Morbid Angel - Official Website

Kingdoms Disdained

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Piles Of Little Arms
2. D.E.A.D.
4. The Righteous Voice
5. Architect And Iconoclast
6. Paradigms Warped
7. The Pillars Crumbling
9. Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)
10. From The Hand Of Kings
11. The Fall Of Idols

Review by Elijah on March 3, 2020.

6 excruciatingly long years after the release of the disappointing Illud Divinum Insanus, the death metal masterminds Morbid Angel make an absolutely great comeback! The band has lacked the release of music after 2003, and when they tried to excite their fans with Illud, that just made things even worse. That album was literally nothing great at all, just a sleazy re-appearance that turned out to be an unappealing listening experience. Trying to excite the fans with an ex-member appearance doesn't always work, especially if they haven't been in the band for a long time; they always tend to change in style, and it won't fit with the music nearly as much as it used to. Anyways, the band has finally made a follow-up to Illud with something much, much better, Kingdoms Disdained. With Steve Tucker back on vocals, there's no doubt that this album will crush and destroy!

'Piles Of Little Arms' could not be a better opener, especially for an album like this. The song features a heavy ass riff that flows so clean, rough, and smoothly, with a technical drum pattern behind it, making a good beginning part of the song that's catchy and pulls you in, then shows its heavy parts and dives right into the furious heavy chaos. This album mixes pure brutality with lots and lots of technical bits, making every bit of the record an awesome listening experience. Once you hear 'Piles Of Little Arms', you'll be eager to hear the rest of the album. The concept of this album is great, the way they wrote the songs, arranged the drum parts, made the guitars sound perfectly deep and muddy, Steve's vocals, everything fits together so perfectly. If one, and I mean simply just ONE of those aspects were any different, this album wouldn't be as glourious as it already is!

When Formulas Fatal to the Flesh came out, they started focusing their lyrics on The Ancient Ones, rather than just satanic stuff; and here on Kingdoms, they yet again did a great job with this aspect. On Formulas, they made the music fit in with the lyrics perfectly, and that's what's happening here again with Kingdoms, it's mixing the lyrics with the music to make everything sound great! On Formulas they focused far more on the atmosphere. The lyrics were basically like "watch and you'll see, don't deny, I am" kinda stuff if that makes any sense. The ancient deities making statements about themselves; the band created such an atmospheric feel which matched with the lyrics perfectly. A learning experience, that you'll see that the beings are confirming that they are what they say and will condemn all who disagree. On Kingdoms they started making statements from the POV of the ancient deities saying, "I am, obey me, don't deny or you will be erased, bow down to me, I am the supreme being here", etc. stuff. The brutality in the music on Kingdoms, yet again, fits the lyrics so greatly. Forced obedience is portrayed, the heavy music being played while those lyrics being said is just fantastic. Overall, it's just perfect how they did this. Matching lyrics with the vibe and sound of the music makes it even more amazing!

All the songs on here are varied. Nothing is completely the same as the last and every song has a different feel to itself. Variety is extremely important, especially with death metal. Some people like this album, some don't. This is an album that you either like or dislike, there isn't really an in-between. I'll also say myself that the first time I turned on this album I was honestly disgusted, because I was too focused on the music execution than the talent put into this. My main issue was the triggered-sounding kick drum, which slowly stops being an issue when you listen to this album again and again. The other issue is that it's slightly repetitive and when you first listen, you get bombarded with waves and waves of heaviness and won't be able to process the material yet. True Morbid Angel listeners give ALL their stuff real time, because it's Morbid Angel; there's always some greatness in every Morbid Angel release. You just have to listen, and keep listening until you find it, and you eventually will. Stubborn fans can say whatever they want about this record, but this is obviously an amazing one. Just like earlier how I compared this to Formulas Fatal to the Flesh, which it exactly is similar, true unbiased listeners will agree that Kingdoms Disdained is just as awesome as Formulas, both two great albums with the same concepts executed slightly differently. Big score for creativity.

The cons of this album will instantly appear for a listener who's playing this album for the first time. This album is 100% a grower that takes time indeed to get into. But once that listener takes the time to appreciate the album and take true time to see what it exactly offers; the flaws don't even seem like they're there anymore. They literally disappear, you get used to it all. Greatness and truth come with experience, that's literally Kingdoms Disdained in a nutshell.

I'm just glad Morbid Angel is still perfectly morbid! With a comeback album like this, this definitely shows that their old greatness that has disappeared since 2003 is finally back, and that they're working hard on writing and releasing some solid music just like the old days. Thanks, Morbid Angel. If you're looking for a newer modern death metal album to listen to, I 100% recommend Kingdoms Disdained. Especially since it mixes the band's classic sound with bits of the modernized death metal sound. It takes time to get into, no doubt there; but that's the greatest thing about this album, it's a learning experience. No bullshit, they're back!

