Morbid Angel: Prophets from the dark side

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The most important death metal band, Morbid Angel, is also perhaps the most poignant lyrically. Metal fans often give short shrift to this aspect of the music, most times for good reason too. But Morbid Angel‘s words, at least in their early years before they would lose themselves in spiritual hogwash and killing policemen, were on-point attacks championing the power of the self and free will over religious dogma and herd mentality. Coupled with some of the greatest songs written in the genre’s history, and Dave Vincent’s impeccable sense of enunciation and rhythmic lilt spewed out with the most malevolent of hates, Morbid Angel couched their message in the fictional world of H.P Lovecraft’s Necronomicon and overt hellfire imagery directed against the Church, using the darkness as metaphor for liberation through knowledge. Immensely evocative and internally purging, the following is a selection of some of their best.

Laugh at the tragedies
Mock with disrespect
Goats under rule of father time
Leaches pass judgement on their fellow kind
And die when their inner self goes astray

– Suffocation, Altars Of Madness

Crush the priest
The feeble church
Dead – your god is dead
Fools – your god is dead
Useless prayers of lies
Behold satan’s rise

– Chapel Of Ghouls, Altars Of Madness

Gods transform me
The storms will cleanse me
Civilized I shall not be
By the holy strain of laws

– Brainstorm, Blessed Are The Sick

Will is yours? So, creator
No intent could shadow
My disease… ever lusting pain

World of sickness
Blessed are we to taste
This life of sin

– Blessed Are The Sick, Blessed Are The Sick

Evil Curse is carried forth, zombies rage
Burning holy images in life they were forced to hail
Eternal flames have purified their souls
Born again in blasphemy … Thy Kingdom Come

– Thy Kingdom come, Blessed Are The Sick

We spit on the virgin lamb, and mock the words he spoke
His ways not worthy of me,
We choose to burn in the pits of hell

– Abominations, Blessed Are The Sick

Confront me unholy ones
Bastard saints scorn of the earth
I summon thee, now poison me
Death under will burn in my soul

– Rapture, Covenant

Bred from the bowels, sheep one and all
Bound by the doctrine of lies
To fucked human shit, I shout blasphemy!
As I make my way through to the promised land

– World Of Shit, Covenant

Lies – And you fill their souls
With all oppressions of this world
And all the glory you receive?
So, What makes you supreme?
Lies – Your crown is falling
I offer fantasy
And you, you creator are
Blind with envy

– God Of Emptiness, Covenant



This entry was posted in Death Metal, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Morbid Angel: Prophets from the dark side

  1. Trollkien says:

    I think Immolation did the same thing in a more articulate way. At least on the early albums their lyrics are remarkably well constructed, almost entirely lacking the clunkiness that you often find in the best of lyrics taken in isolation from the music.

    • True. Immolation had an earthier, more atheistically-inclined approach though. Morbid Angel always felt a bit more cosmic in comparison. Their words and the way they were conveyed by Vincent also had a far more immediate, and lasting, impact compared to Ross Dolan’s relatively dry delivery. I love Immolation lyrics, don’t get me wrong, but MA had a certain swagger about them.

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