The 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time!

The 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time, #16: Morbid Angel

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The 25 Best Metal Bands of All TimeMorbid Angel. Photo by Alex SolcaMetalSucks recently polled over a hundred of metal’s most revered musicians, critics, journalists, artists, publicists, and industry insiders to find out which 25 bands represent the very BEST in the history of metal. Today we continue the countdown with Florida’s…

Morbid Angel
33 Votes
406 Points

Let’s get it out of the way now, alright? Morbid Angel’s latest album will go down in infamy as a poorly-calculated experiment. Even coming from a band that has thrived on technical advancement and weird ideas since their inception, Illud Divinum Insanus was too much for most fans to stomach. And in all fairness, as a comeback album, it failed rather spectacularly. But as a reunion vehicle, it did quite a good job of landing Morbid Angel back in the spotlight. I’ll never forget their performance at Maryland Deathfest 2012, and would still go see them in a heartbeat. The band is reportedly working on new material, and one hopes that they’ll rein it in a little this time around.

Even if they don’t, though, they’ll still be Morbid Angel, and here’s the thing: Morbid Angel are one of the best death metal bands to ever exist and that will ever exist. Easily top three, if not the very best. Even a misstep or two here and there can’t tarnish their legacy, and no matter how much eyeliner David Vincent piles on, once he shuts up and gets to work his demonic roar is still one of the most evil in the game. Steve Tucker added his malevolent rasp to the mix post-1996, taking over when Vincent bowed out to become a PVC-clad version of himself dubbed “Evil D” in his wife Gen’s industrial band Genitorturers. Pete Sandoval’s surgically precise drumming provided much-needed balance for the guitars’ madness. Guitarist and Nicest Guy in Metal™ Erik Rutan held down the warped grooves on Domination before leaving to realize his own brutal visions in Hate Eternal. Founding guitarist Trey Azagthoth may be kind of an oddball, but the complex, screaming riffs he summons up from the depths are untouchable; it’s impossible to deny that dude is a guitar god, or that he and his effect pedals have worked some serious black magic over the years. How can any self-respecting extreme metal fan hear the opening riff for “Chapel of Ghouls” and not go insane? “Where the Slime Live”? Forget about it. “God of Emptiness”? Game. Over.

Morbid Angel are one of the main reasons that we still discuss Floridian death metal some twenty-odd years after its heyday. The band’s original members — Azagthoth, Mike Browning, and Dallas Ward — all more or less hail from Tampa (Azagthoth was born in Bellingham, WA, but spent his childhood in Florida) and spent the formative years of the band crashing around in garages with soon-to-be-legends Death, Obituary, Deicide, and Massacre. Despite the over-the-top nature of the band’s lyrics, imagery, and the music itself, Morbid Angel found a considerable amount of success thrust upon them from unlikely sources. Their third album, Covenant, was released by Giant Records and ultimately became the best selling death metal album of all time, scanning over 150,000 copies in the United States alone (and no, Dethklok does not fucking count here). Beavis and Butthead weighed in on their video for “God of Emptiness,” and when Giant folded in 1995, Morbid Angel oozed back onto the roster of their longtime label Earache Records and proceeded to continue pushing the boundaries of the genre they may not have created, but definitely refined. That’s what they’re still doing, too — whether you or I like it or not.

THE LIST SO FAR:

#17 – Meshuggah (32 Votes, 377 Points)
#18 – Opeth (30 Votes, 364 Points)
#19 – Testament (33 Votes, 347 Points)
#20 – At The Gates (28 Votes, 331 Points)
#21 – AC/DC (17 Votes, 313 Points)

#22 – Celtic Frost (24 Votes, 310 Points)
#23 – Ozzy Osbourne (21 Votes, 290 Points)
#24 – Napalm Death (22 Votes, 278 Points)
#25 – Lamb of God (29 Votes, 277 Points)

THE ILLUSTRIOUS PANEL OF VOTERS:

