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Morbid Angel

Morbid Angel
Morbid Angel live in 2011
Background information
Origin Tampa, Florida, United States
Genres Death metal
Years active 1984–present
Website .com.morbidangelwww
Members Trey Azagthoth
Steve Tucker
Past members David Vincent
Pete Sandoval
Tim Yeung
Mike Browning
Wayne Hartsell
Dallas Ward
Richard Brunelle
Kenny Bamber
Sterling Von Scarborough
Erik Rutan
Jared Anderson
Tony Norman
John Ortega
Michael Manson
Terri Samuels

Morbid Angel is an American death metal band based in Tampa, Florida. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked Morbid Angel's 1989 debut Altars of Madness first in its list "Top 40 greatest death metal albums". Decibel Magazine also rated guitarist Trey Azagthoth as the number one "death metal guitarist ever".[1] The band's songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of both Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval, who also played in the grindcore band Terrorizer. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Morbid Angel is the third best-selling death metal band in the United States (after Cannibal Corpse and Deicide up until 2003 with sales of over 445,000),[2] with their third album Covenant being the best-selling death metal album during the beginning of the Soundscan era time with over 150,000 units sold.[3]

Morbid Angel was one of the original death metal bands signed to Earache Records, and was also influential in the transition of death metal from its thrash metal roots to its current form by incorporating guttural vocals, up-tempo blast beats, atonality in guitar soloing, and dark, chunky, mid-paced rhythms. They were also the first death metal band to have a touch of mainstream success in connection with being signed to Giant Records in 1992 and having the music video for the song "God of Emptiness" shown on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head.

The band's original lyrical themes focused mostly on Satanism, occultism and anti-Christian subject matter, but from Blessed Are the Sick onward, the lyrics moved toward the ancient Sumerian gods. Much of this is a nod to the Simon Necronomicon, which was influenced by Sumerian mythology, the author H. P. Lovecraft,[4] and fascination with the Roman Empire. However, some anti-religious elements continue to permeate the lyrics. Their albums are notable for being released in alphabetical order (their first album starts with the letter A, the second with B, etc.). Guitarist Trey Azagthoth commented in an interview that it was a coincidence with the first two albums, but has been done consciously since then.[5]


  • History 1
  • Members 2
    • Current members 2.1
    • Former members 2.2
    • Timeline 2.3
  • Discography 3
    • Studio albums 3.1
    • Live albums 3.2
    • Compilation albums 3.3
    • Demo albums 3.4
    • EPs 3.5
    • Singles 3.6
    • Music videos 3.7
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Morbid Angel was formed in 1984 in Tampa, Florida, by guitarist Trey Azagthoth and drummer/vocalist Mike Browning. The band made their debut in 1987 on the New Renaissance Records record label. They recorded their debut album, Abominations of Desolation, in 1986, but the band was unsatisfied with the final product and it remained unreleased until 1991, printing 10,000 copies.

In 1986, David Vincent of the grindcore band Terrorizer joined the band, replacing Michael Manson and Sterling von Scarborough as vocalist and bassist respectively. Fellow Terrorizer drummer Pete Sandoval soon followed. Their first studio album, Altars of Madness, was released in 1989, and is regarded by many as a death metal classic.

1991 saw the release of their second album, Blessed Are the Sick, which was met with widespread critical acclaim. The album differed from its predecessor, showcasing a more "sludgy" side to the band. Two years later, the band released the album Covenant, which went on to sell over 150,000 copies in the United States. The album spawned two of the band's most well-known tracks, "God of Emptiness" and "Rapture", both of which had videos made for them. The same year, guitarist Richard Brunelle departed the band.

The band released its fourth studio album, Domination, in 1995, which featured new guitarist Erik Rutan of Ripping Corpse. The album spawned one single, titled "Where the Slime Live."

