would recommend “Gateways to Annihilation” or “Domination”. While I find that each of those albums are a little front-loaded, both are a little more accessible and still hold up pretty well.

      • Howard Dean

        Seconded. Altars of Madness and Covenant are mandatory for fans of death metal.

    • Sir Tapir The Based :]

      I’ve never really liked them tbh.

  • Hubert

    Toilet Ov Hell: for intelligent and reasonable discussion about metal, without meaningless gossip pieces and click-bait articles.

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      Funnily enough, there actually is a discussion in this article about whether or not bands are only accountable to themselves or whether they should pay fan service. But you chose to overlook that and the tongue-in-cheek humor of the article.

  • Mother Shabubu 4

    The fuck is terrorcore, or speedcore? I like donkeycore and squarecore.

  • Phoenix of the House Tendies

    BWAHAHAHAHAH. I tried to tell you wieners that Illud was Trey’s fault. But none of you would listen.

    Choke on the despair of being wrong. FUCKING CHOKE ON IT.

  • 365chaosriddendays
    • Howard Dean





      • 365chaosriddendays

        Oh yes pal!
        Bleed for the devil

        Impious mortal lives

        Feel the enticing power

        Fill the chasm of your soul

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    This is a great article, because a) I was mentioned and remembered.
    B) I was right, and
    c) I wasn’t alone.

    • Sir Tapir The Based :]

      This must be the first time you were right! Congratz dude!

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod


  • The God Emperor of Mankind

    Funny thing is how back in 96 he was going on about Davy wanting to get all techno and shit. but opinions on taste do change, especially over 15 years .

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro


    • Óðinn

      I own 7 Morbid Angel albums and I like their music. I have to admit that Trey has been a bit of a strange dude though. He seems to be trying too hard to impress in this interview, talking about snakes, spiders, etc.

  • JW(E)G

    I feel like I should listen to the album to be properly able to chime in on anything about it, but also that enough of what I read tells me I shouldn’t waste my time. It’s quite a conundrum.

    Though, without metal blogs I’d not actually know Morbid Angel had done anything else, ever… HMV (Canada) only ever stocks and restocks I.D.I.

    And it sells out constantly.

    Which tells you exactly what I think of their usual ‘metal’ buying public: nothing positive.

  • Paris Hilton

    David “Billy Ray” Vincent is definitely to blame for the try-hard cheesiness. Tackyness and Trey’s tendency to be a total dork is a volite combination

  • Max

    I’m not sure the revelation would necessarily resolve the issue for many fans, though. As others here have alluded to – don’t forget that besides the dance music influences, the other major turn-off for critics was the perceived “cheesiness” of the presentation, vocals, etc. And that, it must be said, is presumably Vincent’s doing. I’m pretty sure he’s the lyric writer for most of it if not all.

    Without that, they may have even gotten away with it. Or, alternatively, with the Vincent factor but without the techno influences, they might STILL have gotten away with it. Instead, along with line-up changes and a couple other marked artistic departures, they presented the perfect WTF storm.

    That’s pretty much the point I made in my thorough and considered article about it, which is still available on the internet for the ridiculously low price of one click. Don’t miss out.

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro

      They actually touch on a lot of that in the full article. Sandoval leaving seems to have been a big loss. Plus Evil D. says that he didn’t really put much thought into a lot of what he was doing.

  • A Most Curious Poo Poo Pile

    Not much surprise there, though I thought David was the one responsible for it, considering he’s been talking about his love of electronic and industrial for ages, and even joined Genitorturers after MA.

  • Cory K

    Azagthoth is a huge Industrial fan so i figured it was he’s choice.

  • Óðinn