Morbid Angel had impressed many with "Altars Of Madness", but they still hadn't climbed into the upper class of Death Metal bands until this record. Band’s second record was a groundbreaking release for Death Metal, giving it a clear dynamic perspective that few had yet to give it credit for. The album features an overall slower musical sound, although containing very fast riffs, and reveals another side of the band, with classical music undertones. Released during one of Death Metal’s most successful periods, if 1991 was the year of memorable Death Metal albums, “Blessed Are The Sick” is just a bit more memorable than most.
Whereas “Altars Of Madness” was crafted during a time when Death Metal was still all about achieving an undeterred terminal velocity by 1991 and the release of “Blessed Are The Sick” that air had cleared, allowing for a major growth to take place within the still fledgling genre. Far from a straightforward affair, “Blessed Are The Sick” finally started to display the hidden glut of Azagthoth’s influences, allowing elements of Psychedelic and Classical to permeate the album’s unwaveringly dense infrastructure. Finally implementing the “trippy” sound he really always desired, “Blessed Are The Sick” is noticeably slower than its predecessor, but is in return more dynamic, exploring the contrasts between faster and slower sections and truly unorthodox song structures.
Overshadowed by great albums from Sepultura, Entombed, and Carcass the same year, Morbid Angel still managed to solidify their reputation as a Heavy Metal maelstrom with the 13 tracks found here. Songs like "Thy Kingdom Come," "Brainstorm," and the redundantly titled "Unholy Blasphemies" would go on to become cult favorites in the Metal Underworld, while "The Ancient Ones" became their first true anthem, as it covered the drug-fueled religious theories of guitarist Trey Azagthoth. Despite his unusual beliefs, his playing is on par with the best the genre has to offer, shredding through these songs with an unbelievable ease and dexterity that brings to mind his guitar hero, Eddie Van Halen. This unique approach to the genre is definitely what makes this band more memorable, although the simple fact that they bothered to write semi-catchy songs and had a fantastic vocalist in David Vincent did not hurt matters one bit.
The album is short, to the point, and doesn't waste time noodling on forgetable riffs and needless tempo changes the way so many of their contemporaries did. Still sounding vicious, "Blessed Are The Sick" is an unheralded classic in the short-lived but rewarding first wave of Death Metal!!
Re-edition includes the bonus video "Blessed Are The Sick" and awesome album cover/band photo poster!!!
Earache Records Ltd., 1991/2011 (MOSH011CDX). Manufactured in EU. Pressed in France.
1. Intro 1:27
2. Fall From Grace 5:13
3. Brainstorm 2:34
4. Rebel Lands 2:41
5. Doomsday Celebration 1:49
6. Day Of Suffering 1:54
7. Blessed Are The Sick / Leading The Rats 4:47
8. Thy Kingdom Come 3:24
9. Unholy Blasphemies 2:10
10. Abominations 4:27
11. Desolate Ways 1:40
12. The Ancient Ones 5:53
13. In Remembrance 1:25
Total playing time: 39:24