In 1996, shortly after the release of their live album titled Entangled in Chaos, bassist/vocalist David Vincent departed the band and was replaced by Steve Tucker. With Tucker, the band released the albums Formulas Fatal to the Flesh, Gateways to Annihilation and Heretic in 1998, 2000 and 2003 respectively. Tucker briefly left Morbid Angel in 2001 and was replaced by former Hate Eternal bassist and vocalist Jared Anderson. In 2002 however, Anderson left the band and Tucker re-assumed his position as bassist and vocalist.

In 2004, Steve Tucker once again left the band, paving the way for former vocalist/bassist David Vincent to return. The band continued by touring and playing festivals such as Wacken Open Air in 2006.

Morbid Angel's appearance on some of the mid-summer 2008 European festivals was announced as a "short break from writing and pre-production of their new 8th studio album".[6] In May 2008, it was announced that Destructhor would be the band's new guitarist,[7] and Destructhor would appear on the new album.

On March 5, 2011, the band headlined the Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California. This performance was their first in the US in six years, aside from a one-off show in Los Angeles in May 2009.[8] On March 18, 2010, the band announced that Tim Yeung would play drums on the upcoming album, allowing Pete Sandoval to recover from back surgery.[9] On June 22, 2010, the band entered the studio to begin the recording of their new full-length album.[10] On March 9, 2011, Morbid Angel confirmed that their new album would be called Illud Divinum Insanus.[11] The album was released on June 7, 2011 on Season of Mist.[10][11] In an interview in December 2013, David Vincent confirmed that Pete Sandoval is no longer a member of the band, claiming that Sandoval had "found Jesus", and stating, "Pete Sandoval and Morbid Angel are not compatible", laying to rest speculation that Sandoval would eventually be returning to the band.[12]

Asked in a December 2014 interview about Morbid Angel's plans for 2015, Vincent replied, "We're done [touring] for awhile. It's time to write."[13] Yeung has said that the band is in talks of recording an EP.[14]

On June 15, 2015, it was reported that David Vincent and Tim Yeung were no longer in the band. Former vocalist/bassist Steve Tucker has once again rejoined, and a replacement drummer has yet to be found.[15][16] Later that day, however, Vincent denied that he had left the band.[17] On his official Facebook page, Steve Tucker hinted in a post on the 17th of June that guitarist Destructhor is no longer part of Morbid Angel either: "Who will play second guitar? Time will answer that one..."[18] On June 18th, 2015, this was confirmed, as Destructhor announced his departure from Morbid Angel to focus on the Norwegian death metal band Myrkskog.[19] On June 19th, 2015, David Vincent confirmed that he left Morbid Angel, due to creative differences.[20]


Morbid Angel in 2008

Current members

Former members

  • Mike Browning – drums, percussion, vocals (1984–1986)
  • Dallas Ward – bass guitar, vocals (1984–1985)
  • Terri Samuels – vocals (1984)
  • Richard Brunelle – guitar (1985–1992, 1994, 1998)
  • John Ortega – bass guitar (1985–1986)
  • Kenny Bamber – vocals (1985)
  • David Vincent – lead vocals, bass guitar (1986–1996, 2004–2015)
  • Wayne Hartsell – drums (1986–1988)
  • Michael Manson – vocals (1986)
  • Sterling Von Scarborough – bass guitar (1986) (deceased)
  • Pete Sandoval – drums, percussion (1988–2010)
  • Gino Marino – guitar (1992–1993)
  • Erik Rutan – guitar, keyboards (1993–1996, 1998–2002, 2006)
  • Jared Anderson – vocals, bass guitar (2001–2002) (deceased)
  • Tony Norman – guitar (2003–2006)
  • Destructhor – guitar (2008–2015)
  • Tim Yeung – drums (2010–2015)



Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Sales


1989 Altars of Madness
  • Released: May 12, 1989
  • Label: Earache
1991 Blessed Are the Sick
  • Released: May 2, 1991
  • Label: Earache
26 81
1993 Covenant
  • Released: June 22, 1993
  • Label: Giant
  • US: 153,000+[29][30]
1995 Domination
  • Released: May 9, 1995
  • Label: Giant
13 93 124
  • US: 99,000+[30]
1998 Formulas Fatal to the Flesh
  • Released: February 24, 1998
  • Label: Earache
22 93
  • US: 33,993+[31]
2000 Gateways to Annihilation
  • Released: October 17, 2000
  • Label: Earache
  • US: 40,000+[32]
2003 Heretic
  • Released: September 22, 2003
  • Label: Earache
27 28 146
  • US: 31,000+[30]
2011 Illud Divinum Insanus 141 3 24 97 18 41
  • US: 7,570+[30][33]
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Live albums

