Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained

After finally listening to Kingdoms Disdained, its clear that guitarist Trey Azagthoth's deterioration as a songwriter has been a key, unaddressed factor that's affected Morbid Angel's recent output. While he may have written some of death metal's greatest riffs during the band's heyday, Kingdoms Disdained is the best case study thus far in terms of demonstrating Azagthoth's slipping capability as the driving force of Morbid Angel's sound. It was easy to overlook Heretic given how generally forgettable it was, and the predominant critiques of Illud Divinum Insanus revolved more around the band's decision making than anything else. But now that Morbid Angel have entered into the perfect setup for a successful comeback, it's difficult to overlook how complacent Azagthoth's songwriting is across the entirety of Kingdoms Disdained. There's no denying the album is an incomparable improvement over their industrial metal excursions, but it's also difficult to avoid comparing the album's aggressively average delivery with the milestone records that have preceded it in the band's discography

Heavy Buys: Immolation – Here In After [2017 Remastered Reissue // Blood Red]

For being as venerable and insanely talented as they are, I feel as though Immolation gets the shit-end of the death metal history stick. They have their following and they're not exactly a band that's languished in obscurity or would be considered anything near a "forgotten classic," but they really deserve a lot more attention and respect than they get. Calling their discography gem-studded doesn't do them justice; their almost 30-year history as a band has been almost entirely gems. Seriously, what other classic early-90's death metal band is still putting out new albums and, more importantly, evolving their sound with pretty much no breaks? That's impressive as fuck no matter how you slice it!

Obituary – Self-Titled

As Immolation proved earlier this year, one can age with power and magnitude, only increasing one’s stature as the past becomes a launch pad to an even more nuanced and aggressive future. Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer also tested this theorem in 2016, to mixed results. Age does not always sit well with metal bands, but many try to use their longevity to their advantage, releasing albums 25+ years into their career. This month, Obituary, equally loved and reviled death metal legends, join the ranks of veteran bands trying their hand at perfection through age.