Rating: 9 out of 10


Review by Yener on May 9, 2019.

So, it's been 6 years since the absolutely AIDS inducing Illud Divinum Insanus. David Vincent got rightfully sacked, and Trey has taken the bull by the horns again in an attempt to guide the Morbid Angel machine in the right direction. And I am pleased to see that he, to a certain degree, has succeeded.

Steve Tucker is also back, which is a great thing. I’ve never really liked David Vincent. His current band, I Am Morbid, is also a fucking joke, one where no one is laughing because it’s just downright terrible. Having Steve back is a good thing. Steve is metal. We need metal to happen on this album or it's all over for these guys.

The album opens with “Piles of Little Arms” and I am so glad to hear Morbid Angel sounding like Morbid Angel again. Their signature sound can be heard loud and clear, and they literally waste no time getting down to business. This is a pretty good start so far.

The sound and mix on the album is good, I don't see what a lot of people are complaining about. I mean, this is the same band that gave us III, so I think by now hearing anything that does not sound like that would make me happy. Eric Rutan, who was also previously in Morbid Angel himself as we all know, mixed this I think he did a good job. It's not too polished, but it is polished to some degree. I mean, it doesn’t sound like it was made in the 80's or anything, and that is a good thing as well. The guitars could be a bit louder yes, and the drums are a tad too clicky, but that's just nitpicking.

Speaking of drummers, the band has picked up Scott Fuller, known mostly from Abysmal Dawn. He does a fine job here, though don't expect anything spectacular or over the top. He's made to sound just like Pete Sandoval, so take that as you will. For me, that's not a bad thing, but when listening to this album, the drums never really capture my attention.

The thing about this album though, is the song writing. While it’s very strong in certain areas, at other times it's just too safe. Now don't get me wrong, I don't say safe as in, go branch out and do something stupid like III, but I mean safe as in, it's just too standard death meal. It's not exciting enough for me. There are really no big twists and turns, or anything big surprises that made my ears stand up. For the most part, and I mean 99% of it, it’s just your straightforward death metal tracks. In places it sounds a lot like Formulas.. which again is not a bad thing but.. at least Formulas had some pretty cool experimental bits on it, and some truly epic bits as well. This just doesn't, so it makes listening to it a bit of a chore. Because after a while, it just sounds like the same song over and over again.

That said though, it's good to have these guys back again, and on the right track. I mean, III was just ridiculous, I can't describe how much I hate that record, and I definitely know that I am not alone. Here, Morbid Angel have at least returned to their roots and they actually sound like, you know, Morbid Angel.

Here's to hoping that the next one will be even better, because as this stands right now, this is a bit dull, and dare I say it, uninspired. Sounds like they made an album just for the sake of making an album. They played it a bit too safe because they didn't want another massive fuck up, I get it, but don't worry guys - I don't think it's humanly possible to make another album as bad as III. Just do what you want, and next time - really bring it. We can take it.

Rating: 7.2 out of 10


Review by Adam M on December 25, 2017.

Morbid Angel are back in full force on Kingdoms Disdained. I’m a fan of Gateways to Annihilation, but never really gave Illum Dividum Insanus a listen to its entirety because of the fan response to the album. Well, I’m happy to report that Kingdoms Disdained has the band back on the right track and performing brutal and uncompromising death metal.

The album gets off to a fast start and continues in unrelenting fashion throughout the remainder of the disc. Even though the songs have power, there is a certain amount of depth and diversity to the tracks that I feel a matured band is only capable of attaining. The songs have portions that are tuneful, but several more disjointed portions that combine nicely with the remainder of the material. The overall effect is that it makes for a varied and interesting product of death metal and one that re-invigorates the band simultaneously. Fans will be happy to know that the band is back on the brutal track and these songs are some of the most vicious I’ve heard from the band. Whether this surpasses their best works like Altars of Madness is a different story, but this is certainly the band’s best effort since Gateways to Annihilation for certain and can be seen as sort of a spiritual successor to that album. Still, the competition of their own early albums shows them overtaking this new work and making it seem a bit tamer in comparison.

My interest was piqued on this release when I realized that the band had consistently put in the effort towards the disc to make it compelling all the way through. The number of thoughtful directions the band goes on is very praise worthy and shows them returning to their former selves. So we must welcome the gentleman from Morbid Angel back and congratulate them on a job well done.

Rating: 7.7 out of 10