Morbid Angel

CD Review: Various Artists/Morbid Angel, “Illud Divinum Insansus – The Remixes”

Album: Various Artists/Morbid Angel, Illud Divinum Insanus – The Remixes
Label: Season of Mist
Release: February 24, 2012

Tracks:
CD1
1. Laibach – I Am Morbid (Wall of Morbid mix)
2. cEvin Key /Hiwatt Marshall – OmniDead
3. Brain Leisure – Too Extreme (Black Symphony Edition)
4. The Toxic Avenger – 10 More Dead
5. Malakwa – I Am Morbid
6. Synapscape – Too Extreme
7. Punish Yourself vs Sonic Area – Destructos vs The Earth (DoomsdayMarchMix)
8. HIV+ – Too Extreme
9. Micropoint – I Am Morbid
10. John Lord Fonda – Too extreme (Metallizer Remix)
11. Evil Activities – Radikult
12. Mixhell – Too Extreme
13. Black Lung – I Am Morbid
14. Mondkopf – Radikult
15. Xytras – Existo Vulgoré
16. Toxic Engine – I Am Morbid

CD 2
1. Ahnst Anders – I Am Morbid
2. Nachtmahr – Destructos vs. the Earth
3. Tim Skold – Profundis – Mea Culpa
4. Black Strobe – 10 More Dead
5. Chris Pohl – Too Extreme
6. Project Pitchfork – Destructos vs. the Earth
7. Treponem Pal – 10 More Dead
8. Scott Brown – I Am Morbid
9. Fixhead – Radikult
10. Dj Ruffneck – I Am Morbid
11. Igorrr – Remixou Morbidou
12. Tamtrum – I Am Morbid
13. Tek-One – 10 More Dead
14. Adrian – I Am Morbid
15. The Horrorist – Existo Vulgoré

Dropcard
1. Combichrist – Destructos vs the Earth
2. Chrysalide – Nevermore
3. Asche – Destructos vs the Earth
4. Sylvgheist Maelstrom – 10 More Dead
5. Dead Sexy Inc. – I am Morbid
6. Roger Rotor – Radikult
7. The Processus – I am Morbid
8. Mulk – Existo Vulgoré

So, it seems about 5% of the people that listened to Illud Divinum Insanus when it was released actually liked it and 4.98% of them were other metal musicians who may or may not be friends with any of the members of Morbid Angel. .02% of the were me.  I liked the record, in fact I still do.  The main complaint of course was that they tried to make an electronic death metal record and most still feel it was quite ridiculous.  I’ve read people claiming it’s simply a mockery of music in general.  For me, Morbid Angel was always about changing themselves up and not creating the same record twice, so with that in mind, I just listened to it for what it was – a damn fine piece of extreme metal.  I admit it was a shock at first though and I can also understand where people are coming from when they say they hate it.

The one thing that I think everyone in the world could anticipate of course was a remix record. It just seemed inevitable.  I don’t know that anyone would have predicted a whopping 39 tracks though.  The remix album is a double disc consisting of a total of 31 remixes with the first pressing (as if there will be another) containing a dropcard for another eight downloadable tracks.

Here’s the thing. Who in the fuck is going to buy this thing? The remixes are by electronic, techno and dupstep artists.  Other than Cevin Key and Hiwatt Marshall from Skinny Puppy and Tim Skold I don’t know jack about these artists.  I’m assuming that most of the people in clubs and buying techno records have never heard anything from Morbid Angel either. So I’m unsure there’s really a market for this. And even if there was, who in hell thought putting out 39 tracks was a good idea? It’s virtually impossible to listen to this jolting mish-mash of styles from start to finish, it’s just too brain-numbingly long.

For review purposes, I intermixed them with the tracks from the original record so that I would listen to the original first and then all the remixes of that tune together to get a better feel for what the artists did with each track. There are only 11 tracks on the original, so multiple remixes of the same song obviously are present but even with 39 tracks, neither “Blades for Baal” or “Beauty Meets Beast” are remixed at all and opening semi-intro, “Omni Potens” is remixed with “10 More Dead” by the Skinny Puppy dudes.  These aren’t perfect tracks the way they are but Jesus, no one wanted to mix them? That’s sad.  That leaves eight other tunes, of which “Too Extreme!” gets remixed six times, “10 More Dead” five times (with the half-mix, too) and get this, 13 fucking remixes of “I Am Morbid.”  I’m actually fascinated that the almost nu-metal sounds of “Radikult” which is probably the most polarizing song on the original disc only gets four treatments.  In a way, I guess seeing 13 remixes of “I Am Morbid” here is better than four EPs released over the next two years, so we can be thankful for that at least.

So look, I’m no expert in techno so a lot of this is out of my realm but a good tune is a good tune no matter what genre it’s in. I can’t speak for the techno crew. Maybe someone that loves that style will think differently than me, but from the metal perspective, christ, this is brutal on the ears. I’m relatively sure that the phrase, “Morbid Angel club banger” has never been uttered before this point but that’s exactly what Malakwa made “I Am Morbid.”  The reality is that there are only a handful of unlistenable tracks, like The Horrorist’s version of “Existo Vulgare”. But there are only a handful of really good tunes too.  As one would expect, Tim Skold’s version of “Profundus – Mea Culpa” is the best tune on the disc. It’s almost as if he told everyone before hand that he’s going to fix the track and no one else needs to bother trying.  The Tek-One remix of “10 More Dead” adds an electronic hip-hop beat behind the track, which surprisingly works quite well.  And the symphonic touches to Brain Leisure’s version of “Too Extreme!” make for an interesting piece.

The positive thing that really stands out to me is the dropcard. Most of the eight tracks are bizarre reworkings, probably even “Too Extreme” to be mixed in with the pretty dull regular discs. The most interesting one has to be the very last track, a one minute grindcore version of “Too Extreme” by Mulk.  But there’s also the weirdly groovy mix of “I Am Morbid” by Dead Sexy Inc., and the absolutely jolting versions of “10 More Dead” by Sylvgheist Maelstrom and “Nevermore” by Chrysalide. Separate the dropcard from the rest o f album and you have something that’s at least interesting, otherwise it’s mostly uneventful remixes leading to what seems like a pointless venture.

If nothing else you should be able to get a good laugh out of this video for Combichrist’s “Destructos vs the Earth”




  • http://twitter.com/gogmagogical gogmagogical

    Count me in among your .02% – http://gogmagogical.blogspot.com/2011/06/illud-divinum-insanus-morbid-angel-2011.html – and I just got the remixes in the mail today. I placed the order expecting for it to be more than a little excessive but, at the very least, wanted to support the band as they try something even farther out than the original experiment. Your review gives me hope that, as someone who hasn’t dismissed the band, I just have two more Morbid Angel discs to enjoy than most people. Great write-up and am pleased to see a brave music fan sharing an opinion against the grain.