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Review of the Album "Gateways to Annihilation" by Florida Death Metal Band Morbid Angel

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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A Style Change for Morbid Angel Entering the Decade of the 2000s

Gateways to Annihilation is the 2000 studio album released by Florida death metal band Morbid Angel and having heard their previous album Formulas Fatal to the Flesh I was curious to find out how this one compares to that one. Early on, you may notice that this album is better than their previous one even though it is said that this album is a slower and heavy album compared to the one before which has more speed in it.

This Album Features a Contribution by Then Future Cannibal Corpse Guitarist Erik Rutan

Gateways to Annihilation also marks the return of guitarist Erik Rutan who had played guitars on the band’s 1995 studio album Domination. This would be the last album to feature Erik as a band member of Morbid Angel but his impact can be witnessed on this album. One such example is the exotic lead guitar and interlude passages and it shows that this one quality makes this 2000 studio album stronger. Gateways to Annihilation is also the first time that Steve Tucker contributed lyrics and assisted in the songwriting process. Listening to Gateways to Annihilation you get the sense that up to this point in time, this is the darkest and most brutal Morbid Angel album that you will have heard.

Steve Tucker

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No David Vincent Doing Lead Vocals? No Problem

The absence of David Vincent really isn’t a liability for this album as the presence of Erik Rutan has definitely made a difference in the quality of the songs. Steve Tucker does some death metal growls that are very similar to that of the band Malevolent Creation. This album may as well have been called Gateways to a Better Album because this one actually may have a slightly more melodic approach in some cases even though the guitar sound is more brutal. While the previous album of this band had five instrumental songs that really didn’t have the kind of “wow” factor, this album has two instrumentals, one of them having been written by Erik Rutan. We could say that the gates to a different style and sound have been opened with this 6th album. The vocals have a good brutal touch to them as well.

"Awakening"

Erik Rutan

Guitarist Erik Rutan is also known for playing in the band called Hate Eternal.

Guitarist Erik Rutan is also known for playing in the band called Hate Eternal.

Thoughts About This Morbid Angel Album After the First Full Listen Through

However, with the manner in which this album begins, some listeners will shake their heads and disbelief and wonder what is going on. There is a 35 second track “Kawazu” which consists of the sounds of frogs croaking. The word itself is an archaic Japanese word. “Summoning Redemption” is the song that really starts to showcase the dark and heavy sound of this album and there is a nice exotic solo part as well. It is hard to say though that this album is better than 1993’s Covenant as it is really hard for these guys to be able to match the musicality of that album. Even though Pete Sandoval was the drummer in 2000, even with his double bass drumming technique, that is probably not enough to put this album over the top as Morbid Angel’s finest work but it may come very close. It is a tough call though.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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