Year Album details
1996 Entangled in Chaos
  • Released: 1996
  • Label: Earache
2015 Juvenilia
  • Released: 2015
  • Label: Earache

Compilation albums

Year Album details
2012 Illud Divinum Insanus – The Remixes
  • Released: February 28, 2012
  • Label: Season of Mist

Demo albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
1991 Abominations of Desolation
  • Released: September 2, 1991
  • Label: Earache


Year EP details
1994 Laibach Re-mixes
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Giant


Year Song Album
1988 "Thy Kingdom Come" Non-album single
1993 "Rapture" Covenant
1994 "God of Emptiness"
2011 "Nevermore" Illud Divinum Insanus

Music videos

Year Song Director
1989 "Immortal Rites"
1991 "Blessed Are the Sick/Leading the Rats"
1993 "God of Emptiness" Tony Kunewalder
1995 "Where the Slime Live"
2003 "Enshrined by Grace" Pete Bridgewater[34]
2012 "Existo Vulgoré" Thomas Mignone


  1. ^ "DECIBEL MAGAZINE NAMES THE TOP 20 DEATH METAL GUITARISTS OF ALL TIME". MetalSucks. 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  2. ^ "Morbid Angel is the Third Best Selling Death Metal Band (Hitting this mark with only 8 Albums)". Blogcritics. 2003. Retrieved 2003. 
  3. ^ "Best Selling Death Metal Album is covenant". Blogcritics. 2003. Retrieved 2003. 
  4. ^ "HPLA – Lovecraftian Music". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Morbid Angel Interview". 2003-09-23. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  6. ^ "NEWS / LavaReport". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Morbid Angel Announces New Guitarist – in Metal News". Metal Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  8. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Scion Rock Fest 2011 to Be Held in Pomona, Metal Legends Morbid Angel (Featuring "the Greatest Death Metal Guitarist Ever") to Headline". January 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  9. ^ "Morbid Angel Drummer Pete Sandoval Undergoes Back Surgery". March 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  10. ^ a b "MORBID ANGEL Begins Recording New Album". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  11. ^ a b "Morbid Angel: New Album Title Revealed".  
  12. ^ "Interview: Dave Vincent of Morbid Angel". Invisible Oranges. December 5, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Morbid Angel's Tim Yeung Says There Is Talk Of Band Recording New EP".  
  14. ^ "'"Morbid Angel's David Vincent: 'It's Time To Write.  
  15. ^ "Morbid Angel Parts Ways With David Vincent, Reunites With Steve Tucker".  
  16. ^ "It's Official: Drummer Tim Yeung Exits Morbid Angel".  
  17. ^ "'"David Vincent: 'I Have Not Left Morbid Angel Nor Have I Been Asked To Do So.  
  18. ^ "Here are a few answers".  
  19. ^
  20. ^ "David Vincent on". Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c Peak chart positions in the United States:
    • "Morbid Angel – Awards".  
    • "Morbid Angel Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200".  
    • "Morbid Angel Album & Song Chart History: Heatseekers Albums".  
    • "Morbid Angel Album & Song Chart History: Independent Albums".  
  22. ^ "Discographie Morbid Angel" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  23. ^ "Discography Morbid Angel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  24. ^ "Discographie Morbid Angel" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  25. ^ "Discography Morbid Angel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  26. ^ a b "Discografie Morbid Angel" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  27. ^ "Discography Morbid Angel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  28. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: M – My Vitriol". Zobbel. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b c d
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "MORBID ANGEL's 'Enshrined By Grace' Video to receive MTV2 premiere this weekend". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Morbid Angel at MySpace
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