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Morbid Angel

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Tampa, Florida, United States (1984 – present)

Morbid Angel is a Tampa, Florida, United States-based band assembled in 1984. They, along with Deicide, Death, Possessed, Autopsy, Suffocation, Obituary, Massacre and a handful of others were crucial in the development of the death metal genre and its standards. Their songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of both guitarist Trey Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval (who also played in the grindcore/death metal band Terrorizer).

Morbid Angel made their vinyl debut in 1987 on New Renaissance Records. 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 adding guttural vocals, up-tempo blast beats, incorporating atonality in guitar soloing, and dark, chunky, mid paced rhythms. It was also the first death metal band to have a touch of mainstream success, such as 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 Butthead.

The original lyrical themes focused mostly on Satanism, paganism and anti-Christian subject matter, but from the second album, Blessed Are The Sick onward, the lyrics slowly moved toward the ancient Sumerian gods, though much of this is a nod to the Simon Necronomicon, which was influenced by Sumerian mythology as well as the author H. P. Lovecraft, as well as a fascination with the Roman Empire, though “anti-christian” elements continue to permeate the lyrics.

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