Morbid Angel - Wulfrun - Wednesday
25th June 2008
Looking back through my ticket stubs revealed
the last time I saw Morbid Angel was in 1995, also at the Wulfrun.
Would tonight's performance be as good?
Hostile play old school classic/power metal with
a modern crunch. I think. Couldn't really tell as the bass heavy
and generally sludgy sound didn't do them any favours. That said
I was relieved when their set finished. Day Of Days was
a reasonable opener even allowing for the awful vocals. Death
March was passable if predictable. Didn't prepare me for
the full horrors they inflicted with Avenger however.
Sloppy throughout, dreadful vocals from the guitarist and overall
a pointless metal power-ballad which seemed to last for weeks.
Brutalised and Eyes Of Deadmen were an improvement
but by then the damage had been done. Hope they are better if
I see them again with a clearer sound.
Theoktony generated a fair deal of pre-set excitement
and it wasn't long into their performance that the first pit of
the night erupted. Paul's vocals (growls probably more accurately!)
were practically inaudible for the first couple of tracks which
didn't help. Better set than at the Black Horse earlier in the
year, but I still think they sound better when they slow it down
slightly...maybe I'm getting old?! Nah... Technically they are
very accomplished musicians, the end product just doesn't quite
work for me...yet. I think they are capable of producing a killer
album or two somewhere down the line though. Drummer is the sticksman
of choice for Anaal Nathrakh and I can see why - this guy is an
octopus! Incredible display combining savagery and finesse. Didn't
get a setlist but I know the recent album featured prominently.
One to keep an eye on, it will be interesting to see how they
develop. Crowd enjoyed them though and their warp factor assault
was well received.
From the moment Morbid Angel launched into Rapture
it was clear this was going to be something special. Thankfully
the years have not dulled their brutality or their strong melodic
undertones. Tempo changes were undertaken with purpose not just
for effect. The faster sections were on a par with anything today's
up and coming extreme bands can muster. The slower sections generated
immense power. All delivered so tightly and with such a varied
setlist (nearly forgot - thanks Frank!) that this had to be a
contender for set of the year so far. Pain Divine was
stunning and lead into a jaw-dropping rendition of Maze Of
Torment. Nevermore preceded the highlight of the
set for me; the double whammy of Immortal Rites straight
into Fall From Grace was awesome. Back catalogue continued
to be plundered with Evil Spells and Chapel Of Ghouls
continuing the onslaught. Great to see Pete Sandoval more than
holding his own, and for an extreme band to allow their guitarists
to shred, loads of really fast, vicious soloing throughout. Dawn
Of The Angry, Where The Slime Live and Bil Ur
Sag preceded another set highlight in God Of Emptiness,
the power generated in this one being absolutely phenomenal. World
Of Shit completed a truly staggering performance.
So to summarise; Hostile were ordinary although
the sound wasn't great for them. Enjoyed Theoktony but
think they need a little more finesse. Morbid Angel
are death metal legends and tonight's show proved why. Incredible
performance, I'm finding it hard to separate this set from Death
Angel's recent annihilation. Pros and cons for both, although
Morbid Angel's more varied set just edges it
for me. So Morbid Angel are in pole position
for set of the year. Who's good enough to displace them I wonder?
Can't think of many, but Opeth no doubt will have a go later in
the year. Of course the Chopmeister will be there to analyse and
advise of the winner!