There was a time when Morbid Angel was arguably the most fearsome band on the planet, after Mayhem and Burzum of course. A time when their guitars oozed menace, their lyrics dripped with venom, and their overall effect was one of paradoxically brutal beauty, and elegant savagery.
That time was somewhere around the year 1989, when they had just birthed the album called “Altars of Madness” that inspired fear and awe in those that heard it. That, and a lot of copycat bands.
However that time was long passed in the year 1998, when they had just excreted the wasteful lump of potential that was “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh”, an album of such meekness and effeminate deathcorism that it has become the subject of today’s review.
Seriously, “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh” is the last nail being hammered in Morbid Angel’s coffin.
Having parted ways with both mastermind vocalist/bassist David Vincent and ill-fated Richard Brunelle replacement Erik Rutan, remaining members Trey Azagthoth and Pete Sandoval chose to fill the remaining lineup vacancy spots with rather random musicians, some of which not even being musicians by trade but rather homosexual pornographic actors (see Why Metal has a Gay Nazi Problem).
This is a choice I would view as poor, but by itself this is not problematic. Nonetheless the “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh” album is, basically, some pretty mediocre war metal, a damn shame coming from a once legendary death metal band that shook the world with their demonic music.
They still had the aesthetics and imagery of their field of choice – brutal death metal – and one of the sturdiest drummers, but Morbid Angel really failed to deliver in the actual song department for this one. Consider it an “F” for Failed. Fallacious. Farcical. False. Fucked up. Funderground. For Fans (only). But don’t consider it good, because “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh” is anything but good death metal.