Chris Alfano – East of the Wall, Gear Gods
Paul Allender – White Empress, ex-Cradle of Filth
Rob Arnold – The Elite, ex-Chimaira, ex-Six Feet Under
Alan Averill (aka A.A. Nemtheanga) – Primordial
Chuck B.B. – Artist
Matt Bachand – Shadows Fall
Micke Berg – Below
Chuck Billy – Testament
Randy Blythe – Lamb of God
Paul Booth – Last Rites Tattoo and Art Gallery
Jake Bowen – Periphery
Terry Butler – Obituary
Liz Ciavarella-Brenner – Publicist, Earsplit PR
Blake Charlton – Ramming Speed
Richard Christy – Charred Walls of the Damned, ex-Death, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Control Denied, The Howard Stern Show
Monte Conner – President, Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Bruce Corbitt – Rigor Mortis, Warbeast
Doc Coyle – ex-God Forbid
Sergeant D. – MetalSucks, Stuff You Will Hate
Topon Das – Fuck the Facts, Merdarahta
Anso DF – MetalSucks
Peter Dolving – Rosvo, ex-The Haunted
Ryan J. DowneySuperhero Artist Management
Sacha Dunable – Intronaut, Bereft, Dunable Guitars
Vince Edwards – Head of Publicity, Metal Blade Records
Excretakano – MetalSucks
Exmortus
Extreme Management Group
D.X. Ferris – Slayer ScholarMetalSucks
Ryan Fleming – Black Table
Jon Freeman – Publicist, Freeman Promotions
Matthew Friesen – Culted
Ville Friman – Insomnium
Mike Gitter – Senior Director of A&R, Razor & Tie
Frank Godla – Metal Injection, Meek is Murder
Mike Greene – Director of Digital Marketing, Razor & Tie
Shane Handel – Set and Setting
Jeff Hodak – Head of Sales, Razor & Tie
Terence Hannum – Locrian
John Hoffman – Weekend Nachos
Mark Hunter – ex-Chimaira
Don JamiesonThat Metal Show
Daniel Jansson – Culted
John Jarvis – Pig Destroyer, Fulgora
Gaz Jennings – Death Penalty, ex-Cathedral
Patrik Jensen – The Haunted
Rick Jimenez – Extinction A.D.
Kassa – Below
Mirai Kawashima – Sigh
“Grim” Kim KellyMetalSucks
Zeena Koda
Erik Kluiber – Gypsyhawk
Eyal LeviUnstoppable Killing Machine, Dååth
Jason Lekberg – IKILLYA
Adam Lindmark – Morbus Chron
Ryan Lipynsky – Serpentine Path, Unearthly Trance, The Howling Wind
Jonah Livingston – Ramming Speed
Bob Lugowe – Director of Promotions/Marketing, Relapse Records, Brutal Panda Records
James Malone – Arsis, Necromancing the Stone
Jose Mangin – Director of Music Programming, Sirius XM Liquid Metal
Bobby Mansfield – 16
Misha Mansoor – Periphery
Morgan McGrath – Live Nation
Mike “Gunface” McKenzie – The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Nightkin
Vince Neilstein – MetalSucks
Eventansvarig Biostaden Nyköping – Below
Chris Ojeda – Byzantine
Casey Orr – Rigor MortisWarbeast
Rob Pasbani – Metal Injection
Anders Persson – Portrait
Chris Pervelis – Internal Bleeding
Karim Peter – Artist Relations, IndieMerchandising
Raphael Pinsker – Booking Agent, 3Thirteen Entertainment Group
Polar
Markus “Rabapagan” – Metsatöll
Josh Rand – Stone Sour
Emperor Rhombus – MetalSucks
Gus Rios – Gruesome
Tobias Rosén – Noctum
Axl Rosenberg – MetalSucks
Travis Ryan – Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct, Nader Sadek
Saturn
Marc Schapiro, Branch Marketing Collective
Zach Shaw – The Syndicate
Patrick Sheridan – Fit For An Autopsy
Alex Skolnick – Testament
Brian Slagel – Chairman/CEO, Metal Blade Records
Mark Solotroff – Anatomy of Habit, Bloodlust!, BLOODYMINDED
Steve “Zetro” Souza – Exodus, Hatriot
Kevin Stewart-Panko – Decibel, MetalSucks
Black String – Vampire
Jason Suecof – Audiohammer Studios
Bram Teitelman – Metal Insider
Nick Tieder – No Jacket Required Marketing, Indegoot
Tone Deaf Touring
Aaron Turner – Old Man Gloom, ex-ISIS, Hydra Head Records
Brody Uttley – Rivers of Nihil
George Vallee – Head of Publicity, Street Smart Marketing
Dirk Verbeuren – Soilwork, Bent Sea, Scarve
Jens Vestergren – Below
Jake Wade – Columns
Kelly Walsh – Publicist, Prosthetic Records
Mike Wohlberg – The Fat Kid Illustration
Wookubus – The PRP
Zodiac

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