Review: Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Six years I have waited. Six years I have dreamed a dream of darkness.
I’m alone in a cold, empty room. Not a scent, not a sound; just calm, peaceful nothingness. I don’t know why I’m here or who led me to this place, but I feel tranquil while my body floats as one with my mind. I have all the time in the world to reflect on whatever I choose to, yet none of these thoughts turn negative in this relaxed state. But then, I start to hear something.
It’s very faint, but still discernable in the otherwise complete silence. The sound is then accompanied by a shimmer, as if something is reflecting a sourceless light. How can this be? I start to feel uneasy, but I realize that I cannot move of my own volition. As the once cold temperature starts to rise, the sound grows louder, and I can hear it commanding me.
The command is continued, but I can’t make out the rest. My mind starts racing. What could this voice want? As the shimmer gets nearer, I can start to make out a figure. It seems to be gliding towards me, clad in some sort of… leather? No. Spandex? It can’t be.
I can see a pale face, partially obscured by… a cowboy hat. The face speaks, continually issuing its command. I still cannot make out the second part. Kill… a fog? A cob? Not knowing what the mysterious figure wants does nothing but unnerve me more; I want to scream, but can’t find the voice to. I want to run, but feel restrained by the air itself. Before I know it, the figure is upon me. It swiftly leans into my ear and draws breath, as I feel my flesh begin to crawl before it lets the air out forming two words.
I shout out in fear at the top of my lungs, sweat pouring from my brow, as I slowly realize I have awoken from yet another iteration of the nightmare that has haunted me for half a decade. Since then I’ve started and completed six years of engineering training, started living on my own and gotten a job in my field, but the emotional scars that I left me and my expectations with are all but gone. For the Love of Lava, I hope K can at least partially mitigate these hellish dreamscapes.
Armed with as much hope and positivity as I can muster, I lay down and let these 11 psalms work their magik on my psyche. I’m wary and trepidatious, however optimistic due to the recent shift in the makeup of the Lava. If this K can give me even a fraction of the aural sensations radiated by G, F or even H, it might just be enough to banish the shiny figure to the depths whence it emerged.
As soon as it begins, I can feel it all surround me like a thick, murky slime. A very familiar type of slime, bass-heavy in tone and arrhythmic in time, one that immediately makes me feel empowered and enraged. Angered, anguished screams sit atop the atonal ambience created by the mid-paced, dense instrumentation. It all has a strong feeling of imperfection, which is ironically what makes it near perfection with every groove it pounds into my being. Piles of Little Arms sets the tone for what’s to come, with fast double kick drum intertwining with two guitars that play to the same tune in slightly different ways. Every element falls briefly in and out of time with the rest, but always escapes forward, creating a natural flow and an atmosphere that are unrivaled. D.E.A.D. is an erratic, jarring piece with jagged riffs, gravity blasts and unusual guitar melodies that really harken back to F and G. The dissonant mid-tempo triplet groove of Garden of Disdain alone is enough to convert the naysayers back to the side of the Slime. As the vicious sounds take hold of me, I feel like I can achieve anything and everything, but then…
The figure returns from the nothingness, hellbent on haunting this hallowed hall and all who dwell within it. There’s a difference this time around: I can move freely, emboldened by the alternating tremolo lines of The Righteous Voice, I charge forward to meet my foe with renewed conviction. The slow, grinding thump of Architect and Iconoclast hits as I deliver the first blow… only to fall to the ground and find my enemy unscathed. Laughing, it levitates as it circles me. “Mea Culpa!”, it says this time, mocking me. I start to get an all too familiar feeling of woe and helplessness, but fortunately the plodding beat of Paradigms Warped helps me get back on my feet. The Pillars Crumbling‘s punchy bassline propels me forward as the figure continues to taunt me. I run towards it and charge to tackle, but the figure dodges me again as if it were nothing. “TOO EXTREME!!!!!!”, my enemy yells at me, seeking to provoke my rage further. Deflated and defeated, I feel like giving up, and it seems like not even the ripping For No Master can do much to help me.
When all hope is lost, and my foe seems to have succeeded yet again, I hear the otherworldly sounds of a lava-bending guitar solo From the Hand of Kings. And then it hits me: I must defeat the figure with the sheer volume of this K!!! Two towering speakers appear on either side of it in time for The Fall of Idols to be blasted into this ghastly creature. It writhes in pain as the bass drum seeps into its skull and its ears are pierced by the uncontainable wail of the final guitar solo. “YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS, I’M GOING COUNTRYYYYY…” its voice trails off as it disintegrates into nothing, putting an end to this seemingly eternal nightmare once and for all.
4.5/5 FLAMING TOILETS OV HELL
Kingdoms Disdained is out December 1st on Silver Lining Music. Even if it isn’t reinventing much, this is an essential listen for any fan of Death Metal, so pre-order the album and try to keep busy until then.